Preaching the Gospel
We are to preach the gospel "in season and out."
"I resolved to know nothing among you but Christ, and Him crucified."
God promises to confirm the gospel message with signs and wonders.
Repentance is a gift
Repentance is not something we do for God.
Repentance is something God does for us.
We cannot acknowledge our sins except by God's grace (Semi-Pelagian heresy).
Find out what they love.
Find out where they are.
Really talk with them, not at them.
"A time for every purpose under heaven"
There is a time to preach and a time to be still.
We must preach Jesus. There is no other way for people to be informed of the greatness of God's love for them. The gospel cannot spread if we do not put it into words.
Actions speak louder than words.
- - Don't throw pearls before swine.
- - Don't stay in a town that rejects the gospel.
- - Jesus before Herod and Pilate.
If we are the aggressor, and people are not responding, then it's time to move on to other towns. Ad impossibile nemo tenetur. Stop taking our bucket to that dry well; stop getting into the ring with that bear; stop going down that street.
If others are being aggressive, and if they have us cornered, then we should make the martyrs' choice. We should stand our ground, and demonstrate that we shall not be moved.
- Learn by doing.
- Read conversion stories. See what worked for those converts.
- Study apologetics.
- - Learn about Protestant objections to Catholicism.
- - Try to see things from their point of view.
- - Talk their language in order to teach them ours.
- - Emphasize what we have in common first before discussing what separates us.
- Share tracts, pamphlets, literature, books, CDs, DVDs with family and friends.
- Volunteer to keep a pamphlet rack filled with good material in your church.
- Share links.
- Make blog posts or comment on Catholic blogs.
- Put Station of the Cross bumper stickers on your car or WLOF signs on your lawn.
- Join with other people. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two.
- Ask for help from people who have had success evangelizing others.
- Look for models to imitate.
- Wear T-shirts, hats, coats with Catholic symbols or slogans.
- Lapel pins: crosses, baby feet, monstrance, other Catholic symbols.
- Use a Facebook page--be sure to "like" the Station of the Cross.
- Put a Catholic saying in your signature in e-mail.
- Wear medals or a scapular.
- Keep a rosary with you. Pull it out of your pocket by accident from time to time.
- Put up some icons, pictures, or posters (Our Lady of Guadalupe) in your workspace (if allowed).
- Join a parish or diocesan evangelization committee.
- Teach RCIA or a catechism class.
- Study the Scriptures and the Catechism. "Nemo dat quod non habet."
- Pray in front of an abortion center.
(I should purchase NFP CDs for all of my students. They can return anonymously if they don't want them.)
1) Be as cunning as a serpent and as gentle as a dove. 2) Don't throw your pearls before swine. 3) If you're rejected, walk away. Don't sign up for a battle you can't win. 4) Read apologetics works and life stories of converts. See what works or worked for them. 5) Ask the Holy Spirit for "the anointing that teaches us everything." 6) Learn by doing. 7) Say "I don't know" when you don't know. Then try to find out the answer (from Frank Sheed and John Martignoni). 8) Persevere, gently and wisely. 9) We are not obliged to do what is impossible. 10) God is the changer of hearts, not us.
No one is in Heaven against their will; no one is in Hell against their will. No one else can make that choice for us, just as no one else can take a bath for us.
Jesus died for sinners. He loves them more than I do. He desires their conversion more than I do. If I can help Him, great; if not, I should stay out of the way.
I can see more thing wrong with the world and with acquaintances than God has sent me to repair. I'm not God. "I did not cause them, I can't cure them, I can't control them" (Al-Anon). They are God's problem, first, last, and always.
Read The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis. If you're up to it, you might try Descent into Hell by William Carlos Williams--a much tougher book to digest.
Great article here on how many are in Hell:
- "Lessons from Catholic Evangelists."
- Why I'm Catholic--Catholic Conversion Stories.
- Biblical Evidence for Catholicism.
- Catholics Come Home.
- Catholic Resource Center.
- Catholic Answers.
- Bible Christian Society (Catholic apologetics site).
- Matthew Kelley provides very inexpensive materials intended to be given to parishioners for free.