“The primary way that God has chosen to reach unbelievers is through the verbal articulation of the gospel.”
Ed: What have you learned from 30 years of preaching the gospel?
Greg: You know, I once asked Billy Graham a similar question. I said, “Billy, if an older Billy could speak to a younger Billy, what would he say?” He answered, “I would tell him to preach more on the cross and the blood of Christ, because that is where the power is.”
After 30 years of preaching the gospel, I have come to understand Billy’s words. Too often, we are tempted to edit God’s word, especially in today’s culture when anybody at any point can be offended by anything you say. But any gospel that promises forgiveness without telling you that you must first repent is not the gospel. And any gospel that offers a hope of heaven without warning of the reality of hell is not the gospel. The gospel is Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead, and as Paul said in Romans 1:16, there is power in this message.
Now, what would an older Greg say to a younger Greg? I believe he would say, “Less is more, keep it simple.” So I try to make the message as simple and clear as possible without compromising the truth of the gospel.As Spurgeon said, I try to make “a bee-line to the cross.”
Ed: How has evangelism changed over the past 30 years and why is it still important today?
Greg: To understand how evangelism has changed in the past 30 years, we have to understand how culture has also changed. As I mentioned earlier, we live at a time when you get major pushback if you say anything critical. You know what the irony is? You can say whatever you want critically about followers of Jesus Christ, and that is acceptable in our culture.
English author and theologian G.K. Chesterton saw this coming in the early …