The most prominent demonstration of our Christian faith is Evangelism. It is at once, both an outward expression of the love and concern we posses for our fellow human beings, and the inward commitment and obedience we have to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When someone accepts Christ and experiences salvation there is a natural desire for them to tell others about Jesus. Take for example, the Apostle Paul's Damascus Road experience. The Bible tells us that…
"At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20)
And also, we have the story of the man whom Jesus saved from being plagued by evil spirits. The Bible says the man,
"...begged to go with Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him." (Luke 8:38-40)
In just these two scriptures, we can see both the compelling desire of the individual to tell others about Jesus, and the command of Christ to share His Gospel. Jesus gave them a duty to perform, the mission of telling others how to be saved. This mission is for all believers in all times. Even to us, in our time.
Yet, once again, much of the contemporary Church in the West has fallen short on its' mission to evangelize. Today, bold, honest and straight forward evangelism is shied away from by a large number of pastors because it may frighten away prospective new members. Truth be known, these pastors either privately or openly equate the Evangelist as a tactless, simple minded, and even mean spirited purveyor of a judgmental Christianity. They prefer their own "kinder, gentler, un-offensive, and more loving " brand of evangelism. At most, they might consider a light evangelistic themed sermon once a year with perhaps a casual, and very brief allusion to an altar call at the end of the service.
"Your prophets courted you with sweet talk. They didn't face you with your sin so that you could repent. Their sermons were all wishful thinking, deceptive illusions." (Lamentations 2:14) (Msg)
Sadly, they have lost their first love, that zealous desire they had when they first came to Christ - to tell everyone of how Jesus saves. As a result, congregations are not being taught or encouraged to witness, and their surrounding communities of influence are left wanting. Christ Himself warned the church in Ephesus about this…
"I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." (Revelation 2:4-5)
Ephesus may have been the first church to receive this message, but it was not the last. This warning stands before the lukewarm churches, pastors, and teachers of today. Regardless of indifference or opposition, the Remnant must compel the church to evangelize, even if it means persecution.
"...with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts." (1 Thessalonians 2)
Token evangelism will not stand. The stakes are too high.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
This is the Gospel that must be proclaimed, and God has given the Remnant the boldness to proclaim it.
"For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6)
Evangelism, Evangelism, Evangelism, the heart of the Church must be Evangelism! There can be no compromise on this command of Christ. We must hold our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable for sharing the Gospel, for we all will be held accountable to Christ if we do not.
First, bathe everything in prayer. Stop right now and pray for those you know who are not saved. Pray that the name of Jesus touches their heart and mind even now. Pray for a witness to them and seek an opportunity. Pray for the wayward pastors and leaders who deny Christ's imperative to evangelize. Pray they repent and return to their "first love". (Rev. 2:4-5) Ask the Lord to give you increased boldness, and for the Remnant.
Below are some scriptures related to Evangelism. There are many, many more... Review the other sections in the VOTR's "Remnant Scripture & Insights", and the "What is A Christian?" link for VOTR visitors who may be seeking. Also, be sure to check the "Links & Resources" page for some fine web sites with witnessing tools and helps.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. " (John 3:16-17)
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." (Romans 5:6)
What we earned from our sin was death, "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"... if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10)
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)
"...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 1and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-12)
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)
The Evangelistic Heart & Mind:
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..." (Romans 1:15)
"Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16)
"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
"...they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere." (Luke 9:6)
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." (Ephesians 6:19)
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." (Acts 20:24)
The Authority & Call to Evangelize:
"He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead." (Acts 10:42)
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life..." (2 Timothy 1:7)
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.." (Ephesians 1:13)
"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." (Philemon 1:6)
"...the gospel must first be preached to all nations." (Mark 13:10)
"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15)
"The Great Commission:...Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
"Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." (Acts 5:42)