What is evangelism? The Dictionary of Bible Themes defines it; “The proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, which arises naturally from believers’ love for God and appreciation of all that God has done for them.” Which is to say that when you & I understand how much God loves us, and what He’s accomplished for us in Jesus Christ. We want to let others know how they can receive the same love & acceptance & forgiveness from God in Christ.
The bible declares, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
In other words, when you take the time to deliver the good news to someone of what Jesus Christ has done for you in dying for your sin & that through faith in Him they can be forgiven of all their sin & be made new in Him... that’s a beautiful thing. I’m so glad someone took the time to share the truth of Jesus with me.
Where would we be apart from another individual’s passion to present to us the gospel? Because faith comes from hearing and hearing by the truth of God’s Word. Therefore if no one shares, we perish in our sin...
The question is; what will it take to inspire us, or encourage us to share? Well, if evangelism arises from our love for God & our appreciation of all that God has done for us, than it seems to me imperative that we cultivate a deep love for God. Which brings up another question: what will cause us to grow in our love for God?... Jesus taught that it centers on our understanding of how much we’ve been forgiven by God.
There’s a situation that takes place in the gospel of Luke whereby a certain Pharisee by the name of Simon invites Jesus to a banquet. But while he’s there a certain notoriously sinful woman comes in & begins weeping & wiping the feet of Jesus w/her tears. & The Pharisee is all, “If this Man were a Prophet, He would know what kind of woman this is who is touching Him... she’s a sinner!”
We read And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
So our love for God is in some manner directly proportionate to our understanding of how much we’ve been forgiven by God. Once we have a grasp of that, it’s difficult to not want to share such good news.
Yet our flesh wars against us, we have an enemy who seeks to lull us to sleep & cause us to forget the urgency w/which we should reach out...
The other day someone asked me about why I’m constantly encouraging people to bring a friend to church, or invite a co-worker. The question was one of honest inquiry, “Hey are you just trying to build your kingdom, or see how big you can make the church?” (Paraphrase) & I bring this up because if this person was wondering, perhaps others may be wondering as well. So I just wanted to share my heart for a moment on the issue.
The bible is replete w/scripture on the need to make known the news of the gospel. Jesus equipped His disciples & then sent them out into the city to spread the news of the kingdom. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you...” Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist & to fulfill his ministry. We have a responsibility to get the news out; to have a grasp upon that which God has done for us & encourage others to gather w/us that they might learn of Christ alongside us.
In the 13th chapter of the book of Acts you find Paul in Antioch.
After he preaches in the synagogue the Jews grow hard against him, but the
Gentiles beg him to preach the word to them again next week. & We read in the 44th verse, “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.” Why do you suppose that is? It’s because those guys were so excited about the message that they invited all their friends, all their family, they were blessed & blown away that such grace could be & would be offered to them...
So here we sit; we have bibles, we have the message, we have the cure to the cancer of sin, but we sit in a spiritual slumber; the urgency is lacking in us culturally. We need to be shaken out of that spiritual slumber, that we might awaken unto the need to get the good news out. You would be surprised how willing most people are to respond to a simple invitation; but we’re intimidated to ask. That’s why I’m encouraging you, exhorting you, seeking to challenge you to rise up & invite someone to (as Philip said, John 1:46) “Come & see”.
Let's do the work of an evangelist, seeking to increase the Kingdom of God. Let me encourage you, pray & ask God to remind you of His grace, His forgiveness toward you; that you might be moved in such a way as to not remain silent, but sharing the good news of the gospel; others will experience the same hope you have in Christ.