Evangelism: Share the Good News
We talk about what we love. Evangelism is talking about the Good News that Jesus is the Lord of the universe, the Savior of humanity, and the Lover of each and every person that ever lived.
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
We talk about what we love. Evangelism is talking about the Good News that Jesus is the Lord of the universe, the Savior of humanity, and the Lover of each and every person that ever lived. Mark reports the inauguration of Jesus’ ministry with this mini-sermon: “The time has come,” he announced. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).
It is good, good news that Jesus loves every person in your reach – whether they believe it right now or not.
Meeting Jesus Is The Key To Life
In a world scarred by sin, guilt, shame, and confusion, there is no better news than the news that Jesus is King, that he is setting things right, forgiving sin and healing souls. On a personal level, you may remember the moment when a saving knowledge of Jesus erupted in your heart, and you were filled with a powerful awareness of God’s love for you for the very first time.
But the gift of meeting Jesus doesn’t stop there. For those who will believe in him, Jesus offers the invitation to be adopted into the family of God. The lonely are placed into a family that lasts forever, where the rich become brothers and sisters with the poor, where prejudices fall under the weight of God’s mercy for us all, and where servanthood displaces power as the path to greatness.
What’s more, those who know Jesus need not fear death, for they have the hope of eternal life – eternal life that isn’t only in the future, but can begin now! We are offered the promise of a new creation – starting with a new identity as a child of God.
It would be unspeakable, having heard such Good News, having tasted of the benefits of the Kingdom – not to share it with others! It would be like having the light people need, but hiding it under a basket. It would be like salt that doesn’t have any taste. It would be like a poor woman finding an endless supply of bread, but refusing to bring any to her family and friends!
Evangelism Takes Different Forms
A witness is someone who has seen and experienced something, and then reports it. In fact, it is illegal to tamper with a witness, or to train a witness. A witness simply “tells it as they experienced it.”
The Good News of God’s love for individuals is to be both proclaimed and demonstrated. The people of Jesus have always been known for healing the sick, serving the poor, and caring for the needy. Encounters with the power and presence of God can open a closed heart more quickly than many spoken words. And we demonstrate what it looks like when the Kingdom comes. We offer verbal witness, explaining what this new life is that we are demonstrating – a life that Jesus offers, through his death and resurrection, a new birth that comes by faith.
The first step of effective evangelism begins in our own hearts. It begins by experiencing the love of God so deeply that it oozes out of us. John exclaims in his first letter, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us His children, and that is what we are!” (John 3:1 NLT).
Restoring A Loving Vision Of God
When religion goes wrong, we fail to see God as a generous, loving Father. Click To Tweet We may begin to view Him as a harsh taskmaster, or a distant ruler. We may wonder why anyone else would be interested in relationship with such a being!
If this has happened to us, if our view of God is so dim that we don’t have any desire to share Him with others, the proper response is not to beat ourselves up or feel guilty. Rather, it is to go to God to ask for refreshing from His Spirit. It is to go to our brothers and sisters to ask them to pray for us, that our eyes would be opened to the depth of God’s love for us.
When our view of God is restored, when we’ve been healed and are full of the love of God, we will begin to naturally look for opportunities to share that Good News with others!
The biblical term for this is activity is witness. Jesus tells us that we will be full of the Spirit, and will bear witness to the goodness of Jesus all over the world (Acts 1:8). We are witnesses, and we bear witness to what God has done.
Evangelism is not a program, nor is it the result of over-work. Evangelism is about the over-flow of a soul, full of the goodness of God, in the presence of another.
We Are Witnesses
Notice that we ourselves are not the saviors! We don’t offer other people perfect love; we ourselves cannot forgive, heal, and deliver. We simply witness to the One who can. We offer our own story, the stories of Scripture, and prayer for the presence of the Spirit, Who will authenticate the message.
Healthy evangelism puts all the pressure on God. We are simply witnesses ofHis goodness and power.
Jesus himself recognizes that not all people will respond to the Good News in the same way. In Matthew 13, he tells the story of a farmer who sows seed – a metaphor for the proclamation of the Gospel. It is understood that not all the seed will produce fruit – some will fall on a road, and some will be choked out by thorns or rocks. Our job is simply to witness to the love and power of God, knowing that some will respond, and some will not. This should neither shock nor disappoint us.
Of course, over time, we will develop increasingly effective methods for sharing the Good News. Churches will organize various kinds of outreach, we will get more skilled at telling our stories, and we will become more courageous at offering prayer or prophetic insight to others.
And some people, by the grace of God, will be seem to be more fruitful than others in evangelism. That is wonderful, but sometimes we use this as an excuse to withhold sharing about Jesus’ love for us and others. We are all called to simply bear witness to the world around us that Jesus offers overwhelming love to all people – and especially to the person in front of us.
When we are witnesses to others of His love – then we do it again, with every opportunity God brings our way.