As believers, we must understand that we are privileged to have been brought into such a wonderful union and splendor with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in fellowship.
We have been called out of darkness, into His marvelous light, to show forth His praises.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Pet.2:9 (KJV)
This verse tells us a lot about the intention of God for the saved.
Firstly, we are saved, we who have received the salvation by acknowledging Jesus as the son of God.
But this is not the end of the matter. The intention of God is that the nations of the earth be blessed by us, the believers, and how? By bringing the world also into this new life as we have found it also.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” Matt.28:19
The sole intention of God is that we love the world (the lost), even as He loves them;
”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jn 3:16
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” 1 Jn 4:8
These verses illustrate the mind of God for the creation, and also as such we must have the mind of Christ (Phi. 2:5).
So, in these last days, the avenue God has created for believers to reach the lost sheep, is through evangelism.
What is Evangelism?
Evangelism simply means sharing news of something in order to convince someone to join or otherwise accept it.
In the context of Christianity, this means sharing the ‘good news’ about the coming, the death and resurrection of Jesus, to the end that whoever believes and acknowledges Him as the only way to the Father has received eternal life (life everlasting);
“… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jn. 14:6
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 Jn. 5:10
To tell people about the love of God, which He has shown unto mankind by the death of His son, is to evangelize, and whoever does this is an evangelist.
Although there is an office of the evangelist (Eph. 4:11), naturally as believers, we have all been called to this great assignment as we have seen in Matt. 28:19.
How do we evangelise?
Well, it goes without saying that preparation is key to achievement. As believers, the bible encourages us on multiple occasions to be prepared. Jesus said, “watch and pray”, admonishing the believer to always engage the tool of prayer while watching as well.
Before we share this news or information that burns in out spirit, we must remember the bible always talks of knowledge and understanding as key tools to our victory. So, before we set out to fulfill the great commission, we must be knowledgeable in the things of God. Paul puts it like this;
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15
So, with the zeal in our hearts and the passion to tell the world about Christ, this must be balanced by a certain level of knowledge about the gospel we preach, that we may not be ashamed when tough times surface.
Where and when do we evangelise?
When Jesus said, “Go ye therefore…”, this context is rendered to mean into the systems of the world, that is every place we can find ourselves as believers. When we are in the educational system, media, business, politics, health, real estate, fashion, etc., whatever and wherever we may find ourselves, this will be our sphere of influence, where we teach the world about the ways of Christ and His kingdom. Where we do things differently, not been conformed to the pattern of this world. For the bible says;
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31
Therefore, in all things we do, our lives must be an epistle to those in the world. We must be the light and salt of the earth, showing love to one another and also showing the world the love of Christ.
Evangelism should not be for special occasions, but must be a part of our everyday life.
The right way to go about evangelising
While there are no spelt-out steps to follow when in the field, we can always look at some principles and methods Jesus and His apostles used in the bible.
When we engage people on the subject of salvation, we should;
- Ask God for guidance and direction when going out on planned evangelism.
- Be sometimes led by the Spirit for special ministrations (Acts 8:29).
- Not inconvenience people we intend to speak to.
While the message of the gospel is urgent to every lost soul, it really does little or no good to someone who’s not interested or is absent minded at the time. Remember, men came to Jesus, which showed their desire to know and learn rather than being forced to listen. And this same pattern we find with all the apostles, take Phillip for example in Acts 8:30-39.
- Use words and analogies or explanations that are not beyond the comprehension levels of the engaged. Make it as simple as possible to understand. For the kingdom of God is not in words;
“And my speech and preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 1 Cor. 2:4
- Make it a dialogue, and not a monologue. Most times, people have a skewed understanding of the kingdom of God and the things of God, so Jesus tells the scribe, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God…” (Mrk. 12:34), and may only need a little knowledge to correct this error. Talking and letting them also tell you how they understand certain topics, can help you convince them faster in areas they may be wrong and just need a little nudge in the right direction, and ultimately converting them to the faith.
While these are only a few guidelines to make our evangelism more effective, this is not the ultimate guide to evangelism, and much of it is really anchored on the leading of the Spirit of God at work in us.
Therefore, brethren go out in boldness and confidence as you tell the people around you about Christ and His life. For we must start from those closest to us, as Jesus said, “… Beginning at Jerusalem…” (Lk. 24:47), our immediate surrounding must be first partakers of our message.