We need truth. This truth is Jesus. We must witness faithfully to the reality of Christ’s perfect life, atoning death and victorious resurrection. He crushed sin, Satan and death. It is part of our duty to show them their sin through the law and call them to repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). So we need truth. However, truth without love leads to abrasiveness and a lack of compassion (among other things). Though you may have said the right things, your attitude and smugness will turn off any unbeliever because you didn’t convey the truth with love.
We need love. God is love (1 John 4:8). If we do not have love, we have nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3). In our evangelism, we need to show the love of God by how we speak and interact with people. Yes, preach the truth! Do not compromise on the message of the gospel. However, in the process, do not lose love. Be compassionate. Plead with sinners out of love. Show them the truth of God primarily through what He has revealed in His Word, but also through your words and actions. With that being said, don’t forsake truth in the process of trying to love correctly. Love without truth leads to compromise and enablement. It is a lie from the pit of hell that loving somebody means enabling them in their sin. The most loving thing you can do is call them to repent and believe—but don’t do it in a jerkish way.
Church, we must be balanced in our witness. One without the other—the majority of the time—will lead to disaster. Stand firm on the truth of the gospel. Preach it! But don’t forget to truly love sinners in the process.
Soli Deo Gloria
This article originally appeared here.