Roberts Liardon is the author of God’s Generals. He is a church historian who studies why great men and women of God succeeded and why some failed. Today we talk about how God’s Generals were used in the area of evangelism.
Roberts Liardon’s Website: https://www.robertsliardon.org/
Buy God’s Generals: https://amzn.to/3HLeAWB
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Roberts Liardon is the author of God’s Generals. He is a church historian who studies why great men and women of God succeeded and why some failed. Today we talk about how God’s generals were used in the area of evangelism.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:29):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:53):
Welcome to evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King. And I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest Roberts Liardon. He is the author of God’s Generals, a whole series of books about great men and women of God. And he looks at why they succeeded and why they failed. Roberts, It’s wonderful to have you with us today. It’s good to be with all of you. I’m excited to be here and to be a part of the podcast. It’s wonderful. So we are very thankful for your life in ministry. My wife, Jessica Shen King, she actually went to your Bible school out California student. Yes. Spirit Life Bible College. Yeah. And I think she arrived when she was just 17 years old. So she was very young and, and she was trained up in your ministry, learned how to pray in the holy spirit, learned how to preach the gospel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:47):
And then she, after she graduated, she got sent out on a couple of church plants that you’re you’re you’re of church plants that your, your, your church was sending out. And then you did operation 500 and you sent out missionaries to countries all over the world, which greatest thing I’ve done so far in my life that, that part Albert island is probably the most significant thing. Cause the Lord spoke to me, send your graduates overseas and pay for it. It’s one thing to send to everybody, but they have to raise their own money. But we raised millions to send 500 and their families all overseas and stayed for a year. Some would stay for two, but she was a part of that young. And my wife told me that she, she never really felt called to missions, but she got caught up in the peer pressure.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:32):
All her friends were going to the mission field. Yeah. And she said that at that time you were teaching that every Christian should at least give a year to the mission field. And I still believe that <laugh> absolutely. If the Mormons can do it, if I, we, Christians can do it too, you know? Yeah. And so she just got caught up in it and she got sent to India. All her friends got to go to Indonesia, which she really wanted to go to Indonesia cuz there was a Starbucks there, but she got sent to India when she landed in India, she only had $20 in her pocket and she went to your mission space. And the first thing they did, they put her on her train and said we booked you a Bible school to preach at. And she went with a friend on a train hours and days across India and they got to the Bible school and they told her you’re gonna be teaching three times a day for the next seven days.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:27):
And she had never preached or taught anything before. Well how’d she do? Well, I guess she did well. So there she was, she was in India with your ministry and about six months into it, she was laying on a concrete floor, just a thin mattress. The electricity had gone off. And so the, the fan was not working. She had 60 mosquito bites on her body. Oh Lord. And she was just thinking, I, if I can just get through my hero ministry, I can go back to the United States, be a worship leader at some church somewhere <laugh>. And God spoke to her that night and said, Jessica, this is the life that I’ve called you too. And so she was excited because God had spoken to her, but also like, God I’ve got mosquito bites all over, but she was obedient to the voice of God. And so she got up the next morning and she emailed her leadership at operation 500 and said, I commit to come back for a second year. Wow. And she’s been working in missions ever since. And so I actually met her on the mission field after she was with you. She went with pastor Peter younger. Great evangelist. Yeah. And I actually met her at one of his precincts, but I never would’ve met her if she hadn’t obeyed the, the voice Robert’s letter to go to the, the mission field.
Roberts Liardon (04:46):
My, my view then, and now is Bible school students. The hardest day is the day they graduate. What are we gonna do? And whether most of those students, I knew were not called to be in full-time missionary work, but they could go for a year and start with doing that. And they’ll make, ’em a better Christian, a better American and everything. And these kind of stories. I hear all the time. Cause we had some backlash, I didn’t pause. And I said, you’re going, or you can leave the school. That’s how strong it was. And it was the, the greatest thing I did and it changed all their lives. And most of ’em came back and began to work in churches or build churches, became the missions directors of the churches. So it was exciting to see the fruit. And I should say to all the students who they’re watching and to your wife, when I go overseas to preach, I meet people that the students who got saved Spirit-filled, healed, delivered, kept a person manipul every single time. So some of those students may not realize that they were out there working, but the fruit of it still remains. The people they got saved are still saying the pastor’s still preaching. And that’s, that’s exciting to see it. Wasn’t a waste of the year and a waste of millions of dollars.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:53):
Well, it continues to bear fruit in my, in my wife’s life. For sure. So thank you. So let’s talk about God’s generals. You’ve written some amazing books. Let’s start at the beginning. What made you be interested in studying the lives of these great men and women of God?
Roberts Liardon (06:12):
Well, I hadn’t encounter with Jesus. It kind of started the whole thing, but then I became intrigued in a very passionate way. Why did God choose this person? And then if you did, what was their call? What did they do? How did their life live? What was if they let a revival? What happened after revival was over, not just the revival, what happened to their life? And it begin me on a journey to know these people. In the days I started writing and teaching God’s generals, nobody cared about revival history, or these people. We would know captain Coleman’s name or Smith Wigglesworth name. And they didn’t care like today. There is a huge move of people in Christian that want to know. But when I started writing and studying, nobody cared. The older people I would interview would cry sometimes because I was the first one who ever asked ’em about what they saw, who they were with.
Roberts Liardon (07:02):
And, and, and they would give all this memory. And then they would give me stuff, pictures, artifacts, and things from the person or the reliable movement. And I began a collection by accident of all that stuff. But that’s how it, it began. It became cause the Lord told me, studied the lives of my generals, know why they succeed and why they will fail because they’ll come a generation will want to know what I will show you if you’ll do what I tell you to do. And so that was the opening line of that visitation. And so I did my part study meant read books, study meant talk to people, study meant hunting a fact down that may take you six months to find, but you gotta hunt it down. And I understood the word study because in my family, there was three of us going to school, my sister and I, and my mother, she was working on her master’s and her doctorate eventually. And so we were always in libraries. And so that helped me. Cause now we do it on our phones and computers back then you had to go to the library, do the card catalog, go find the book microfish was the big new thing. And so that’s where I began. And it has grown into the books and the teachings around the world.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:11):
Now your mother was at the the Oral Roberts University, Holy Spirit library. Is that right?
Roberts Liardon (08:17):
Yes. She, she, she and my dad went there the year. The university opened in 65. I was born in 66. She graduated from there and then she went back and worked at the university in the medical library during the city of faith time period. She cause she was in the LRC, the, the library, I had access to the holy spirit research center. So I would go up there. And in those days I could say, I touched every book in that library cuz I looked at it or read it. And I, they hired me to be one of the librarians in the summer. Cause I knew more about the collection than the librarian did. So, you know, that’s how detailed I was and they would call, they would even call me after I don’t during the school. Yeah. I go back to school, they had to call me and say know, where’s this at? Or what story is this? And they were still using my understanding and that’s where they discovered me and began to have me teach at 15 in their seminary as a special guest on the generals.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:08):
So when I was going to oral Roberts university, I worked for the holy spirit library. Oh God. And so this was years after you and you had donated a bunch of your material, your cassette tapes to the library. And so my job actually, I was paid to do this, to listen to cassette tapes and then write up a short synopsis so that they could catalog. Can you do that for me? And so I did that for hundreds of your tapes and your resources, so, okay. I, even though I didn’t go to your Bible school, I, I listened to a bunch of people. Wow. That’s great.
Roberts Liardon (09:38):
I didn’t know that.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:40):
Yeah. So let’s talk about God’s generals, okay. Specifically in the area of evangelism. And so I’m an evangelist. My, my passion is telling people about Jesus and you’ve looked at these through several different prisms and, and looking at why they’re successful, but let’s, let’s focus in on the evangelistic aspect of the ministries and let’s just start going down through them. Where, where would you like to start? What,
Roberts Liardon (10:05):
Well, let me just say this as an opening, everybody in my series was a personal soul winner. So part of being a great leader, there is that aspect that they all have that. And even when they’re famous, they still do that. So that I’ll get that as an opening statement. So we’re gonna be a great evangelist or a great Christian. We haven’t have to be a soul winner and it’s a part of our lifestyle. It’s not just something we put on. It’s something that we live and that’s how it was. So who would you wanna talk about? I’ll let you choose.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:31):
Well, let’s start with your, your first book. My first one. Okay. With the, the, I would say these are the, the holy spirit empowered evangelist. And so talk about John Alexander Dowie what, what made him successful as an evangelist?
Roberts Liardon (10:45):
Well, John Alexander Dowie used healing to bring many souls to Christ. He back was 18 hundreds Australia when the first began to happen and there was a plague going through Australia, like the pandemic kind of thing, but a little bit more intense. And a little baby was dying. A child was dying and he was called to pray for, and he got healed and that began his healing ministry. And he realized that healing brought all kinds of people to Christ and he’d used that. So that would be the way that he began, his salvation kind of ministry was that the healing gift came and worked. And remember back then we didn’t believe in healing back then we known it was possible. So he was kind of the pioneer of that in a very large way. And that he brought thousands of Christ through the miracles. And that’s what, how he did it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:33):
What about Marie Woodworth-Etter
Roberts Liardon (11:37):
Well, she’s another wonderful lady. Back when women preachers were not as acceptable as they are today. And she again had a, she had a tent and she traveled around central parts of the central states of America and then, you know, other places, but mainly the central part. And she would get up and do tint preaching, go into a town, set up a tent and start with 20 people or whatever, and then grow to a couple thousand or whatever it was. And she also had a unique demonstration of the spirit of her life, where the Holy Spirit would hit the room and people would go into TRAs, both believers and nonbelievers, the park, I just hit ’em and and then miracles too. So she was very adamant about giving alter calls that that was the first and most needful miracle in a person’s life, which she had all that aspect. But she was one of those two preachers back in the day when it was really rough and tough.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:30):
What about FF Bosworth? Healing evangelist,
Roberts Liardon (12:34):
Brother Bosworth. I mean, everyone we were speaking about has used healing. Was it re to rich? I think said that heating is the dinner bell of salvation. And so if you understand what dinner bells are, you’re on a farm and it’s time for dinner and you’re out in the fields and you hit the bell, you all come in to have dinner. And so the dinner bell to salvation was healing where people saw the healing. And so Bosworth was very successful. He actually got healed himself. He was sick and died and he was on a train to go see his family goes, he thought I’m gonna be dead in just a few months. I wanna see my family and gets healed and he didn’t know any other brother that believed in it. And he found one of Dow’s magazines and ah, there’s somebody.
Roberts Liardon (13:17):
And so he goes to Zion to see Dowie. And so long story short, he gets involved, learns the heating ministry, becomes a Pentecost, all that, and becomes very successful in his, his salvation. And it gave us back healing, brought people to the Lord. And I’d have to say that it seems to be one of the most effective ways that I’ve seen historically that salvation comes when somebody that is crippled and they saw it or they knew it and now they’re not, it opens their heart. It opens their mind to accept the thought that Christ is real. And I need him and it’s one of the most people and Jesus was a healer. He was a healer and a deliver. And, and so healing is a big part of bringing people to salvation and
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:01):
Philip, the evangelist acts chapter eight. Yeah. He had miracles as part of his ministry. Yeah. In, in reaching the, the city in Samaria there. So I had a great conversation with T.L. Osborn about how he started doing mass prayer for the healing. Yeah. And before Dr. Osborn, he said, no one was doing that. And it actually came out of a conversation that he had with FF Bosworth cuz William Braham was holding a campaign. And for some reason Braham was not able to come. So FF Bosworth was doing it and he invited TL Osborne as a young man to come and to participate in it with him. And so they were having a conversation in, in, in Bosworth had this idea. What, what if we prayed for all the sick at the same time? Because at that time I think Braham was bringing people up one on one. He would lay him
Roberts Liardon (14:58):
Three, four o’clock in the morning. He was exhausted. Poor guy. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:02):
And, and so, so Bosworth had the idea. He says, you know, if we, if we give a altar call for salvation, explain how Jesus saves and then pray a prayer with them. How many of them would be saved? And Dr. Osborne said, well, all of them would, could be saved. And he says, well, if we invite all the sick up, do a mass, explain to them how Jesus can heal and then do a mass prayer for them. How many of them can be healed? And, and so they they, he planted this idea int Osborne’s mind. Mm. And so then Dr. Osborne was going to Jamaica and he was doing a crusade there. And they were trying to lay hands individually on each person, but there were just too many people. So then he had idea. I said, I’m gonna use Gordon Lindsay’s idea and give a ticket to each person, a prayer card. And he gave that to the police to distribute. But a couple days later he found out it wasn’t working cuz the police were actually selling the carts <laugh> so he said, that’s not good. Good story. Yeah.
Roberts Liardon (16:10):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:10):
<Laugh> and, and, and so then he said, I’m gonna try Bosworth’s idea. And so he prayed a mass prayer for the sick and many people were healed that night and that became his modus operandi throughout his entire ministry. And, and then Dr. Osborne, his example has trickled down to the body Christ. Now everybody does it. Yeah,
Roberts Liardon (16:29):
I am. It it’s great. I mean, brother Bosworth wrote the great book called Christ. He had the classic book on divine healing. Everybody should read it, they don’t have it. But Osborne was the, to me, he was one of the greats that America did not know, like they would know or Roberts and they should have, but he spent his life in the unreached people, groups of the world and his assistant son-in-law in those days, Jerry Odel told me the story that he went into, he blind school and every one of the people were healed and he brought him the crusade and the whole town was changed. And so this is healing and evangelism. And I think it’s very powerful that we continue to, but I always loved the story. He went to the blind school and we all were healed. Have you got through preaching, praying just for them. And it changed. We need that again.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:17):
Amen. And it’s coming again. Yeah. Okay. Let’s talk about Aimee Semple McPherson. Oh
Roberts Liardon (17:23):
Well you can great
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:23):
Roberts Liardon (17:24):
Event. You can spend hours on her. She was a soul winner Parx salon. And she was out to get people saved. She was a personal soul winner. And then she and her crew saved and she was mainly, well again, the heating factor was the draw that brought people. And then she also used her preaching skills for art of skills, cuz she says, people are not a degree entertained. They’re not gonna come back and they’re not gonna listen. So she was very dramatic in the way that she would speak and teach, which brought people’s attention. And then she trusted that what she said and the holy spirit would move on them. She was probably the Billy Graham of her day. Cause most people would, would know him and relate to the science crowds of America. And she went overseas a lot too, but her evangelism, she in LA, she would knock on doors, send her students out to do personal evangelism door to door and things like, like that. Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:20):
Now I, I remember sitting in some of your classes on God’s generals and, and you talked about Angela temple, which she built and she did very elaborate production sometimes to attract call illustrated sermon. What were, what were some of those illustrated sermons
Roberts Liardon (18:36):
She would do illustrated sermons on Sunday nights and Hollywood would come to see what new things she was doing. So they could put into the new industry called film or movies. And so she would do like, for example, she’d do Jonah in the whale. So they created a big whale and she’d dress up like and walk out of the mouth of the whale in the stage. She would do Noah’s arc. And this was the funny one she brought, she, she knew the zookeeper of LA. So she had some of the animals from the zoo come in and was a part of the stage set, live animals and a Parro began to cuss right in the middle of her sermon. And so she turns around and tries to convert the parrot from being a bad cussing person. The crowd loved it. So she did things like that. She also had special days like the war started happening war two, she’d have military day and all the soldiers would come and they’d feed ’em and love them and talk. So she did specialized preaching for specialized groups. And so she that’s how she’d do it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:35):
You have a book which you call the revivalist mm-hmm <affirmative> and it deals with D.L. Moody Billy Graham, Finney and some of the other earlier evangelists and the name of the book, you have it subtitled the revivalist. And so I was, I wondered, why did you name it? The revivalist instead of the evangelist Finney talked a lot about revival mm-hmm <affirmative> but Billy Graham probably wouldn’t call himself a revivalist. He probably would’ve said I’m an evangelist.
Roberts Liardon (20:05):
Yep. That’s what they were, whether they called themselves that or not. That’s why I called. So the, these guys you just mentioned did not work in healing like the group we just talked about. Yeah. So when you really church history, rev, reliable history, you’ve got two powerful groups. You’ve got those who believe what we call healing evangelism, which is more the scriptural of how things are done with Christ and the apostles heating, brought people to the church or to Christ. They were many just salvation preacher. They came and just preached the cross and your commitment to him. And it worked, there was an, an onion for that. That was Billy Graham. But these were all different characters. DL moody is one of my favorite in the book. Cause he, he was not really a guy that should have made it. He was called a country Bunkin he was, he talked funny.
Roberts Liardon (20:53):
He was probably dyslexic in some ways, because the reason why they call him the greatest layman, because he never would allow himself to be ordained because he couldn’t pass the catechism or the, the membership course to get in. And so he said, if I can’t pass it, then I’m not gonna take it. So he never really was ordained, but never a real preacher, never over, he had a tremendous impact. He preached, I think to a hundred million people before he died. Wow. Billy Graham preached at 215 million before he died. I don’t know. That includes in person that doesn’t include the TV world. And there were fewer people back then than there are today. So you, you know, deal died in 1899. And he preached that many in the 18 hundreds in person. So that’s a lot of work and big campaigns. One night he was preaching in, in Chicago where he was living and a child and a man got saved.
Roberts Liardon (21:42):
There’s only two people got saved that night. And so he was still left in the building and the janitor was sweeping. And so they started talking and he goes, I’m really disappointed. I only got, you know, two people, you know, saved. And the, the, the guy the, the janitor said, no, you got one and a half. He said, oh, I guess you, the child was the hand. He goes, no, it’s the way around that. Guy’s already half dead. That’s a whole life there. And that changed his view to even child evangelism. And I think there’s a need for that in our discussion and in our life today of child evangelism things catered to the children of their age understanding. So they can come to Christ when they’re still young. And he was a part of that. And, and doing that early in his ministry.
Roberts Liardon (22:25):
What about Jonathan Edwards? Well, he was the first grade awakening. He was a, he was an intellectual that did not resist or oppose the work of the spirit, many intellectuals because they’re academically sharp. They have a hard time relating to the manifest or the work of the spirit. He defended it. And so he was a, a man that God used. He actually his famous sermon sinner in the hands of an angry God was an accidental moment. He had preached that sermon Sunday of four and nobody reacted. It was just like, oh, whatever. So he goes out to a minister’s gatherer, another church and they ask him to preach. And I don’t think he was scheduled, but he had his notes from that sermon in his little horse section and pulled it out and began to preach it. And it’s, he began to preach. They beginning to wa and cry and grab a hold of the post.
Roberts Liardon (23:18):
Cause they thought they were dying and going to hell. And it helped birth that second wave of the great awakening and thousands came to Lord. George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards that early era helped America become Christian. George Whitfield was the Billy Graham of the colonial era. He was more popular than the founding fathers and many of the things that he said in his sermons, the founding father’s papers would quote him or say it like the phrase we have on our money. One nation under God, George would, would get up and preach 10, 20, some 30,000 people. And he’d always declared that this is one nation under God, and it becomes the slogan on our money. And in many of our national documents, it came from a revivalist preacher who said, this shall be, and it became that and became our slogan. But those two guys helped America become Christian.
Roberts Liardon (24:13):
And in that moment with George Whitefield he carved out in the American conscience that we want a righteous Christian evangelist next to the president. Those two have always been up. You can see our day, the person’s in that office of Billy Graham. You go back and see Billy Sunday. There are generations who didn’t have that guy, but when we did, it was a better country, but there was that place that right next to the president, we want that men or woman of God. And, and we need to pray that it gets filled in this time. Cause
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:46):
I love the story about Ben Benjamin Franklin, who was friends with George Whitefield . Although Ben Franklin never necessarily became a, a believer. But he knew that Whitfield was good at receiving an offering. And so there’s a story about how he went to hear him preach, but he left his purse at home cuz he says, I’m not giving in the offering. And George Whitfield did such a good job asking people to give towards an orphanage that he had this turn to the person next to him and borrowed money to put in offering.
Roberts Liardon (25:19):
That’s great. Yeah. That, that’s true. Ben Frank and, and then we’re friends. The reason why we have George Whitfield sermons is because Ben Franklin tri in the newspaper and that’s where we got him today because not way to been lost to history.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:34):
Okay. Frances Asbury, is he in one of your books? Yeah,
Roberts Liardon (25:37):
He’s in the revivalist book. Asbury was one of the most significant men in American history. He was head of the Methodist revival movement here and the revival of the Methodist church. He rode horses everywhere. He was at days of the circuitt writer, preachers. And he would go and teach to somebody’s house. Or that’s three people. He might have a, another meeting of 25 people. You don’t have what you call the large crowd, but you have his consistently working the fields of harvest, which is a different kind of evangelism a ministry. Now he did have some, but not on the scale of Whitefield or Edwards, but he was significant in making sure the gospel went. As America began to go west, it had to go. And he was a part of, of doing that.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:26):
Roberts Liardon (26:27):
Well, he could talk about him all day long. He’s he’s called a father of American evangelism. Revalism he came along at a time when we have a doctrine problem. Calvinistic belief that some have been chosen to be saved and others are not. So if you weren’t chosen by God to be, there’s no hope for you, but you don’t know. So you Haveli the Christian life just in case you were chosen so stupid. And so that’s kind of, I’m simplified. That’s kind of what they believed. Finn comes along. He was a lawyer who gotten insane and he had that lawyer mine. So he would preach to make the case. And so he keep on and said, it’s not that God won’t save you. It’s you go, won’t choose it. So it’s your will versus God’s will. So he broke the back of that feeding up this way.
Roberts Liardon (27:12):
If you were told your whole life, Daniel, you can never go to heaven. God didn’t choose you. And that’s what the preacher said. And you accepted that and you didn’t want to be lost. You wanted to be a part of God’s family, but for some reason you weren’t good enough. And then here comes Finn and says, that’s not true. It’s available to every man, if you will choose it, if you will accept it, when that happened, all those who had been rejected. Got it. And they held it dear. That’s why 85% of his converts stayed true to their conviction of salvation through their life. That’s better than Billy Graham or Roberts combined together. And, and Charles fitty would have, he that one of the secrets of his evangelism and revivalism was a guy named father Nash’s prayer warrior. And he would go into a town or an area and pray. And then when he felt like it broke it, though, he would send notice his time to come and Charles would come and have the, the revival meetings. So part of our mass evangelism has to be that prayer work in the spirit done before. So I hope that our evangels that are watching realize, you know, we can organize it. We can plan it. We can advertise. It’s all great. But don’t forget the spiritual work that’s required more so than some of the natural.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:29):
Yeah. I like what Reinhard Bonnke said, you need prayer and evangelism. They’re like two legs. You pray. And then you evangelize, you pray. And then you evangelize. If you’re only doing one or the other, it’s like hopping into one leg, you won’t go anywhere. It’s
Roberts Liardon (28:42):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:43):
What about William Booth is a great
Roberts Liardon (28:46):
Salvation army army out of all the revival movements that I would like to have been part of it would’ve been that one and I’m a pentecostal so people go, oh, but William and Catherine Booth the salvation army in the eight middle, 18 years. Amazing. they were well, he, they met and dated through letters, him and his wife, Catherine, and she was sickly. So she stayed home. Most of her childhood and would do school from home and read lots of Christian books, Vinnie books, pur and early church pur and fathers, and became very astute in those ways. They get married and they get kicked outta the Methodist church because they, you love the, because they can’t bringing the wrong kind of people to church. Now, in those days you bought your pew, like the Smiths bought this pew, the Jones bought this. So you had your pew.
Roberts Liardon (29:35):
And so the pastor was telling, well, bring some more people to church you want to grow. And so they begin to bring the drunks, the hookers, meet to church and, and put on their row. Well, these people didn’t know how to be in church, so they would drink or eat. And they’d say to the one guy said the pastor, can you say that again? Freak out the whole church. So they were told by the pastor eventually quit bringing these kind of people to church. And that’s not the kind that we want. And it so offended them that they, you know, left and begin to do other things outside the structure. And it ended up in a tent meeting in east London that turned into salvation army and a Salvationist was one that went after soul’s first and utmost. And we both believed in healing, but he, he wrote a book on faith healings or a rare book, but he wrote one and cause one of his kids was in Zion with Dowing.
Roberts Liardon (30:32):
So he knew about all that. He said, I I’m not a, the book I read of his he’s for it believes it. He goes, but I’m not gonna do anything to overs shed of the preaching of salvation. That’s why he viewed it. And he changed the world by the gospel. The reason why people are a little awed with him is because he had social justice and salvation combined together. For example, the reason why we have a 10 o’clock break in our work in an afternoon, they call him tea breaks in England was because of him in the army. He saw people that were working 8, 10, 12 hours without a break. So that’s not right. So he began to fight and change the law. Then he noticed the little kids were working, you know, little eight, 19 year olds at the same time in bad conditions, got the child labor loss that we obey today comes from salvation army. So you have that aspect of it. He believed if a man’s stomach was empty, he can’t hear the gospel, give him the sandwich and then he’ll get saved. And so that was one of his philosophies. This other was when you go to a town, find the worst center and get them safe first and all the rest to come in. And that’s really how it worked.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (31:42):
I think merging social justice with evangelism would really appeal to today’s generation. Yeah. Which is very concerned about many social justice
Roberts Liardon (31:52):
Issues. The only thing with that is you cannot let social justice take first place. The gospel is first and social justice is second. And so I, I, I I’ll say it this way. I see how the enemy can flip that to where the enemy still stays in charge of controlling people’s lives. We feed them, we help them, but we don’t put the gospel first. So we need to be careful that as we do social justice and it stays second to the salvation of the soul,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (32:20):
Let’s talk about some of the people that you knew personally. What was it that made men of God like Lester Summerall or Roberts so effective in their ministries?
Roberts Liardon (32:32):
Well, one, they, they knew that was what they were called to do. And they had a surety about it. If you don’t have an absolute surety, if you are, then you will never rise to that. What I call the big platform you’ll rise to some other platform. It’ll be nice, but the surety or Robertson, but there was some, all, both knew who they were, what they were called to do. Now, they were called differently, but they had the same surety about that. And I don’t see that as strong in our generation, we have a lot, oh, I wanna be a preacher. Like I get it. But there has to come that absolute charity one is that they were also people that went for the whole world or Roberts was an evangelist. Some of was more of an episode. He built churches and did evangelism, but he did more things than brother Roberts or Roberts became the more popular one because of he did evangelism, but he went after it. And he knew it was there. He trusted God. And they all knew how to fight the devil, which a lot of times we don’t talk about, but if you don’t fight him, he will take over or begin to influence. So you have to always be on a war footing against darkness.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (33:45):
You’ve studied the sweep of church history and seen evangelism in the lives of all of these great men and women of God, their, their techniques, how they minister to people and how they delivered the gospel. And what do you think God wants to do in today’s time? Look, looking at the sweep of history and, and how God has moved evangelistically and brought people into the kingdom over history. Bring that into today. What, what do you think God wants to do today? Well,
Roberts Liardon (34:18):
I think we, we have to learn how to evangelize in a highly developed modern culture, which we’ve not done too well. We’re, we’re good with one on one food and bring ’em to the gospel. The big crusades like you do in parts of the world. The crusades find that don’t work here in the states. I mean, you can do ’em but you don’t get the same result
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (34:39):
And they’re super expensive.
Roberts Liardon (34:41):
<Laugh> I guess it’s true. So I think there’s a shift coming. I call it people, group missionaries, people, group evangelism. I see that today’s world America has become a mission field. In my lifetime, we’ve gone from a Christian nation to a nation that needs missionaries sent to her. So let the Africans come let the Koreans come let the people come to help us, but we’re gonna have to all evangelize.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (35:06):
Yeah. God told me the mission field shall become a mission force.
Roberts Liardon (35:10):
Yes, we, and come, come help us in America.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (35:13):
We need your
Roberts Liardon (35:13):
Help. We sewed our young men and women. Now it’s time to reap succumb. And, and when they come, you’re like Africans, when you come here, don’t become American. Pray like an African move. Like we need that fire kind of thing. But people group missionaries this, I think the same way that you’re called to the feel like you are. There are people in America, in churches who may not be called to India, but they’re called to a people group in our society here. For example, there’s the red hat lady society. There are UN wet mothers. There’s single fathers. There’s all kinds of people, groups. There’s the tattoo people. There’s the trans people today. We got all kinds of people, groups and the same way we receive calls to go to the nations. I believe the call to go to a people group is going to be the thing.
Roberts Liardon (35:58):
We’ll see rise in the highly developed modern cultures. And that way Evangelism is done by everybody. And everybody has a significant type of placement. Now, when you does that make sense? The people are no, you have to realize two folks. There are groups that have a taboo attached to them. Things that they do that’ll make the church go. Hmm. Now church, everybody Christ died for the taboo weirdos and the normal people he died for. All of everybody has a right to hear the gospel, do not come against people who God calls to go to the gay community or the trans community or the drug community where there’s taboos. Sometimes I’ve seen people go into these groups and well, what are you doing? Or you’re agree with them. You, you can’t expect to harvest until a seed of sun and you have to have enough guts to walk across these lines that have stigma and taboo attached.
Roberts Liardon (36:52):
So, so they can get safe like the gay community. You know, why is it so hostile? Well, it’ll probably be, cause the Jerry Falwell generation understood what was happening, that this was going on and they didn’t stay on their knee long enough to find a strategy, to help them get safe. All they did was dam and condemned and we have this hostility and that’s why it’s dark in that community and why there’s a resistance to the gospel because of how it was done in the seventies and so forth. It was, it was over reaction without the compassion and the strategy of God to bring hope, salvation and healing. And so the, when you walk across that line, the church should encourage you. The church should support you. If that’s your people group that you’re called to, you have to allow some people groups move faster toward the gospel.
Roberts Liardon (37:39):
Others are slow just like on the mission field. So you have to give people room and not persecute them. My joke is you need two shields of faith. If you go to a people group with taboo, need one in front, you need one behind goes, the church will keep from behind and the folks will coming from the front so you can go through it. But I think that’s, what’s coming. I already see it happening, but we need to preach it more. And we cannot be afraid to be a missionary to a people group that has a taboo until someone sews the gospel seat, there never can be a harvest and they keep getting darker because people won’t cross that border. For example, if you go to Newin priest to the naked people, nobody America gets mad about that. They’ll give you more money, go, go for it.
Roberts Liardon (38:23):
And, and, but you go to a people group with a cultural taboo, and they’ll almost kill you. It should be the same attitude from the beginning for these people. And so the enemy is going to try to keep that stirred up so that we won’t go there. But I always look for the people that are going to the rough folks in our society and encourage them and support them because they’re doing evangelism in this first class nations. The reason why like Africa, like Nigeria, there’s a great revival there today. One reason why everybody goes, cause they haven’t nothing else to do. I mean, part of the problem with our abortion culture is we have so many distractions and so many stuff going on and our little phones and everything. Some of the people in these parts of the world, they don’t have that. So the crusades and things work because I can’t go to a movie. There’s no movie Houser. Let’s go see Daniel. And so not on Belinda. It’s understand. There’s a difference. So when we come into this culture, we’re gonna have to learn how to, to deal with media and what I call the people group
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (39:25):
Missionaries. Yeah. Everyone’s spending time on TikTok and Facebook. And so you gotta go where they’re at.
Roberts Liardon (39:30):
Yeah. I can see a date. I don’t like anything that I’m about to say. So everybody understand this is I see the date coming when church will be online and people will come to special events in the west because they’re so busy. They don’t want to, they can watch the line. Now I don’t like that. I want you together. I want you to be there in person. But if that’s what’s coming, we need to get the shot of this and make sure that our media is sharp. It’s together. It’s organized. We can capture those people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (39:58):
So what advice would you give to evangelists that are wondering how to succeed and how to avoid failing?
Roberts Liardon (40:05):
One thing don’t forget to preach across in Jesus and all you’re preaching. It’s amazing. Well, you start out preaching the simplest gospel message and then, and myself included this producing you’re preaching everything else, but that, and that’s what that message is a power to salvation. And don’t forget to preach the gospel in all you’re preaching is one of the big things. Cause then you’ll lose soul saving and the miracles won’t be, he confirms his word with signs following and that’s miracles. And that’s also salvation. So that’d be one to always have a follow up plan. When you have a baby, you can’t just leave it on the curb it’ll die. So we have to have an attitude and God will have different ways of doing it with different people. There’s not just one method, but a follow up program or a placement program. For those that get saved. Now what somebody in your big crew saves, it’s probably a little more challenging to take care of. At least the effort is made and see Africa should have been saved a long time ago. As many of these crews aids have gone there from here, the fifties,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (41:07):
And many of the nations in Africa actually have a higher percentage of Christians than here in America. Yeah.
Roberts Liardon (41:12):
Yeah. And they’re actually great. But, but the thing is the discipleship of the Christian life
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (41:18):
Roberts Liardon (41:18):
Was, was weak in, in years. But today in Africa, a new, the great church is now alongside the great crusade. And that did happen. I was in Nigeria back in when I was in my thirties. And the Lord said, you will not come back to Africa until the church is as big as the crusade. Well, I didn’t know. I thought I’m never going back to Africa. So I went back about four or five years ago to Nigeria and to Ghana. And I saw churches as big as a crusade. I preached in a church that has a hundred thousand seats in it. That’s a big deal, a church, a building, but that’s not the biggest church in Nigeria. That’s just a biggest building. The redeem church about 2 million people or so.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (42:04):
Yeah, I’ve been to their church building. It’s bigger than a football field. It just goes on and on and on. Yeah.
Roberts Liardon (42:09):
It’s, it’s amazing. So you see that and this to me is exciting because now when people get saved, they’re gonna be discipled in those churches. And that was a weakness years ago, even in the Osborn era, they didn’t have strong churches in those. They did the crusades, people got saved, but the, the, the growth of the gospel or the steadiness of the gospel, wasn’t as strong as it is today, which is a great sign.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (42:33):
Well, brother Roberts, thank you for being on the evangelism podcast. Loved it. So wonderful to get your insights into these great men and women of God. And I’d encourage you. Go get the God’s General’s books by Roberts Laden. It will be a tremendous blessing to you and you’ll learn so much more about these great men and what I’ve
Roberts Liardon (42:52):
God, thank you for having me Daniel on, tell your wife a big hello for me.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (42:54):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (42:56):
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Evangelism Podcast Host (44:14):
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