Note: On Sunday our young associate pastor bravely broached the subject of evangelism. I decided to look through my posts on the subject. I started writing this post in March 2022, but it was in my draft folder for some reason. I decided it was time to post it. I edited the first part a little because I think many people really don’t understand ‘the gospel’. I pray that this will inspire you to do your own studying so you can be ready to share your faith with others. Don’t be silenced or cancelled by the fear of the woke mob.
Why should you care about Jesus? The Essentials
In America, most people have heard of Jesus. But fewer and fewer actually know who He was or why he matters. Here is a brief summary of what the Bible teaches, beyond John 3:16. Many people know the story of Christmas. Baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a barn because there was no room at the inn. This story is popular because of it’s social justice themes. But there’s way more to it. Jesus was not a normal baby. His father was God and his mother was a human woman named Mary. He was a real human with a body of flesh. But his spirit was divine. This is important because he could not be the Messiah if he was just a man.
Jesus grew up looking like a regular person in a family with siblings. But there were clues that he was special. An angel had told his earthly father Joseph before he was born that he would save the world from their sins. Another angel to his mother Mary that her unborn child was the Son of God. Starting around age 12 he began referring to God as his father and hanging out in the temple with the priests. But it wasn’t until he was 30 years old that he began preaching. Jesus’ earthly ministry only lasted about 3 1/2 years, but during that time he had a single focus, to share the message of the Kingdom. At no time did he seek fame or fortune or even approval from people. He was sent on a specific mission, to show people who God was and tell them to repent and believe because the Kingdom was coming.
Jesus’ message got him in trouble with the establishment because he taught that being ‘religious’ or Jewish did not mean you were actually in good favor with God. He also showed no interest in politics. To prove that he had authority from God, he demonstrated supernatural power through many miracles and by his unique actions such as walking through walls, disappearing from a scene, and reading people’s minds. Jesus came to warn the people of that day and us that in God’s eyes all people are sinners in need of forgiveness because a day of judgment awaits us all. Then he extended the amazing offer of grace through faith which he said is what you need to be part of God’s family to all people, not just the Jews. Grace means that you are forgiven despite your sinfulness and apart from any good works. You cannot earn it.
After preaching to crowds, healing and resurrecting the sick and dead, feeding thousands with a few fish, stopping a storm with a word, socializing with and forgiving useless eaters that society had written off, teaching the difference between humble faith and prideful religion, Jesus allowed himself to be arrested and crucified on the cross to pay for our sins. He did this because the penalty for sin is death. But because he was sinless and divine, as well as human, his death was sufficient to pay for ALL SINS.
Jesus is the Messiah.
After his heart stopped, his spirit went to visit the spirits in Hades, then his spirit returned to his body and started his heart again. This means he was resurrected. No human has the power to bring themselves back to life in this way, only God can do it. After spending time teaching his disciples what their job was going to be, he told them he would be coming back again for the judgment, then he left earth and returned to heaven.
Christ was born to die for our sins, but also to bring us important information that we were not ‘getting’ from the prophets and priests. The prophets who did understand and teach the truth were often murdered. The priests tended to impart the idea that what mattered was outside appearances. A religion had been created based upon humans judging other humans, rather than all humans being under God’s authority. Jesus said, ‘God alone can judge who is good or bad, and you’re all bad’.
God is our Father.
Jesus told the Disciples that he would send them a helper because they were going to need help navigating a hostile and deceptive world. He sent them the Holy Spirt, which is the spirt that lives within everyone who believes. This is God’s Spirit who teaches us the truth, warns us in times of danger, comforts us in times of trouble, and confirms the truth of the Scriptures. Jesus prepared his Disciples to share the same critical information. Christians today have the same purpose, take up our cross daily, share the truth, and make disciples of all nations from those who will accept the message.
The Holy Spirit is God’s spirit.
Unfortunately, many Christians have not been taught how the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled by Jesus. The WHOLE Bible is about our need for salvation through Jesus.
But the word “evangelism” has become unpopular with many people, especially younger Christians.
Besides getting people to believe that he is not real, Satan’s next favorite trick is making believers think that they should keep their faith private. And the woke movement has been used to enforce this rule. (When I first wrote this, I didn’t realize just how silenced Christians had become. People are truly afraid to say anything.)
“Are you a Christian?” a Christian asks a new friend in a personal conversation.
”Yes, but I keep my spiritual life private and I am not evangelical.” comes the reply.
”I respect other people’s spiritual beliefs.” they continue.
”Okay.” says the confused Christian.
The result of this exchange is that one Christian has been told by another Christian that their common belief that Jesus is the Savior of the world is not to be discussed between them or shared with others due to ‘respect’. Also you have a Christian rejecting the assignment of evangelism.
The problem is that being respectful is about how we treat people. But Christians are not told to ‘respect’ other spiritual belief systems that reject God.
In other words, Christians should never be pushy or rude or demeaning, but, according to the Bible, we should not accept other religions as valid options that will result in the same life that Jesus promises to His followers.
Why should you share your faith?
The first step in sharing your faith properly is making sure that you understand who God is and what he expects of you. What do you believe? Is your God worth sharing? Do you know what you believe about God? Do you truly trust God or simply ‘believe in’ God? Do you give God the credit and glory he deserves and demands? Why does God deserve to be trusted and what are you trusting Him to do? The answers to these questions give you the basis for sharing your faith. *See the first section of this article. Look up the verses where Jesus did those things. Jesus could return at any time. In other words, we must share the gospel with as many people as possible before it is too late for them.
Key point: Being a Christian is not really about having a private spiritual experience, seeking personal happiness, or attaining individual goals. Being a Christian is being part of the earthly body of Christ. We are all united in the mission of making disciples and living a life of service to God.
Respecting others means loving them enough to share your faith.
Jesus warned the disciples that they would be persecuted, opposed, and even hated when they spoke in His name, just like He was. But evangelism is an essential part of Christianity, even though it can be uncomfortable and risky. We should look at it as bringing good news to those who are hurting, seeking, and lost, instead of ‘forcing your beliefs on others’.
Sharing your faith is the most loving thing you can do for anyone! Don’t deny someone a chance to know the Lord because you are afraid of offending them. How can people know if they want to be a Christian or not if no one will tell them about Jesus?
Some will reject your message. Some will even get angry. Leave the saving to God. You are planting seeds. Sometimes the seeds take a long time to sprout. Your goal in sharing should be that they know why you believe and what you believe.
Friendship evangelism can make a difference, but you need to make sure they eventually understand the basic gospel truths. Many people when sharing their Christian testimony have told the same story, that even though they had grow up around Christians, even attended church, no one had ever explained the actual gospel to them! People need to know WHY Jesus had to die for them, which means sharing about sin and judgment.
When we assume that someone would not want to know more about our faith, we are actually judging them as being too closed-minded or selfish to care about what matters to us. And we are withholding life-saving information! Why not give them the opportunity to listen to your story and let them decide if it’s something they want to know more about?
Be a living testimony.
Effective evangelism involves sharing your personal experiences as a Christian: how you came to trust Jesus , describing ways that your faith helps you in your daily life, explaining how you have been changed by knowing the Lord, and what ‘salvation’ means to you. You don’t have to tell them everything at once. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and always do it in a respectful and humble way.
There are also endless practical ways of sharing your faith such as inviting a friend to a church event, serving in the community, and demonstrating LOVE to others.
Let the world see your faith by your actions, but do it in such a a way that they will want to know why you are different from the world. This is all part of evangelism, but it’s not private.
When you do things to help others, find an appropriate way to let them know that you are doing it in the name of Jesus. Use His NAME. His name is powerful.
When someone shares their problems with you, let them know that you will pray for them and ask if you can pray with them. Prayer is powerful.
Being evangelistic is part of being a Christian. If someone miraculously saved you from death, got you taken off of death row, or rescued from slavery, wouldn’t you want to tell everyone about that? That is exactly what Jesus did for us. This is a very big, supernatural deal!
Great post. While walking this weekend we met a new couple and stopped to talk. After a few minutes they asked us what church we go to. Then they invited us to go with them to their church.
That’s good! As long as they don’t belong to a cult . 😬 Cults are more willing to evangelize.
They told me the name of the church. It’s a big church in Scottsdale. I listened to a sermon online.
Great ! Let me know how it goes.
“Being evangelistic is part of being a Christian. If someone miraculously saved you from death, got you taken off of death row, or rescued from slavery, wouldn’t you want to tell everyone about that? That is exactly what Jesus did for us. This is a very big, supernatural deal!”