Friendship evangelism is a relatively new term practiced by people who think you need to become friends with unsaved people before you can win them to the Lord Jesus. There are NO Scriptures they can cite for such an approach.
Friendship Evangelism People
Such friendship evangelism people don’t evangelize the way the earliest disciples did for some reason. Maybe they think the blunt approach isn’t for them. They believe in the s-l-o-w, drawn out method over time (maybe months or years) to somehow become friends with those with whom there is no fellowship (2 Cor. 6:14-18). So, if the unsaved live long enough to still be around when they finally do become friends, then he will give him the gospel. In other words, such people think they need to become friends of the world first, before they can lead someone in darkness to eternal life!
Friendship Evangelism is a Trick of the Devil
What a glaring trick of the devil friendship evangelism is! (It’s not as good as once saved always saved, but nonetheless very good.) Why? Because the unsaved person will not get the life saving message as quickly as possible, even in his dire desperate need. He could easily die, move away, etc. and that would abruptly curtail his opportunity to hear the truth about eternal life. The same unexpected changes could also happen to the person engaged in friendship evangelism.
Friendship Evangelism is DEADLY
Secondly, the person caught up in friendship evangelism, if a real Christian, will lose his salvation by becoming a friend of the world! James 4:4 says:
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Since all enemies of God are headed for raging fire (Heb. 10:27), then the friendship evangelism soul winner will actually lose his own soul by becoming a friend of the world! The initial motive is good, but that evangelistic method isn’t based on God’s word and strays off into a forbidden dangerous area – becoming a friend of the world. Hence, friendship evangelism is severely flawed and even endangers those interested in leading others to eternal life. Carefully read the Book of Acts and pattern your method and message after theirs to learn how to soul win. It will become apparent there was no friendship evangelism in first century Christianity and there shouldn’t be any for us today.