Why is the gospel so often falling on deaf ears? The teaching of Evolution has undeniably become a major reason why millions are now unreceptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Generations have been deceived into believing that Genesis is inaccurate. Evolutionary thought is so firmly entrenched that many view Christianity with absolute contempt and incredulity. The reasoning is “How can anyone possibly believe the Bible when it says GodcreatedAdam and Eve, and we know that isn't true! Evolution is a proven fact of science.”
Such nay-sayers are convinced that Christianity is unscientific, outdated, false and irrelevant. For them, science has “proved” there is no need for God and that all is explainable by natural means. So people live sad, degenerate lives—ignoring the Creator who loves them and who so eagerly wants to provide them with true happiness and eternalsalvation.
Thus, much of our world has become highly secular and un-Godly, lacking all knowledge of God. It is not uncommon to find public-school students who are as ignorant as unreached, primitive natives when it comes to the subject of Jesus Christ or Creation. This is shocking, but only too true. Despite great expenditures of money and talent, many evangelism efforts these days are producing disappointingly small results, not reaping the great numbers of souls as was common in earlier centuries.
Paul's Effective Method for Preaching the Gospel
How did the apostlePaul approach such people with the Good News of the gospel? Being a well-educated man, he discerned a fundamental difference in their background knowledge. This difference had a remarkable effect on how individuals first received the preaching of Christ's death and resurrection. To the Jews, this message was often a stumbling block, yet basically understandable. But to the “Greeks” (meaning non-Jews, Gentiles), it usually sounded like utter foolishness (1 Cor. 1:23).
Why did the Jews and the non-Jews receive the same message so differently?
The Jews already had the Creation foundation. They were familiar with the nature of God and his authority. The foundations of the gospel were already understood (Creation/the Fall/etc.). But the non-Jews knew almost nothing of this foundational information, such an important key to understanding the rest of the gospel message.
The Greeks basically believed in a form of Evolution. They thought that both the gods and man evolved. Paul took note of their belief and their ignorance. To establish a basis for the cross, he knew that he had to eliminate their incorrect foundational beliefs and replace them with the right foundation: Creation. When dealing with the non-Jews at Mars Hill, Paul began by establishing the foundation that God was Creator:
“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man [Adam] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,”
—Acts 17:23-26, NASB, italics added
Our Modern Society of “Greeks”
Years ago, most Western societies were much more like that of the Jews. People had the Genesis foundation and almost everyone was familiar with the Creation account, whose accuracy was seldom questioned. People also knew of the Flood judgment and generally accepted that it had produced the fossils and sedimentary rocks. Genesis was taught in universities and elementary schools, and the Bible was read as a textbook. Evangelists could come in and share the message of the cross and get a tremendous response. But there has been a change! And few in the church have noted its significance.
Our society is no longer like that. Our education system is producing generations of “Greeks,” ignorant of basic truths about God and about man's beginnings. And so that message of the cross often falls on deaf ears. Today, the Creation foundation is all but eroded away in Western society and replaced with an evolutionary base.
Most current evangelistic thrusts in America really only reach those with some sort of Bible knowledge or church background—people with some basic understanding of Christianity. The “pagans” are hardly being reached at all.
The Sowers and the Seed
Think about Christ's parable of the sower and the seed. When the seed fell on rocky and thorny ground, it could not grow. It could flourish only when it fell upon prepared soil. The seed represents the message of the cross. We Christians are to be the sowers, but we must understand that much of our seed is falling on the thorny, rocky ground of evolutionary philosophy. To be successful in reaching the un-Godly, we must get to work, clearing away those rocks and thorns and trees so the ground will be prepared to receive the seed.
A method has been developed to do just that. Creation evangelism first clears the way and then plants the seed. It provides evidence to show that Genesis and the rest of the Bible is not a collection of fairy tales. It shares the foundational information of Genesis and tells the Creation story carefully and accurately. In short, it explains the foundations of Christianity before proceeding to the rest of the gospel.
A small but increasing number of mission organizations are excited about this approach and are putting it to work. The response has been excellent! Those who have applied only part of the technique now want to go all the way.
New Tribes Mission has been using a Creation evangelism approach for some years now and with great success. Formerly, topical preaching methods were used to try to win tribal peoples of New Guinea and similar areas. The missionaries usually preached the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But the results were few and far between. New believers often lost faith and returned to their former pagan ways.
The organization now trains its missionaries to build a strong foundation before proceeding to the rest of the Christian structure and belief system. They call it the “chronological panoramic approach” or simply “chronological teaching.” Now, when they come to a new tribe, evangelists start by sharing Genesis and its foundational knowledge. They explain who God is, the original paradise, where sin came from, where death came from, and so on. Only after many weeks or even months do they begin to share the Good News of Christ'sbirth, death, and resurrection.
The results have been marvelous! And other missions are following their example. Converts are now standing the test of time, simply because they finally understand the basis of the Christian faith. Strong foundations are being laid and built upon.
How to Use Creation Evangelism
All Christians can have a part in defeating the lies of Evolutionism. Don't be hoodwinked into thinking you have to be a scientist or theologian to do so. Evolution is not science; it is a belief! You don't need a science degree to combat it. The presentation of many available and easy-to-understand scientific evidences can help break down barriers. People who would not previously listen will begin to open their minds and think about Christianity more seriously. Some of the suggested areas to discuss with those who accept Evolution are:
Evidence that God exists, including the evidence from design.
What science really is, and what it can and cannot prove.
Evidences of the scientific emptiness of Evolutionism.
Evidence for how dinosaurs fit into the Bible and history.
Evidence that man has not evolved from a “lower” order.
And so on…
Christians must also present the clear story of Genesis and the whole gospel. One should not assume that most people already know the details and understand what the record means. Even many regular church attenders do not understand. Millions of people have a distorted, inaccurate idea of what Genesis says. People frequently do not understand that the environment, the animals, and man are all following a path of degeneration. The world is not evolving upward; it is degenerating downward. Everything began in excellence when God created it.
People commonly make the mistake of misinterpreting the problems around them—suffering, carnivorous animals, parasites, disease, harsh climates--and assuming that this is the world God created. They often doubt God's goodness because these problems exist. What they fail to understand is that our planet is a fallen, degenerated world that no longer reflects the excellence that God first created. We live in a world full of the evidence of (a) man's sin, and (b) God's righteousness and wise judgments on sin (the Fall, the curse, the confusion of languages, the Flood, and so on). And the Creator has provided a wonderful way to ultimately restore Creation and save those who turn from sin: the redemption offered us by Jesus Christ.
Some Tools of Creation Evangelism
The Genesis Solution video. Uninformed Christians can be reached through this effective 45-minute motion picture in which Ken Ham personally shares the basic information of this book. Includes humorous animation.
The Genesis Record by Dr. Henry M. Morris. Probably the best available verse-by-verse commentary on Genesis. Written by a scholar who well understands Creation evangelism and is extremely knowledgable about scientific evidence that supports the Book of Genesis.
The God Who Is Real: A Creationist Approach to Evangelism and Missions by Dr. Henry M. Morris. This concise book shares more important details about Creaiton evangelism. It can help pastors, evangelists, students, and laypeople learn to be more effective for Christ. It illustrates how to use Creationism in evangelism and includes a good summary of the scientific evidences for Creation, the historical evidence for the deity of Christ, and the logical evidences for the unique authority of the Christian gospel of salvation.
Creation Evangelism for the New Millennium by Ken Ham. This book by Ken Ham presents a revolutionary approach to evangelism in our skeptical, post-Christian society! Here is a fresh approach to successfully reach todays evolutionistic, humanistic world with the gospel.
The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible by Paul S. Taylor. One of the most frequently heard Creation/Evolution questions is "What about dinosaurs; how do they fit into the Bible?" This richly illustrated book provides answers and is great for both young people and adults. The text uses the techniques of Creation evangelism to show the way of salvation.
Creationist Speakers are available in almost ever nation and are always willing to share their scientific and biblical knowledge.
Don't Forget Prayer and the Holy Spirit
It is not enough to simply destroy wrong philosophies, since destroying a man's philosophy may also destroy the man. Nor is it enough to replace evolutionary dogma with the Creation foundation. Even Creationists can fall short of eternal paradise unless they confess their sins and are reborn in Christ. Therefore, the prime aim of Creation evangelism is to preach the gospel, which begins in Genesis, as we have seen. Don't stop with just the scientific aspects of creation. It is vital to share Genesis and the entire gospel. Remember, too, that facts alone will not win converts. It is the Holy Spirit who convinces through the Word of God. Pray that God will restrain Satan from people's lives and allow their eyes to be opened to the truth. Teach new believers about the power of prayer. Thousands of Christians can testify that they came to Christ because someone took the time to do these things and share the necessary information.
Imagine what would happen if more and more churches started to stand up for Creation. This kind of evangelism could be the start for a great revival. For the first time, many Christians would begin to truly understand the Creation foundation of their faith. Their lives would become more stable and their witness more credible. What a wonderful difference this could make!
We especially recommend that all new Christians be channeled into a good Bible study on the Book of Genesis, so that they will come to a complete, foundational knowledge for what Christianity is all about. (The Genesis Record by Dr. Henry Morris is recommended as the single best and most accurate guide to Genesis.) Creation evangelism will elicit such enthusiastic responses as:
“My faith has been restored in the Scriptures.”
“God seems so much more personal and ever-present now.”
“For the first time, I really feel that I understand Christianity.”
“God's Word is Truth.”
“True science supports exactly what the Scriptures say.”
Unlike atheism, Christianity is not “blind” faith. It is actually quite objective, and God requires us to be able to give reasons for what we believe. As Peter said: “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15-16).