A Promiscuous Evangelist: Obeying God on mission to the lost is the only time it’s okay to be promiscuous.
In modern English, the word promiscuous has the negative connotation of one devoted to licentious behavior. The world’s immorality takes over even the meaning of words to give its sinful affairs a name.
But for centuries, reformed theologians used the term to encourage “unleashed evangelism.” In this context, the word is defined as “demonstrating or implying an undiscriminating or non-selective approach.”
Article V of the Canons of Dort, reads:
Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.
It is time that we as believers and missionaries of the true Savior become promiscuous evangelists according to its original, intended meaning. We must energize our evangelism so that we proclaim the gospel of Jesus promiscuously to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
In the parable of the wedding banquet found in Matthew 22, the king initially invites a select group of people to his wedding feast. But no one comes. He then opens his exclusive invitation to a promiscuous summons as he extends the invitation to anyone who could be found, “both evil and good” (Matthew 22:10). As a result, his banquet is filled with guests. As the banquet goes on, the host finds a guest not fit for his feast and proceeds to throw him out.
The point of this parable is to give us a vision for God’s plan to bring people to himself. He commissions us to preach his truth to all people, no matter who they are, what neighborhood they live in, what car they drive, how many degrees they have, or how they look.
His purpose is to reach all races, ethnicities, and communities, giving all people groups the opportunity to hear the gospel. The invitation is made broadly and indiscriminately, but in the end, God chooses whom he allows into his kingdom and whom he doesn’t.
Harvie Conn once wrote, “The kingdom is evangelized by forming covenanted communities out of ‘sheep without a shepherd,’ out of the boxed-in and the locked out. It is a community of identification—Jew with gentile, slave with free, men with women.”
Our God-given job is simply to invite and evangelize anyone we find in the highways and byways of our communities, and allow God to save as He pleases.
God’s command for us to preach the gospel to all people is a direct call to go to all nations (Matthew 28:19). He clearly intends to save people from every part of the world to create a diverse community for His kingdom.
In order to see God’s mission come to fruition, we must lay down our fears and worldly ambitions, and seek to go places that desperately need the gospel, regardless of the cost.
Like Paul, who endured every hardship and circumstance for the sake of spreading the gospel to Jew and Gentile, we must bravely accept the risks and dangers ahead of us. It requires us to be bold enough to move into impoverished, crime-infested neighborhoods and countries, to promiscuously go anywhere the name of the Lord is unknown.
As we are fueled by God’s grace to be missionaries to the Nations, we must take the gospel anywhere—and I mean anywhere! We must be ready and willing to go from the cracks and crevices of the blocks of Detroit to the dirt roads of the most remote swamp-side town in Louisiana, from the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the Schemes of Scotland’s most poor, from hostile territory to friendly beaches.
Nothing must be a barrier to our calling. Neither language, nor climate, nor socio-economics, nor distance, nor race must hinder us from taking the gospel anywhere God sends us.
This type of missional engagement is intentionally, aggressively, and promiscuously active with the good news anywhere and everywhere God may send him.
The one thing keeping many Christians from living out God’s mission in their daily life is that they are waiting for God to spiritually reveal to them the “right” time to go. However, God’s Word tells us to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2).
We will never get started if we wait until we feel ready or sense it is the right moment. We will be found delinquent of our calling as those who have received the promises of the gospel in Jesus Christ.
Anytime is the right time. We all encounter countless opportunities every day that should lead us to share those same promises of the gospel with our neighbors and call strangers and friends to repent and believe.
We share a gospel that never loses relevance, remaining appropriate for all people, from around the world, in any period of time.
The Catholic Diocese of Camden gets it right when it states, “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself.”
Our communities and cities are filled with desperate people who have either not heard the call of the gospel or have yet to heed its call. We must be the ones to the bring hope by proclaiming the gospel promiscuously and without distinction.
So, when it comes to reaching the least, last, and lost with the Gospel, it’s not just okay to be promiscuous; it’s divinely prescribed.