THE HOPE THAT IS WITHIN US
For many people, and probably your disciple, evangelism does not come naturally. We sense the social awkwardness of talking about spiritual things. That’s why it’s important to demonstrate, from Scripture, why we should engage in sharing our faith. This will bring about a conviction to do evangelism in the absence of feeling like it. What follows are four biblical reasons for doing evangelism and how you might share these biblical motivations with a small group or someone you disciple.
The reason for doing evangelism is the very same reason for our existence. Why do we exist? In order to bring glory to God. What is glory? Perhaps the best way to think of glory is our word “fame.” We live to declare the wonders of God, or to make Him famous. When we love others with God’s love, or give Him thanks in all things, we are singing His praises– making Him famous. When we choose not to sin, we declare to the world that God is more satisfying than sin. We are declaring His greatness. You might ask your disciple how doing evangelism brings God glory or makes Him famous.
PEOPLE ARE LOST
2 Cor. 4:4 states that,
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
This is the tragic, but accurate, depiction of the state of people apart from Christ. Satan is holding them hostage, keeping them in prison, and blinding them to the Gospel. As Paul states in Ephesians, they are “without hope and without God in the world.” You might ask your disciple in what ways they have witnessed this blindness, or how does Satan keep people blinded?
For your disciple to grow in his understanding of evangelism, it is important that he or she believes the Scripture in its description of people as lost and separated from the love of God.
Here it would be easy to get into a discussion about what happens to those who haven’t heard the Gospel. Such cases must be left to God’s brilliance and sovereignty. He’s not scratching His head about such issues. The truth is that the Scriptures don’t describe a Plan B; only Plan A, which is for Christians to go tell those who are lost about Christ.
You might suggest to your disciple that a good place to start is to make a list of friends and family who are lost, and to begin praying for them: that they would come to know Christ.
2 Corinthains 5:18-20 touches on the evangelistic motivation of stewardship. God has entrusted us with the responsibility of being His ambassadors:
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
This is an idea worthy of some exploration. You might ask your disciple what it means to be an ambassador. Or, “What difference would it make if he or she went out each day seeing themselves as God’s ambassador? Have they seen God use them in this way?” Or, “Why do you think God chooses to make His appeal through us?” You want to ask some questions to help this truth, and responsibility, penetrate their hearts.
INCREASING OUR JOY
The apostle John in the beginning of his first epistle states, “We write this to make our joy complete.” To better understand this, let me ask you a question: Is it possible to sit down and eat your favorite meal with a group of friends and not make some grunt (mmm!) or explicative of approval? Of course not! Why? We instinctively want to complete our joy.
When we truly delight in something, the way in which we complete our joy is to tell others, or say (mmm!). This is the physics of joy and it must complete its circuit in order to be fully enjoyed.
Why do we share Christ with others? It completes our joy. If we are enjoying our walk with Christ, our Christian experience is still incomplete until we can share it with another.
Perhaps the greatest thing we can do to excel our own walk and joy in the Lord is to be engaged in sharing this joy with others.