Is Evangelism Dead?
By Oswald J. Smith
[Editor’s Note: Oswald J. Smith (1889-1986) founded The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada in 1928 which helped carry out his passion for evangelism and world missions. He was a longtime friend of the Herald ministry, and granted us permission to reprint his materials in Herald of His Coming. On this page we include three excerpts from his book, "The Passion For Souls."]
Our [church] statement closes with the words "endeavoring by every means to get the Gospel out to the Christless masses both at home and abroad in the shortest possible time." And, after all, that is the main thing. To live we must give. To take in we must give out. It was for this Christ came, lived, died, and sent the Holy Ghost. This constitutes the supreme task of the church. For this we exist. Our chief business is to get the Gospel out, to broadcast it by every legitimate means.
Especially are we to get it to the Christless masses. Unselfishly we are to be equally interested in getting it to the foreign as well as the home field, for by thus following our Lord’s program, which is to preach the Gospel "in all the world for a witness unto all nations" (Matt. 24:14), we can best hasten His Return, since God is now visiting the Gentiles in order "to take out of them a people for His name" (Acts 15:14).
Oh, what a vision! What a calling! What a work!...Oh, then, let us evangelize, and let us keep at it, eternally at it, that men may have a chance to hear the Gospel and be saved. Let ministers, true ministers, give themselves to evangelism in their own pulpits, and make their local churches evangelistic centers, for God will bless evangelism as He will bless nothing else. He will set His seal of approval on it in the salvation of souls, the restoration of backsliders, and the edification of believers, for evangelism is still the order of the day.
Go forth, go forth and win the lost,
Evangelize whate’er the cost;
The Gospel preach in ev’ry land,
Go forth, it is the Lord’s command.
Evangelize in ev’ry tribe,
The Gospel none must be denied;
Go forth and tell of how He died,
Go, tell of Christ the Crucified.
Go forth and tell of how He rose
And lives triumphant o’er His foes;
Of how He’s coming back again
In pow’r and majesty to reign.
He’s coming back to take His Bride
From ev’ry kindred, tongue and tribe;
He’s coming back to usher in
The day of judgment for man’s sin.
Go forth, the message must be told,
Go, bring them to the Savior’s fold;
The Master calls, Oh then arise,