Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Thoughts on Evangelism

Here are three things everyone should know about sharing the Gospel:

1) Not everyone has the gift of evangelism, but everyone is called to evangelize. To be honest, I don’t have the spiritual gift of evangelism (and I’m the evangelism pastor!) However, I know that this is not an excuse for me not to share my faith with non-Christians. God wants me to use the gifts He has given me in evangelistic ways. Three of my main spiritual gifts are preaching, teaching, and administration. So I preach evangelistic messages, teach others how to evangelize, and oversee ministries that reach out to unbelievers. But I also am “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [me] to give a reason for the hope that [I] have” (1 Peter 3:15a). Although evangelism is not one of my spiritual gifts, I am prepared to share my faith with anyone.

2) Almost everyone has fears about sharing their faith, but fear does not trump the work of God. God is always working to bring people closer to Him. This means that He is always working to redeem those who have not yet believed in Him. In the Great Commission, and the birth of the Church in Acts 2, we understand that God has invited us Christians to participate in His rescue mission. Would it be appropriate to tell God “I can’t participate, I have too many fears.” We might not always know the right answers when we’re talking about God. We might not know any creative ways to share the Gospel. Some people might reject us for sharing our faith. All of these fears are legitimate. But we can’t forget the promise that Christ gave: “Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.”

3) God has invited us to join Him as participants in His saving work. He has not commanded us to do it on our own. I once heard a sermon titled, “God cares about lost people.” The fact is, God cares about lost people even more than you do (even if it’s your spouse, child, or parent). God is doing the redemptive work Himself, but has invited us to participate in it by sharing how God has changed our lives. We never have to carry the burden that it’s our responsibility to save people. We are simply “ambassadors for Christ,” and God is making his appeal through us. God does the redemptive work Himself and He gives us what we need to share our faith. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

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