Here’s a quote from Charles Spurgeon’s book, “The Soul Winner”.
“The withholding of the doctrine of the total depravity of man has wrought serious mischief to many who have listened to a certain kind of preaching. These people do not get a true healing because they do not know the disease under which they are suffering; they are never truly clothed because nothing is done toward stripping them.”
In other words, if we don’t confront people with the seriousness of their sin, we are not doing Biblical evangelism and there is no way the lost can be saved.
Let’ say you are sick, but don’t know it. In fact, you are clueless. The only symptom is a subtle rash on the back of your neck that you haven’t yet noticed. Your best friend is a doctor. The two of you go out to dinner and when you walk in front of him to enter the restaurant, he sees the rash and knows you might have the illness that accompanies it. When you sit down to order, he suddenly says “I know you might not believe me, but I think you are really sick.”
You are baffled. You don’t believe him. He tells you to go to the emergency room right away, but you laugh and think he’s joking. Eventually you give him a chance to explain the rash and the illness that goes with it. And so now you are getting concerned. Before the food arrives, you’ve come to your senses and decide to take action to get help. Without eating your meal, you head for the hospital with a sense of urgency. You’ll do whatever the doctor says – take any medicine, undergo any further tests. Whatever is necessary, you will do.
Why is that? Because you now understand the seriousness of your condition.
When we explain the gospel to the unsaved, isn’t it tempting to get right to the “good news” of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the promise of eternal life, the blessings of heaven and the streets of gold and the absence of pain, suffering and tears?
But if the person doesn’t realize his need for a Savior, he won’t take action. If a person doesn’t realize he is lost, he’ll never see the need to be found. If he doesn’t understand his disease, he won’t appreciate and pursue the cure.
Telling someone that Jesus died for his sins, without first explaining the nature and severity of his sins, is the same as your doctor friend telling you to take the medicine before he diagnosed your illness.
There’s a reason that Romans 3 comes before Romans 4 (and Romans 5 and Romans 6). Follow the pattern laid down by the Apostle Paul and explain the problem before presenting the solution. Diagnose the disease before prescribing the cure. Tell the sinner about hell before promising him heaven. Don’t take any shortcuts. Do Biblical evangelism.