Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thought on Evangelism...

“Debate has flourished about which of the wounds inflicted on Jesus actually caused his death. Among the many wounds he received were lacerations, punctures, abrasions, and contusions. In a sense we can say that none of these killed Jesus. The wound that killed him was silence. No one spoke up for him.” (Excerpt from the book Share Jesus without Fear by William Fay) Many of us are familiar with the story of Peter and how he denied Jesus 3 times. (Mark 14:66-72) As we read that story we can easily find ourselves shacking our heads thinking “I would never do something like that,” or we might think, “How could he deny Jesus, whom he loved?” The fact is that we have all been in Peter’s shoes without realizing it. Although you may have never said, “I don’t know him,” like Peter did, we have all still found a way to deny God. We deny him by never opening our mouths. We deny him with our silence…

Matthew 28:18-20
18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Evangelism is a way for us to share the gospel with those we come in contact with. Jesus commands us to evangelize! Unfortunately, “Evangelism” can be an intimidating word because we often associate it with preaching or something challenging or uncomfortable. The truth is that evangelism is as easy as simply offering a prayer or meeting a need. Through those actions we open a door to sharing the gospel with non-believers. Evangelism requires action on our part but it is not difficult, as we may think.
There is an important key to Evangelism and that is none other than LOVE! We love God, and as a result we share the gospel to be obedient and please Him. We love people and as a result we share the gospel so that they can take part in the truth. A part of love, is meeting needs. Take a chance, be intentional, and meet a need however it may be possible. God’s love has a powerful effect on people. God uses His people as a channel of love to reach the lost world, and if they don’t get that from His followers they may never come to understand God’s love.
One challenge to Evangelism is that we have a misconstrued idea of its “goal.” We think that if the person does not receive Christ then we have failed. That is far from the truth! The fact that you share your faith is a success because it is obedience to Christ. We often think that it is our responsibility to save people and that is not the point of evangelism. By simply being obedient in sharing your faith, you are giving God the opportunity to work through you and in the people you share with. Again, it is not our job to save people, but it is our responsibility to share the gospel, the rest of the work is up to the Holy Spirit. Think about this: if you could convince them into the truth then someone else could easily convince them otherwise, but the Holy Spirit works in each person’s heart perfectly.

Don’t allow yourself to fall into the sin of silence. Speak up for Jesus, spread the good news, preach when necessary, minister to the lost, and share the gospel so that others can have the opportunity to hear the truth and be saved! Remember that you were once in need of someone to speak to you about God, let Him use you to draw others closer to Him. Evangelism is important to God and must be important to us! If we are not sharing our faith then we are not leading an exemplary Christian life.

Acts 26: 16-18 16 Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

Statistics for thought:
* People will hear the gospel an average of 7.6 times before they accept it.
* People most afraid to share the gospel are usually the ones who have been Christians the longest!
* 75% - 90% of new believers come to Christ through a friend or acquaintance explaining the gospel one on one to them.
* 85% of all Christians do not consistently witness for Christ.
* 95% of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ

CHALLENGE: What kind of Christian will you be: The kind that talks about the lost? Or the kind that talks to the Lost? Either you share your faith, or you can say nothing and in your silence watch your friends and family stay condemned and on a path to hell.


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