Evangelism is scary. Because the good news of Jesus’ arrival, life, death, and resurrection encompasses every aspect of our lives, to share this truth with an unbeliever is to inform them that the entirety of their worldview is not only skewed, but wrong.
I never claimed to have all the answers, in fact, my wife reminds me everyday that I don’t, but I do want to caution you with some truths that the Lord has recently been reminding me of.
We cannot effectively share our faith until we understand these universal truths:
We are charged with the task of calling the world to repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4).
God cannot forgive us something we don’t think we are guilty of. Therefore, in order to be forgiven one needs to repent.
Preaching repentance does not mean convicting people of their sin.
I fear that sometimes we think our role in the great commission is that we have been sent to convince/convict the world of sin. No, our job is not to convict, that is the role of the Holy Spirit, we have been sent to tell the world about Jesus. It is only when the Holy Spirit opens someones eyes to see Jesus, I mean really see Jesus, that they have the opportunity to respond in one of two ways:
- they can respond like Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am lost” (Isaiah 6:5).
- or, they can respond as the rich young ruler, “At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Mark 10:22).
In light of His holiness, we all see our sin.
Here is the lie that I believe: if I can just convince them that Jesus is real, then they will repent and believe.
However, that is not the case in Mark 10. When the rich young ruler sees God incarnate, the man Christ Jesus, he asks plainly, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (10:17). He is told exactly what he must do to be saved [not that the act would have saved him, for there is no salvation but in the final work of Christ on the cross, but the request in and of itself laid bare the condition of his heart]. AND STILL, he walked away sad. Sad because he knew what he was forfeiting.
There are times I am pleading with God, what must I do to see this person saved? Is it my technique? Am I coming across too strong? Should I change my cologne? And in that moment I hear the Lord say three things:
- You have forgotten that you cannot save them. Salvation belongs to the LORD.
- Their response is not your responsibility, that is between Me and them.
- Of course they are not listening to you, they don’t listen to Me either (Ezekiel 3).
So take heart. Success lies not in decisions but in precision of relaying this message:
- Christ came
- Christ died
- Christ rose
- Christ will come again
Then prove it with your life.
1 DISCLAIMER:Here’s what I am NOT saying, ‘love wins’. I didn’t say just love them and they will see their sin. No, love doesn’t win, truth wins.
I am not saying, “preach the Gospel and when necessary use words.” Words are ALWAYS necessary (Romans 10).
I am saying preach with both words and deeds. What I am trying to remind you of is that you are not alone in your evangelistic efforts; the Holy Spirit, who is God, has not abandoned you. On the contrary, He is working in you and through you for His good pleasure.