Evangelism: 10 Things We Have Forgotten
1. Evangelism is not about winning an argument. It’s about preaching the gospel. The word evangelism literally means to bring the good message. Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 that preaching the gospel is not about intellectual superiority, it’s about Jesus Christ and His crucification. Every act of evangelism is meant to be a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, not our own eloquence.
2. The Holy Spirit knows the hearts of men better than we do, so we should trust His leading more than our own. Evangelism cannot simply happen on our own terms; we must be willing to be led by the Spirit in both word and circumstance.
3. The most passionate and effective evangelism comes from those who have experienced the gospel. Experience does not equal truth, but it does help fortify personal conviction and open doors of opportunity for those to whom talk is cheap.
4. Godly evangelism frequently involves making ourselves (and others) uncomfortable. If we are going to effectively share the gospel with the world, we need to be free from the bondage of prejudice and apathy towards people others see as detestable. Jesus dealt with it in Luke 15:1-7. The important mindset to have here is that this world is not our final home so comfort should not govern our actions.
5. The gospel is a message of hope. Peter tells us that we need to always be ready to give a defense—not for our religion but for our hope. Only Christ can offer real, lasting hope because only Christ can change a person’s heart.
6. There are opportunities all around us to share the gospel. And with technology abounding, there is little to no excuse why not to.
7. Not everyone will believe. We are called to take the gospel to everyone, even to those we don’t think will accept it. This truth is both sobering and encouraging. Knowing that some will not receive it should break our heart in pieces; if God sorrows over the prodigal who does not return, so should we. The encouragement comes when we realize that we cannot force someone into this choice; it is theirs to accept or reject. We can only place the choice before them.
8. Salvation takes a moment to receive and a lifetime to understand. One thing that troubles me most about modern-day evangelism is how quickly we throw new believers under the bus when they make mistakes. Paul in 1 Corinthians 3 compares new believers to children. Patient love and teaching are an essential part of the Great Commission.
9. The gospel is a message the world desperately needs. Love is not self-serving. It acts in the best interest of others. If what God says about the human condition is true and we are to love people genuinely without hypocrisy, how can we conceal this message that the world so desperately needs?
10. The sin that Christ saved us from is the same sin that condemns unbelievers to hell. There are two important responses to this truth: humility and motivation. Our salvation has not come because we are more holy than others, because we are more impressive in the eyes of God. Salvation comes through God’s amazing grace. That should make Christians—of all people—the most humble. And the most motivated to share the grace of God with others.
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