Editorial on Evangelism

How many people do you know who have been saved in the last year? Having said that, thousands are being saved across the world! Maybe you have had the privilege of leading someone to Christ! If that is the case, that is wonderful; praise the Lord!

Being a Christian is brilliant, but not always easy, but you could be enjoying yourself so much that you forget that one of your basic tasks as a Christian is to witness to unsaved people. Evangelism should be part of the routine activity of every believer, and we must not relegate it to being the specialist activity of a select group of individuals, i.e., evangelists. I know that in the New Testament we have the specific gift of the evangelist, Acts 21. 8, Eph. 4. 11, 2 Tim. 4. 5, but the example of the early church, Acts 8. 4, would lead me to believe that all believers were involved in this work, as a natural consequence of enjoying their own salvation.

One of the motivations for reaching out with the gospel could be summarized in the words of the Samaritan lepers who discovered the deserted camp of the Syrian Army. On arriving at the camp it looked to them like the Syrians had fled in a hurry, leaving everything behind. All the food and provisions that the people of Samaria needed so badly were there for the taking. How selfish it would have been if they had just sat down and enjoyed the free food, while their fellow countrymen were starving and dying just a short distance away! Listen to what they said, ’We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace’, 2 Kgs. 7. 9. Generally speaking, it looks as if most Christians are enjoying the free grace of God, but failing to recognize that there is a world of people out there who are desperately in need of what we have.

Imagine the impact on our society if we were so thrilled with the joy of our salvation that we were consistently driven to tell our friends, neighbours, and colleagues about it, because we did not want them to miss out. The recent ‘ice bucket challenge’ spread like wildfire across the world. Christians and non-Christians alike got involved, raising millions for worthy charities. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, as Christians, got just as excited about the Lord Jesus, heaven, and eternal life?

Let me ask you another serious question – will you be embarrassed when you stand before the Lord Jesus at the judgement seat of Christ, Rom. 14. 10. Are you in danger of being reminded that you lived a life of ease, and ignored your responsibilities to witness? Maybe you spend a lot of time studying and discussing the Bible, that’s good. Don’t forget to plan time, and activities, to tell people about Jesus. If you read the life stories of men like C T Studd and Jim Elliott, which is a great habit to get into, you will find the common thread of an infectious desire to know God more intimately, and to reach people with the love of God.

The Prime Motivator

The prime reason, but not the only reason, for spreading the good news of salvation is because the Lord Jesus told us to. Matthew and Mark record that the Lord told ‘the eleven’ to go and teach and preach, Matt. 28. 19; Mark 16. 15. Mark describes the occasion: Jesus appeared to them while they were having a meal. He reprimands them for not believing what their friends had told them about the resurrection. And, immediately, He instructs them to go to everyone in the world with the good news. There are a number of lessons that we can learn from this passage.

  1. Outreach is not dependent on the strong faith of the individual, but on their obedience to the Master’s command to get out with the message. 
  2. The Lord can deal with our doubts and fears.
  3. The gospel message has no ‘no go’ zones, geographically, or socially, i.e., the gospel spans all cultural barriers, all social distinctions, and is for every person living on planet earth. 

Can I give you an ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’? A wake up call! Time is short! The world is heading for disaster! The Lord Jesus could come again sooner than you think! Get out with the good news of Jesus Christ. It’s all we have to offer!

(To be continued).

Stephen Baker