Over the years I have become quite passionate about evangelism, this is because of the vast crowds of people in this world who don’t know Jesus, and it’s also because I know that I suck at evangelism!
Evangelism is difficult, this or something similar has probably been said by every Christian at some point or another in their lives. However, is this true or is it because we need a shift in our thinking?
Generally speaking, I think we do need a shift in our thinking but it is also true that evangelism is hard. Today many people think that Evenglism means the running of Christian events like courses, crusades, missions… But the biggest temptation is to take these tools, things that assist our evangelism but aren’t evangelism themselves, and treat them as the real deal.
Another temptation is to go on the defence and use apologetics in evengelism, arguing for or defending Christianity, instead of simply telling people about Jesus. This has resulted in many people feeling incapable of evangelising because they don’t “know all the answers”. Let me tell you a secret, you can have all the degrees in the world and still not understand the depths of the magnificent mystery that is the gospel!
Jesus didn’t do any of this in his evangelism, do you know how Jesus evangelised? He proclaimed the message “repent and believe in the gospel” Mark 1:15.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all these tools for evangelism and apologetics aren’t good, each of them have their time and place. But, we cannot let these be the only means by which we ‘evangelise’.
First and foremost evangelism is a declaration of who Jesus is, what he has done on the cross and what that means for people today. People need to know that they are lost, they need to know their problem, and they also need to know their solution….. Jesus!
I find it so mind boggling that God would use a fallen and corrupt individual, like me and like you, to do his work of spreading the gospel, that is what we are all called to do.
Instead of waiting for the right courses to come up, instead of reading all the apologetics books under the sun, let’s go and declare the good news of Jesus to our family, our friends and ultimately to the world.
A big temptation might be to ‘gloss up’ the gospel, to make it seem a bit more pleasant, to make Jesus more attractive. But in every attempt to do this we are effectively saying, albeit in our minds and hearts, that the gospel isn’t good enough for the world, it isn’t really good news.
Jesus didn’t mince his words, he told people what he knew their souls needed to hear and not what their ears wanted to hear. Do we do the same?
The goal of a Christian is to be more like Jesus everyday, let’s strive to do that in our evangelism too.
Let’s do what Jesus has commanded us to and to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This is our command and this should be our passion and desire, to see the name of God glorified by having people hear the good news and respond in thankfulness as they are made right with God.