For the past few weeks, I have been attending an evangelism training class at my church. Evangelism is the act of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and to evangelize is to share the good news. Some people call it “EV” for short. While I was in college, my Christian fellowship had weekly outreach events that people would call “random EV”. It was called that, because we would walk around campus and talk to random people and try to share the gospel with them. It’s intimidating to say the least. I’m an engineer, and I’m really bad at pitching anything to people. I get nervous sharing my personal interests and preferences, so going up to random people and sharing a message that a majority of people do not want to hear does not sound like something a person like me should do. I did it anyways because of how important the gospel is to a person.. So uh yeah, that’s kind of how I shared the gospel before while I was in college.. Jump back to today..
I’ve been taking this EV training class, and you’d think that since I’ve gone out and EVd before that I’d already have a handle on what the class would be about. Yeah, no.. I’m still a noob. I’ve been learning a lot. Today, I’m just going to talk about the first lesson which was “The Motivation for Evangelism” and summarize it with my thoughts.
For the readers who attend my church, this is not going to be exhaustive, so don’t think that if you read my blog post, then you don’t need to attend the class. If so, then we need to talk.. Lol jk, but not really. For the readers who don’t, I hope this is encouraging and challenges you in your faith. If you don’t care about any of this, then maybe the next time someone tries to share the gospel with you, hopefully, they’re sharing because of the points that I’m going to talk about. Also, this post will basically be targeted towards Christians because of the nature of the subject. Okie doke. Let’s begin.
What motivates you to share the gospel? For me, initially, I shared the gospel, because I didn’t want people to go to Hell. A common analogy that people share regarding this motivation goes something like this: “You have the cure for cancer. If you told everybody that you had the cure, then everyone could be healed of cancer. Why would you hide this cure from anybody? You should go out and share it or many people will die! :o”
That makes sense right? If you had the cure for cancer, you won’t just lock it away in a safe.. I mean maybe you could make a bunch of money off of it.. Anyways, that was usually my thought process except the money thing.. Everyone’s going to go to Hell! I gotta share this message 😮 (yeah the face is necessary). This analogy might motivate you for a bit to share the gospel, but think of the implications. YOU have the message of the gospel, and you HAVE to share it or people WILL DIE. You start to share with as many people as you can, and you’re like “Guys look! The cure to mankind’s problem!” Then, everyone is like “That’s cool. It might work for you, but not for me.” Then, you’re like, “but the cure :o” Then they’re all like “nah”. You do this multiple times, and it’s incredibly discouraging and frustrating. You start to get bitter, and you’re like welp, if they don’t want it, they don’t want it. You share since you have it, but it’s not as urgent anymore. Imagine if God made us completely responsible for the salvation of people, then everyone would for sure go to Hell. Thankfully, that’s not the case, and God is so much greater.
What does God want? God wants people to know Him and be reconciled with Him. His plans are greater than our plans, and He wants us to be His mouthpiece. Matthew 28:19-20 says “ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This verse is called the “Great Commision”. It was one of Jesus’ commands to His disciples before He went back to Heaven. He shared this to them when they were worshipping Him and when some of them were doubtful. He reassured them of who He was and what He wanted them to do.
Jesus also said to His disciples in John 14:23-24 “… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” Jesus made it very clear to His disciples that if they loved Him, then they would obey Him. This is our motivation. We are called to evangelize, because God commanded us to. When we try to evangelize for any other reason, then we miss the point. Our evangelism should come from a love for God and the natural response of obeying Him.
Okay cool. You may have already known that and might wonder, “what about that part where they’re like ‘nah’”. I understand. We’re human and want results! Guess what, you are the result! Congrats.. Confusing? Yeah.. alright.. The fact that God is using you to share His message is an amazing thing by itself. Our obedience to God is the expectation that God has for us. He wants us to be faithful in sharing His message.
I’m not saying that we should just chuck the gospel message at people and hope something sticks. Let’s look back at the Matthew 28 passage. The teaching part says “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”. If you think about a person who taught you something that you remember to this day, then I would bet that person went to a certain level of care and instruction to make sure that you understand what you are learning. If that person would do that for you, for something so near and dear to you, then what more of this message of the gospel that is so near and dear to us? When we share the gospel, we should think about whether or not the message of Christ was accurately shared. Simple right? We can rejoice in knowing that we are obeying God and sharing His message accurately even when someone is like “nah” since God is ultimately working.
From that truth, we don’t have the responsibility of causing someone to believe. That’s all God, and we must pray and plead before Him. God hears us when we ask Him things according to His will. (1 John 5:14). We can have confidence that He hears us and trust Him with the results.
Yep, so the call for Christians to obey God should drive us in our evangelizing and the more we should depend on God since He is working. I hope and pray that you grow in your love for God which leads to your obedience to God which leads to Him being glorified. I might talk about the other sessions in upcoming weeks.. Thanks for reading!