This 1975 Convention of the National Association of Evangelicals stands at the culmination of the impact of a series of congresses on mission, evangelism, and evangelization.

From Wheaton ’66 Congress on the Church’s Worldwide Mission. . . and the Berlin ’66 Congress on World Evangelism. . . through a series of ensuing regional Congresses on evangelism. . . to the Lausanne ’74 International Congress on Evangelization, the evangelical church world in increasing numbers and national groupings has wrestled with the urgency of the mandate of the gospel of Jesus Christ embodied in the words: Let the Earth Hear His Voice.

The Wheaton Declaration, the Berlin statement on One Race, One Gospel, One Task, the Lausanne Covenant have delineated the foundational truths on which we, as evangelicals, stand and the errors that we discern. Others too have produced their statements, such as the Frankfurt Declaration, and we have shared in endorsing their convictions on the urgency for the biblically based evangelism.

We commend all of these declarations to our constituent churches and peoples for thoughtful consideration, prayer absorption, and deliberate action. The words of the apostle Paul strike us with their contemporary thrust: ‘You turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven even Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come” (I Thess. 9:10).

Thus we declare at this convention that we stand and march in that evangelical movement which

— sees the purpose of God unfolding today

— affirms the divine inspiration, the authority and power of the Bible as the written revelation of God’s word to this day

— declares the uniqueness and universality of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior for those who accept Him; that those who reject Him repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God.

As a result of such a declaration, we affirm the nature of evangelism, of letting the earth hear His voice, to be the spreading of the good news of Christ’s death, resurrection, and reigning as Lord. While Christian presence is indispensable, this spreading is by proclamation, calling all people everywhere to repentance and faith in Christ.

We affirm further our Christian social responsibility, knowing that God is both Creator and Judge of all men. Thus we assert that the message of salvation and the saving grace we claim calls us to a total witness to the total man regardless of race, color or creed, cultural or social circumstance, or political life. As the Scriptures pointedly state, “faith without works is dead.”

Our evangelism and evangelization thus must be the work

— of the church — worldwide,

— of the congregation — locally,

— of bodies in cooperation and evangelistic partnership,

— of our educational life in Christian nurture, and in our Christian schools, co1leges and seminaries.

It must be accomplished with a sense of the spiritual conflict upon us, with an eye to the issues of freedom and persecution about us, with the energizing conviction of the Holy Spirit in and through us, with the faith of the return of Jesus Christ undergirding us.

We are faced with the fact that more than two billion, seven hundred million people, more than two-thirds of the world’s population, have yet to be evangelized. We are ashamed and rebuked that so many have been neglected. All of us are shocked as well by the poverty of millions. The Lord is speaking to our lifestyles in order to contribute more generously to both evangelism and relief.

Yet it is a long way from Berlin ’66 and Lausanne ’74 to Los Angeles ’75. And it can be a long, long way from the International Hotel in Los Angeles back to the mid-towns, America, and the congregations and institutions where we live and serve. Evangelization is not easy. It cannot be done by wishing it. The goal is much easier to define than to attain. To want to be something is different than wanting to become something. Sacrifices are required for the becoming, and so we recognize it to be for us here in this convention.

We thus declare that evangelism comes out of the Life of the church — like fruit from the vine; that where there is Life and health in the churches, commitment and action will produce evangelism.

We thus call on all our constituency to avoid the easy way and short cuts to evangelism, to seek that fresh understanding and demonstration of the love of Jesus Christ in our hearts, which will energize our programs of witness. We will remember that visitation programs, campaigns, Christian witness groups and community Bible studies must be supported by instruction and community and fellowship and worship and all that supports the spiritual life of the church.

We declare that growth (evangelism and nurture) occurs as the body (the church) is healthy and nourished. The message needs to be announced with clarity and integrity. The fellowship needs to be real with the touch of God upon it. Thus as Jesus reported it to be in heaven, so on earth there must be rejoicing over the one who repents. And there not only needs to be rejoicing but also acceptance.

We shall not underestimate the power of God who is able to do above that we can even imagine. Whether with the one or two or five talents as well as the ten, we covenant together to Let the Earth Hear His Voice.