Open Letter to Christians
Who We Are
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
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Book Features:
Commitment
Apologetics
"Body Life”
Relational Discipleship
Quiet Time
Biblical Motivation
Scripture Memory
Church Challenges
Great Commission
Lordship Salvation
Relationship
Evangelism
 
 
 
 
 

  

 

 

 
 
 



Jesus Christ can change your life, and this book will show you how!
 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1A. Open Letter

5% of Christians EVER tell the Gospel to one person in their lifetime, and this 30-year consistent statistic must change! Billions of lost people are going to Hell, and we must tell them over and over (or for the first time) till they respond or will listen no more. Quit listening to the world and false Ministers who tell you the fields are not ripe for harvest and that people don’t want to hear, and start obeying God in this most important ministry! Only sin, manifested as fear, apathy, comfort zone, selfishness and passing the buck onto professionals will keep you from doing so.

Set a date on the calendar, 3 months hence, after which time you can prove to yourself that the devil has deceived and defeated you and you are deluded in believing that your intentions are noble, your behavior so exceptional that the message of a cross and sacrifice can be deduced from your deeds, or that being friendly and building relationships with strangers can ever substitute for biblical, loving evangelism--TELLING the Gospel to lost people.

1B. American Church Problems

The two greatest needs in the world are for Christians to live holy and lost people to get saved. The 3 most neglected top-priority ministries of the modern Church are evangelism, relational discipleship and “body life.”

Since the mid 1980’s, thorough evangelism has been on the wane, with the advent of the ‘church is a business’ philosophy (which Jesus would turn the tables on), the church growth movement (emphasizing quantity and profits over quality and evangelism), seeker sensitive ministry (even though the Bible says no one seeks God) and relationship evangelism being introduced and whole-heartedly accepted as the norm (so people could feel like they were engaged in evangelism when they used their hobbies and interests and became friendly with people). Throw in the public political involvement of formerly primarily evangelistic Christian leaders, the abandonment of ministries like Evangelism Explosion, CWT, Master Life and other more biblical ministries, and the standard for American church and evangelism has become one of “attraction”—not sending believers into the world and taking the initiative to reach every soul!

If we hire an interesting speaker to speak to crowds 2 hours a weekend, have deeper teaching for those who will attend Sunday School, put off evangelism and intense discipleship classes as offerings for the few and for those who will attend church at an off-prime hour and day—a further sacrifice—this is “success.” Church is no longer a place for believers to be mutually edified, to be more than bench-warming spectators, and our messages are more and more feel good psychology and motivational seminars (along with upbeat, emotionally-moving music) so we have an experience and feel something—rather than training men and women to serve God for life.

As long as our big, beautiful, modern structures and salaries are paid for, we consider the church building to be our primary evangelism method, as if God requires lost people to come to our buildings as a requirement for receiving eternal life.

2A. The Gospel

Biblically, the Gospel is the “good news” that Christ died, was buried, and was raised from the dead on our behalf (I Cor. 15:1-8). Add to that the most famous evangelism verse—John 3:16, and we learn that God loves all men as the motivation for His sending His Son, as well as learning that faith is our requirement for salvation. Rom. 3:23 and 6:23 add the reasons for our need of salvation—men are sinners, and sin leads to death—physical and spiritually eternal. Herein in the crux of our Gospel message.

2B. Follow-Up Materials

Once a person is saved, they need to be water baptized, and their life-long spiritual growth in discipleship can be enhanced through membership in a biblical local church, daily quiet time, learning to evangelize, testifying of their conversion, and corporate worship and fellowship.

3. Completing the Great Commission

Anyone interested in the global picture of what needs to be done to complete the Great Commission in our generation needs to get their hands on: Be A Part of It, and monitor web sites detailing the numbers of lost people who need Jesus. See this section for access to such data.

4. Why Evangelize?

In all honesty, only before you and God, do you suffer from not sincerely desiring to evangelize? You are not alone. Most believers don’t want to, and preachers have derived many methods to make you feel like you’re contributing to the Great Commission, when you truly aren’t doing much, if any at all. All you need is to have a dynamic, deep, real relationship with Christ, as a believer, and if you have that and you meditate on the Bible content in this section, you will not be able to contain your need to share the Gospel with lost people! God and His word are the answer to your problem—avail yourself of His solutions to your problem.

4B. Evangelizing Logic

All people who die without Christ go to Hell.
Christ is the only way to escape this future.
The Gospel is the only message which tells Christ’s provision to go to heaven.
The Church is the only group of people commissioned to take that message to the world.
If you are a Christian, you are in that organization.
Therefore, there is no biblical excuse for you not doing your part for evangelism! People go to Hell if they don’t hear and respond to the Gospel, and their blood will be on your hands if you remain comfortably mum!

5. Evangelismlessness Excuses

Whatever “reason” you use to salve your conscience, justify your evangelistic inaction and to proffer theological validation for God supposedly not calling you to evangelize, be sure in no uncertain terms that those thoughts originate with satan, in Hell! The excuses are many and varied, yet all have the same negative spiritual source. See our web site to find those thoughts you are living by, and read convincing argumentation why your theologically-sounding reasons are just excuses you hide behind which merit God’s judgment and which cause you to remain obstinately disobedient to God and disrespectful to all Christ did for you and all others.

6. Evoking Lay Evangelism (by Pastors)

See our web site for a list of 12 initial actions committed church staff members can implement to evoke laymen participation in evangelism. Until you’ve done all you can, within biblical guidelines, to evoke such behavior, you cannot excuse evangelismlessness on laymen, as you are the leader responsible for their spiritual health.

7A. 3 Mile Plan for a Local Church’s Evangelism

See our web site to learn a short, simple, yet effective way to quickly ascertain the spiritual condition of those your church is most responsible for reaching with the Gospel—every lost soul within 3 miles of your church building.

8B-D. Foreign Missions Strategies

Both new and established strategies are listed to aid more effective evangelism by those engaged in evangelism outside the United States. With so few workers, so little money contributed to evangelism, and so little interest in the subject, those of us who do evangelize must be smart and efficient in maximizing the tools God has availed to us, to strive to complete the Great Commission ASAP, whether others join this noble cause or not.

8E. Evangelism Strategies

Anyone interested in strategic ideas for maximizing our efforts in evangelism, utilizing business principles from Big Four, MBA and Fortune 500 Consulting methodologies, biblically applied, would benefit from considering this section.

9. Contact Us

James Meroney
c/o EDB Ministries (Evangelism/Discipleship/Body Life)
4404 Caledonia Creek Lane
Plano, TX 75024

10. About Us

I was saved at age 8 and totally surrendered to Christ at age 18. After being consistently loved and challenged by a Baptist Student Union leader to have a Quiet Time in College, after 30 days I finally consented just to get him off my back. After about a month of habit development, my Quiet Times often lasted between 3 and 5 hours a day. The Bible is that beautiful

After being challenged to prove-up my beliefs by a girlfriend and her father, when we broke up the Lord called me into professional ministry. In 1891 I started researching a book on the New Testament (now complete—rough draft—and 5,000 pages long), and earned an M.Div. in evangelism from southwestern seminary in 1985. For further bio, please see this section

11. Evangelism Methods

I am often accused of promoting only a couple of methods for evangelism. See our web site for a list of many more than 2 methods, but also realize, if your “method” does not quickly get you into a spiritual discussion/conversation with a lost person—even strangers—to effectively and powerfully (in the Holy Spirit) communicate the Gospel message, or if you don’t do much evangelism, your so-called “method” is flawed or non-existent, so your criticism of the methods I use rightfully falls on deaf ears.

12. Apologetics

Many more intellectually stimulated believers really enjoy delving into the intriguing and often challenging arena of answering apologetic questions, without an equal or greater involvement in actually evangelizing—where these issues rarely arise, or where such study can actually be used. Although our web site is intended as a “one-stop shop” for forwarding lost people to find researched answers to 223 of their most often asked questions (so the evanglizor can continue the Gospel presentation), please know that one really only needs to memorize or otherwise verbalize a very short amount of information to ethically and effectively answer any of these questions. This section gives three quick and accurate responses you can always use, so you need not be an intellectual or scholar to confidently evangelize!

14A. Theology of Evangelism

If anyone wants to know the doctrinal basis for or undertake an investigation of what the Bible teaches on the subject of evangelism, feel free to peruse this section, though it is non-exhaustive.

14B. Evangelism Ethics

This study is longer than it needs to be, because if you are walking in the Spirit, committed to Jesus Christ, you are evangelizing properly—morally speaking. In fact, Phil. 2 even gives preference to carnally-motived believers who evangelize, to those conducting no evangelism (i.e., 95% of today’s Christians). In a word, be ethical when you evangelize—“duh”—as that corroborates the message we claim and espouse.

14C. Evangelism, Prayer and the Sovereignty of God

No matter your opinion on Calvinism and Arminianism, the Bible does not teach that evangelism is only an act of obedience or that it has no effect on the eternity of lost people. No matter who and how many God foreknows will be in His family, you cannot distinguish between persons, save by their being either saved or lost (II Cor. 5:9-17) and if they are in the latter category, you need to prayerfully do all within your power to share the Gospel with them in the power of the Holy Spirit. They will not come to Christ without His conviction, neither will they often come to Him without your witness!

15. Disclaimers and Objections

Perhaps you are inclined to think that many Christians can be recruited to evangelize regularly with only a positive approach to motivation. Funny thing—the American church has tried that PMA (“positive mental attitude”) approach at least 20 years, and the 5% who evangelize has never increased. American Christians—church-going, giving, otherwise “good people”—are HARDENED beyond belief against EVER evangelizing. Want proof? Ask someone—anyone—to go evangelize with you. They are stubborn and stiff-necked in this crucial ministry, and lost people suffer most for our sinful abstinence.

If John the Baptist were here I am certain this subject (along with the majority living carnally and rarely reading the Bible) would be where he camped out most in reproving of the religious establishment, so rather than accusing me of being too negative—when the eternity of billions of lost people hangs in the balance—the oweness is on you to explain your plan for getting through to these hardened, claiming believers, to evoke evangelism, for the sake of all Christ came to earth to accomplish, and to show true concern and love for lost people, best expressed in telling them about Jesus.

16A. Why Read the Bible?

If you struggle with little to no desire to read God’s word, you’re like 87% of believers—spiritually deprived of the greatest information ever available to man! I myself lived like this for 10 years, and I assure you you are both missing out and losing eternal rewards and temporal blessings. Read this section to see what God would tell you if here in person, as He is, spiritually, in the form of His written word by the Holy Spirit of God.

16B. Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Many argue that the Bible can be used to prove or say anything you want. Using standard, common, basic principles of its interpretation, an honest Bible student will soon discover how false that claim is. The Bible itself considers a small portion of its contents to be difficult to understand—but the largest part does not fall into that category (and books have been written explaining these areas). It is not that the Bible is hard to understand but that we spend so little time and effort reading its clear content.

We’ll buy Christian novels, self-help books, go to Christian concerts, and do almost anything but go straight to the “horses mouth” in the most direct way of meeting with and getting to know God—His word. Is it not thick enough, that you go to so many other books, when in a lifetime you could never master what’s already been established for hundreds of years—His word? Why insult God by continuing to be ignorant of the love letter He wrote, thinking that by asking yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” you can in yourself deduce what can only be clearly derived from taking the time to study what God said? You’re truly missing out, and your poverty and shame in heaven, at least for awhile, will show others the avoidance of its study you hide from others in secret sin.

17. Principles of Prayer

Is prayer boring to you, repetitive, rote, and all but miraculously effective in changing the course of your life? Then may I propose that you don’t know how to pray biblically. Read this short section—apply the truths therein contained—then document for yourself (and others) how God will change your life through this holy practice. Effective praying effects results. Ineffective praying yields little motivation to continue the practice.

18. Why be Totally Committed to Christ?

The majority of American Christians are carnal—uncommitted to Jesus Christ, either inadvertently or willfully. As stated before, I lived that way for 10 years myself. If you can read this section, meditate on its Bible verses, and still continue to be apathetic about your spiritual life, there’s a chance you were never saved! The abundant Christian life is the only Christian life, and if you are not on fire for God, you don’t know Him or His word well at all. Start today, by reading this important section!

20A-C. How to Have a Quiet Time

If you are not in the habit of daily meeting with God in prayer and Bible study, you don’t yet “get” Christianity! We are not spiritual camels who can live off 2 hours at church a week to sustain us all week long (i.e., “churchianity”). Man can only live by daily ingesting the word of God, and ultimately your relationship with God is one on one. On judgment day He will not ask about anyone else’s deeds but your own, and what you personally did with His Son, Jesus Christ.

20D. Bible Reading Plan

Though all Scripture is equally God-inspired, this section suggests the first books and chapters for believers to read, to jump-start their spiritual growth ASAP.

21. Scripture Memory Plan

Though all Scripture is equally God-inspired and valuable, this list details the best Bible verses for believers to memorize, to jump-start their spiritual growth ASAP.

22. Body Life (Defined)

You may have never heard this term, and it is not so named explicitly in the Bible, but if you are an astute student of God’s word you can quickly agree that lay participation in the main worship service/gathering is biblical “church.” We are not spectators seeking entertainment by professionals, bench-warmers, or zombies with no spiritual gifts or skills to benefit our brothers in that primary worship service. Though Charismatic extremes often scare us off from this biblical practice, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” and don’t try to change what church is and is supposed to be to conform it to (Western) man’s image!

23. Relational Discipleship (Defined)

Jesus preached to thousands if not millions, but He invested Himself—His time and intimate thoughts and experiences—with only 11 men, who turned the world upside down. If our Ultimate Role Model used this method, how can we continue to poo poo and spurn this most effective and efficient way of growing up believers in the Lord? Preaching sermons at people, and never knowing them personally or having a mechanism by which we can be sure people APPLY our sermons or have a daily Quiet time is NOT doing all we can, as Ministers, to fulfill all 3 aspects of the Great Commission—Evangelism, Baptism and Discipling.

24 (Part 1). The 18 Most Important Discipleship Topics

This Author has spent upwards of 30 years researching the Bible and identifying which subjects are the most impactful for growing up Christians in the Lord. Whether by their explicitly saying so, their implicit impactful evidence, their quantity of verses devoted to these subjects, their appearing in most discipleship materials, or other criteria, I challenge you to identify any more important subjects to intensely teach believers to get them able to stand on their own 2 spiritual feet as quickly as possible.

24 (Part 2). Other Proffered Keys to Spiritual Growth

Christians differ on the subjects they consider most important to teach new and young believers (and older, stagnant or carnal ones), and this list includes subjects often proffered by others as “key” to spiritual growth and victory.

26A. Problems with Lordship Salvation

Lordship Salvation and Saviorhood Salvation cannot both be true. One is, by default, a false Gospel. Most laymen have never heard these terms and don’t understand their concepts, even though the differences between these two different Gospel messages could sentence a lost person to Hell by either believing or doing the wrong thing in order to be saved. Many Pastors blur or don’t understand the distinctions either, and try to merge these incompatible viewpoints in the name of “peace-making.” Discover this ultimately important doctrine you’ve heard little to nothing about, to learn just what God requires lost people to do to be eternally saved—nothing more, nothing less.

26B. Problems with Relationship Evangelism

Are you one of the unwitting millions who have been duped and lulled into accepting this philosophy, believing it to be God’s biblical model for evangelism? If, so, with a prayerfully open mind, please consider the thoughts expressed in this section, and re-think if your actions toward lost people are biblically required prerequisites to your being able to share the Gospel with them immediately and effectively..

26C. Problems with Calvinism

Extreme, “hyper” Calvinism teaches that whoever God wants to be saved will be saved, and no others. To see aspects of Calvinism and Arminianism beliefs which negatively impact evangelism and evangelism motivation, see “Evangelism, Prayer and the Sovereignty of God,” as well as this section.

28. Giving to This Ministry

If you are led of the Lord to financially (and prayerfully) support an experienced Evangelist spearheading getting Pastors committed to evangelizing all within 3 miles of their church, and leading by example evangelizing and training laymen to do so, we would appreciate whatever amount the Lord lays on your heart to contribute.

If your concern is also for reaching those least evangelized in the “10/40 window,” please do your part to get your church to supply $375 annually, to be placed in an account to support recruiting (and initially paying for) indigenous Evangelists in that part of the world.

If anyone in Plano, Texas, is willing to donate a P.O. Box, or any Attorney anywhere would donate their services to incorporate as a 501(c)-3 tax-deductible ministry, I’d be eternally grateful for your contribution to this ministry in this way.

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James E. Meroney
4404 Caledonia Creek Lane
Plano, Texas 75024
info@willyouliveforever.com