Although He was not on any conference payroll and never held an official church office, unequivocally, Jesus was the greatest evangelist that ever lived. How He so effectively reached those who were outside the main focus of the church in His day is something the church of our day needs to fully grasp if we are ever going to finish the gospel commission.

One of the most important theological issues we seldom focus on may be the key to reaching a broader people group than we could ever imagine. Let me start by asking you one important question: Have you ever reached a point in your life when you seriously doubted God? “Why God?” is a question that often seems to have no answer. I personally believe the reason many people don’t identify with organized religion and are skeptical when they receive a colorful flyer inviting them to a prophecy series, is because they don’t have a right concept of who God really is and, therefore, don’t trust us with answers regarding their eternal future.

Let’s be honest, in today’s world, many people don’t look favorably toward the church in general. Theology aside, they question our integrity— many popular church leaders have given them adequate reasons to do so—moral failures and self-exalting leaders taking advantage of the vulnerable and abusing their sacred trust readily come to mind.

So, how did Jesus break through the hypocrisy that filled the church in His day and reach the disenfranchised masses? Well, for one convert at least, it happened unexpectedly. She was not prepared to attend church that day. In fact, she had other plans, plans that did not resemble anything close to what a member in good standing may be seen doing. In fact, at the moment she first met Jesus, her life was being turned upside down. Devious men had manipulated her in order to trap Jesus. And, according to the apostle John’s account, she was in immediate danger.

Looking around, I’m certain she must see angry eyes and hear ugly, hurtful words spoken about her. “You’re an adulteress, you deserve to die,”1 they boldly declare! As this nightmare unfolds, she must have been wondering, hoping, praying that someone would intervene, someone would care enough to stop this madness! As we ponder this situation let’s ask ourselves one question: What does a person in her situation need most? If they received that beautiful flyer we sent advertising our evangelistic series, how are they going to respond?

The short answer is clear, yet not so simple. When someone’s world is falling apart, when God appears to be absent, when everyone around them has forsaken or turned against them, they need to know the church—yes, our church, the one excited about sharing evangelism—is really going to be there when urgently needed most. Do we exist to share prophetic truth? Or, more importantly, do we exist to show the true love and character of God—a God they may not really understand or accept?

So, what did Jesus do when He was introduced to this precious, sin-stained woman? He defended her. “Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.”2 Unlike the church she is accustomed to seeing, the first thing she learns about Jesus is that He is just and fair and can be trusted. How do we portray this in our ministry? If we are going to effectively share the Three Angels Messages of Revelation 14, then we need to exemplify their true meaning. The same Jesus who is standing right now in defense of His people in the Heavenly Judgment, as depicted in Revelation’s prophetic message, is the same God who defends this woman. Like millions of hurting, lost souls—those who also stand accused—caught red-handed in shameful, sin- compromising lives, our God has commissioned us to proclaim the message of His eternal love—a love so great that even “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!3 As people see and understand that we exemplify this kind of ministry and integrity in our lives, they will learn to trust us with other eternally important doctrinal truths.

The power of our prophetic message is found at the heart of Jesus’ ministry. For the woman who is condemned to die, He utters those life- changing words, “Where are your accusers? Is there anyone left to condemn you? I don’t condemn you either. By my grace you are forgiven and forever set free!”4 There are countless numbers of hurting and lost souls who need to hear these life-changing words. To effectively share prophecy’s final warning to this world, our evangelism outreach needs to focus on God’s love and the transforming power of His grace. Thankfully, Jesus has shown us how to incorporate this into our daily lives and ministry, and this woman exemplifies what others so urgently need at this final hour of Earth’s history. Understanding who the beast powers of the Book of Revelation are only important once we personally know who the Savior of the entire Book is.

The bottom line, as we focus on connecting people with Jesus, is that God sets His children free to live the life Jesus died to give. Once they have experienced that freedom, they will eagerly ask for more. The heart’s door will open wide to learn other the prophetic truths—truths that are unfolding right before our very eyes.

Steve Nelson is a pastor of the Worland, Wyoming district. He has a passion to help hurting people find hope and healing through the transforming power of Jesus Christ. He can be reached at [email protected]  

1 John 8:4-5 (Authors’ paraphrase).
2 John 8:7 (GNT).
3 Romans 5:8 (GNT).
4 John 8:10-11 (Authors’ paraphrase)