The question is: is that biblical evangelism? Second question: Does that even make sense?
Most often, people cite Romans 2:4 when they say this:
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
As a young Christian, I stumbled upon an article by Greg Koukl called "Never Read a Bible Verse." It is one of the two most valuable lessons I've learned that has helped me in my walk with Christ.
In it, Koukl says:
If there was one bit of wisdom, one rule of thumb, one single skill I could impart, one useful tip I could leave that would serve you well the rest of your life, what would it be? What is the single most important practical skill I've ever learned as a Christian?
Here it is: Never read a Bible verse. That's right, never read a Bible verse. Instead, always read a paragraph at least.
When I'm on the radio, I use this simple rule to help me answer the majority of Bible questions I'm asked, even when I'm totally unfamiliar with the verse. It's an amazingly effective technique you can use, too.
I read the paragraph, not just the verse. I take stock of the relevant material above and below. Since the context frames the verse and gives it specific meaning, I let it tell me what's going on.
I have found this to be amazingly effective. While many people study cults for hours and hours to learn to diffuse their arguments, I simply run to my bible. I take the verse that's quoted, and read the verses before and after it.
That way, you learn what the human author intended to say, to the people he was speaking to at that time, and then accurately interpret and apply what you're reading in its proper context.
So, instead of lifting Romans 2:4 out of context and making a doctrine out of it, saying we shouldn't preach about sin, repentence and the judgment to come, let's put the statement Paul makes back into its context to get the proper sense of it:
1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”
7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,
9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11 For there is no partiality with God.
It seems that Paul believed in preaching about sin and the wrath of God, too. Allister Begg (I think it was) put it this way: "It's because God has a real wrath, that His mercy makes any sense at all."
Hell isn't reasonable to someone who doesn't know the exceeding sinfulness of their sin. Thankfully, you can show a person their sinfulness without being harsh or rude. God has given us a tool to do this. It's called the law.
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Unfortunately, many people take this too far. On the streets of many major cities (I'm assuming, since I've really only seen them in New Orleans), are people that profess to know Christ, yelling at the top of their lungs about how God hates this group or that group because of their sin. Singling out certain groups for condemnation may make you feel better about yourself, but it isn't the Gospel. I'm guilty and you're guilty. The only thing that makes me different than someone I'm talking to about the Gospel is that I've been born again.
So I gently, lovingly plead with people to flee from the wrath to come. First, I open up the law and show them that they've violated God's law, and deserve punishment, just like I do. Then I plead with them about the reality of Hell.
Then, unless I'm dealing with a really proud, arrogant person who won't listen to what I have to say, I take them to the cross and resurrection, and the need for repentance and faith. I plead with them to flee to the Savior, not simply to get out of Hell, but because of His kindness and love and mercy shown to us on the cross.
Have you ever done that? Can you look back to a time in your life when you've embraced by faith Jesus Christ as the only basis for your forgiveness before God? If you haven't, won't you think about this today? Every second, 7 people die. Before you put your head on your pillow tonight, over 150,000 people will step out of this world and into eternity - Heaven or Hell forever and ever and ever and ever. Please, think about it today.
Unless God's wrath is real, the biblical concepts of God's love and mercy are robbed of their meaning. It's because of God's wrath that His mercy is relevant.
- Allister Begg (I think)