Evangelism involves the communication (verbally and practically) of various and appropriate truth in an effort to convince a moral agent to see God’s value and choose to love Him supremely.
The essential issue behind a wrong relationship with God is a value issue. We have errantly assigned greater value to the happiness of human beings, individually or corporately, than we have to God. This basic error sets the foundation for all other error that ensues. God, in righteousness, wisdom, goodness and love, must oppose this approach, not due to an overblown ego, but because of the injustice and evil it ultimately produces. A proverb such as, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Pr.14:12 & 16:25), is often applied to isolated choices and actions but, should also be seen in conjunction with our ultimate value assessment. In other words, we might tend to think, “Any God who would have a problem with me pursuing the well-being of man is petty and egotistical,” while failing to realize, until chin-high in destruction, that we are creating a Frankenstein. God offers to lead us down a productive path of righteousness but it requires that we love and trust Him supremely. Thus, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex.20:3 & Dt.5:7).
A young man sat in the rear of the class I offered to inmates in the county prison declaring, “I recently realized how selfish I am.” I stated that this is a very important realization. He continued by stating that he was going to give up his selfish ways. Again, I affirmed this decision. His next revelation was that he was going to live for his wife and daughter. As many heads nodded in support I said, “You just blew it.” I went on to explain to the curious, and slightly irritated group, “Unless you are living for God supremely, you have no chance of becoming the husband or father you should be.”
The need for a human being to realize and firmly embrace the intrinsic, supreme value of God is greater than many (probably most) ever grasp. This is, however, a necessary realization if we are to avoid developing a religion, whatever we might call it, that is simply a further expression of human selfishness. Unfortunately, it appears that many professing Christians and religious people are yet caught up in the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees who did the right things for the wrong reason (Mt.5:20, 6:1-8). This is because their fundamental value system was never challenged and / or never changed.
Conversion is not a selfish decision to give God permission to take you to heaven when you die. Conversion is not a technicality. Conversion takes place when one genuinely repents, intelligently chooses to deny self-supremacy and purposes, in the deepest recesses of one’s being (our heart), to live to love, please, honor, worship, serve and obey God supremely.