EVANGELISM…sharing our faith.
Why do you suppose the vast majority of Christians seem not to share their faith? Are they embarrassed? Maybe it is fear? Then again, it could be lack of knowledge. Whatever the cause it seems to be a true statement. Serving as pastor of four churches I found the sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ to be minimal among those in attendance.
Jesus gives a command in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”, (NIV). This same command is sighted in Acts 1:8.
The first thing that comes to mind when examining this passage in Matthew is that it is a command, not a suggestion. Some might say this command was to make “disciples” and not believers but take note; they were to baptize them.
What is a disciple of Christ? Any dictionary would give you the answer. A disciple is a believer in the thought or teaching of any leader; they are followers. We then, all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are disciples meaning the command is to all Christians. After sharing our faith with those we come in contact with who believe, then we must teach them the principles of the New Testament. We become mentors.
Verse 20 helps us to understand, we don’t have to do this on our own; Jesus will always be with us. The power that comes to us by receiving Christ is the power of God and His Holy Spirit. You are not alone when you share the Gospel; you have God with you. Acts 1:8 shows us that we shall receive power within us. These two passages of scripture can and should rid us of all the negatives of being good witnesses for Christ. The joy that comes to us when we see someone receive Christ is overcoming filled with emotion. We witness a miracle happen right before our eyes. So, why so many Christians simply shy away from that command of Jesus?
Let’s examine this major problem of Christianity. First, there is the problem of fear. Getting the courage to share our faith can come from lack of knowledge, or it can be that of doubt or rejection. All of these are good reasons for setting aside the command. My first attempt at sharing was one big failure. He was a friend of my past and I wanted him to have what I had. He rejected Jesus and I lost a friend. Rejection is a part of life; we just must deal with it. Jesus when going to Nazareth told of the Kingdom of heaven and they laughed at Him. Follow His example when rejection comes, just shake the dust from your feet. Your responsibility is to share and when they refuse, you have completed your part; they now reject God. You have the Holy Spirit to show you how to share and the words to use, count on Him.
1 Corinthians 3:16 give us the answer to the power of the Holy Spirit with and in us. There are so many scripture passages referring to the Spirit in us but what I would like to share with you is the undeniable fact that you have God with you at all times able to supply whatever it is you need. Doubt, fear and lack of knowledge cannot be one of our problems when we count on each person of the Godhead. So, the command is go, so surely you must go and spread the good news that Jesus lives, forgives sin, and gives us eternal life.
Last, we should think about the lack of knowledge. Our knowledge comes from our Bibles as God talks to us through His word. This is just a rationalization; how much knowledge do we need, none, we can just give our testimony and let God do the rest. How did you come to Christ?
Now here is a simple Scriptural way of sharing. Most know this as the Roman road to Salvation; it is the simplest and easy way to share by using our Bibles. Personally I like to use a few more verses when sharing.
John 3:16, the most used verse of scripture is found on walls, at baseball and football games and just about everywhere. Look at it and you find it is two-fold. The first part of the verse is a responsibility of God to give “all” an opportunity to be saved and become a part of His family. The second part is man’s responsibility to accept what God is giving.
Let's take a look at the Roman road to Salvation.
Romans 3:10, there is no one righteous not even one.
Romans 3:23, every one is a sinner; we have all failed God since birth, inheriting sin from Adam.
Romans 5:8, God shows and gives His love to mankind by sending His Son (Jesus) to die for us. The act of Jesus at the cross pays the price for sin (Redemption) and reconciles us to His Father, God, He gives us freedom over sin and death.
Romans 6:23, what we get for being found in sin (wages) is death both physical and spiritual; but God gives us the gift of Love through the death of Jesus, shedding His blood to cover our sins.
Ephesians 2:8, again we find the gift that God gives, we can’t do anything on our own to receive life through Jesus, it is a gift from God. Both passages use the term gift. We should take note; a gift is given freely, it cannot be taken away. God gives (Salvation) and we take or receive (Redemption).
Romans 10:9,10, we must confess, give ourselves, verbally (with the mouth) from what is in our hearts, belief and the truth of Jesus Christ, His birth, death and resurrection. `
The last verse used is actually partially taken out of context but this is one of my favorites. Revelation 3:20, “Behold I am standing at the door knocking, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” When the Holy Spirit is doing His work of conviction you can feel this verse in action. When you received Christ did your heart race and feelings of emotion take control? This is my favorite time when sharing, just to feel the emotions and watch the miracle happen.
My prayer now is that this short article stimulates you to GO and fulfill the command of evangelism. Sharing your faith and telling that wonderful story of Jesus, it cannot be surpassed.