Today we’ll explore the concept of evangelism. There are so many fears and misconceptions wrapped up in this topic, and my hope today is that we’ll simplify it, and get straight to the heart of the issue. As we assess our hearts, may we remain soft and open to the commands and will of God for us.
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
O Come To The Altar | Elevation Worship feat. Israel Houghton
Our good friend Israel Houghton joins us on stage at our Ballantyne location to sing a rendition of “O Come To The Altar”. We loved celebrating our church’s 12-year Anniversary alongside the release of our new Elevation Collective project featuring some of our talented friends.
The idea of evangelism has always been terrifying to me. Going up to someone and interrupting their day to tell them about Jesus, no matter how real and good I know him to be, has never been comfortable for me. But you can’t read Scripture and escape God’s command to share the gospel. You can’t read through the New Testament and discount the reality that the disciples gave themselves entirely—to the point of death—that the world might come to know Jesus.
Verses like Mark 16:15-16 couldn’t be more clear. Jesus commands us, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Evangelism is meant to be a part of our normal lives. It’s not just for the few. It’s not just for pastors or the intensely extroverted. It’s for you and me.
When I assess my own heart I discover that my fears related to evangelism are entirely selfish. In fact, I don’t know if I could do something more selfish than hold back the one hope for the world just to protect my own image. Jesus is clear in Mark 16:16 that those who don’t believe in him will be condemned. It’s like I contain the cure for a deadly disease and rather than sacrificing my image to love them by sharing the one cure, I just let them continue to suffer.
In pondering my own heart I realize that the way to engage in evangelism isn’t fixing myself; it’s getting over myself. Is my image really so important that it’s worth condemnation for another? Are the opinions of others really so important to me that I would withhold from them eternal, abundant life with a God who loves them relentlessly and perfectly?
I am made to share God’s light. I have been commissioned by my King to go out and share his heart. It’s time that we obey God’s command in Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Sure, people might think I’m weird. Sure, it might be a little awkward. But God is after the hearts of his creation, and he’s called me to help. May we be those who set aside our pride, seek humility, and love others whatever the cost. May we be so bold as to set our eyes on heaven and sacrifice this life for the sake of eternity. And may the world change around us as we humbly and courageously proclaim the goodness of our heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on God’s call for you to engage in evangelism.
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
2. What are your fears in regard to evangelism? What holds you back from telling others about the good news of God’s unconditional love?
3. Take time to humble yourself before God and others. Ask him for grace to love others above yourself. Set your eyes on him and open your heart to receive his affection.
In Jesus’ conclusion of the Great Commission he tells his disciples, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Our power for evangelism is that God is with us. He doesn’t send us out alone. His love, power, and presence are fully available to us when we seek to share the gospel with others. When you tell others about Jesus, don’t speak of him as if he’s not with you. Don’t pray as if he doesn’t move and work miracles. Instead, share the reality of God’s nearness with a world that needs to be touched by a revelation of his love. May you be empowered to share the gospel with someone today that they might come to know the power and presence of God.
Extended Reading: Matthew 28 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Matthew 14-28.