By Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus
Today I am at The Cove (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Training Center), in beautiful Asheville, NC–attending a three-day conference on evangelism with my friend and colleague Alex McFarland of Alex McFarland Evangelistic Ministries. Alex’s conference on “Effective Evangelism in the 21st Century” will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about evangelism. It’s also certain to be a great challenge, as well as a great motivation, to share the gospel message even more.
Before discussing the reasons to witness/evangelize, let’s remember that evangelism can simply be understood as sharing Jesus and our faith with others. The word evangelism comes from the Greek word euangelion, which means good news. The word gospel derives from euangelos, meaning to bring good news, which comes from eu + angelos (messenger). To witness is to testify, or speak of, the good news of the gospel.
Jesus commissioned us to testify of Him, so evangelism is to be a relevant and significant part of every Christian’s life. Therefore, Reasons for Hope is dedicating this whole week to the importance of sharing our faith with the lost and also with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please read today’s Got Questions, watch for Thursday’s Two Minute Teaching and read Friday’s Power of Hope. It’ll be like a shot of adrenaline to boost your desire to witness and evangelize.
Since I am at the conference right now (Monday-Wednesday, 4/27-29) I wrote this article last week, prior to the great lessons that Alex is teaching. This will be a brief reminder of the reasons we are to share our faith, and hopefully, it will be a motivation to tell others more about Jesus and share His saving grace more often.
Three Reasons to Witness
1) The number one reason to witness is our love for Jesus. When we consider what He has done for us in forgiving our sins and giving us new life in Him, we should be overwhelmed with love and gratitude and it should pour forth like a garden hose to water gospel seeds that we plant and those planted by others. We should desire to share our love for Jesus with others.
2) Jesus has commissioned and commanded us to do so (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15). In sharing our faith with others we fulfill our commission as ambassadors for the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20) and we serve the Lord.
3) Our hearts should break for that which breaks the heart of Jesus. The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all will come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). We should great have compassion and love for those who do not know Jesus. They need to hear (Romans 10:13-14, 17). We know what their eternal destiny will be (John 3:18) and we do not want them to take their last breath and face judgment (Hebrews 9:27) without their sins being forgiven and Christ’s righteousness having been given to them (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Remember the Three
Those are the three very simple reasons to evangelize. Let’s summarize because they are the three reasons from which all other reasons derive.
- We start with Jesus and our love for Him (Commandment #1, Mat 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27).
- We remember the Lord’s work in us and His work for us and that we are His ambassadors to preach His gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20, Ephesians 6:19-20)
- We consider and love our neighbor (Commandment #2, Mat 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27) and we remember the gift and power of the Holy Spirit to direct and guide our hearts and words. The Holy Spirit will create in us a desire to share our faith and He will give us the ability to do so.
As we reflect back on Resurrection Sunday, only a few short weeks ago, let us look upward and focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and then move forward to love and serve our neighbors (Romans 10:15, 2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus desires our love and worship and our neighbor needs our good works. May we honor and glorify Jesus by loving and serving our neighbors….and that includes telling them about Jesus.
One last thing to remember. Witnessing, and evangelizing, is not only for the lost. One of the biggest misconceptions in the church today is that once someone is saved they move beyond their need of the gospel, the good news of Jesus’ saving grace. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day, as a way of remembering our great God, all He has done for us and who we are in Him. We are never to move beyond the gospel. We are to move more deeply into the gospel.
In the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ, share your Saviour and your faith with someone today. And preach the gospel to yourself, remembering …
Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14 )
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