Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
That is my past. I am so far removed from that life that in some ways I have lost touch with how unrepentant sinners think. I have a new mindset, a new way of looking at things. I have the Spirit of Truth leading me, so much so, that lies are drowned out.
What did I think back then when I heard “Repent you sinner!” It was so long ago, I am not sure about anything I might have thought in those moments. Do I know how sinners think now when they hear a call to repentance? Why I would try an approach like this to a stranger?
Do they know what it means to repent? For that matter do I? If we are to engage the lost in a conversation about salvation, we should know what we are talking about. We should not only understand the depths of the word in a biblical aspect but also how it might be perceived by someone who has never considered the issues of salvation.
Any rational conversation with those who do not know Christ should begin with an agreement of terms and conditions. We need to understand how they perceive our words and clear up any contradictions in usage. That takes time and commitment on both side. Street evangelism doesn’t have that kind of time.
If you are going to try and invoke repentance for a sinner, don’t you have to agree about sin? How do you define sin? How do they define sin? I can tell you from experience that my definition of sin is not accepted by the majority of faithful Christians. I must not invoke my person belief where other Christians will refute my definition. This only confuses the lost about what is right.