“…do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”(2Tim4:5)
To many people, the word “evangelism” is a very intimidating word. As much as evangelism does require you to engage people in dialogue it doesn’t have to be intimidating for you or the person your interacting with. Many people and churches say they “do” evangelism. The question is, however, is it need-orientated?
We, as the church, have a huge responsibility and privilege to be able to god before the Lord in prayer. We actually have the ability to have a dialogue with the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Just stop and think about that for a second. Isn’t it mind blowing? We have the ability to have the ear of God and to bring our requests and needs before Him. That’s one dimension of prayer. The other is bringing Gods desires before Him. God is sovereign all day every day. However, God has sovereignly delegated responsibility and authority to humanity. More specifically, God has given the church the special authority to come before Him, just like Esther before King Ahasuerus (Esther 5:2), and petition Him for His saving power to move upon the lost, drawing them to Himself by His Spirit. God calls us to co-labour with Him in His workings. As we lift up people in our lives before God, He hears our prayer and moves upon the Earth by His Spirit. This so vital for us to understand. I heard it said once that ” Before to talk to man about God, you need to talk to God about man”
In Matthew 25: 31-46, Jesus speaks a parable regarding two and specific groups. The first is a group that enters into the kingdom with the King saying to them,” For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” (v35,36) This first group is referred to as the “righteous ones” (v37). These are the ones redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I want you to notice something. Jesus never said,” when I was lost, you preached to me about how I need to be found”. I think there is a point in this that says, the care that was being shown was preaching a message too. Our lives may be the only gospel people read and we need to represent Christ well. This doesn’t cancel out the need for preaching the Gospel by word. They just need to work in unison.
We are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus’s saving work on the cross for humanity. There is no escaping that reality. Like I said in the introduction, this idea cares with it a stigma that isn’t always positive. We tend to see in our minds someone’s angry face, yelling verses of scripture at someone disrespectfully, who usually ends up storming off completely offended. Look, I am not saying the gospel isn’t offensive. Believe me, the Gospel offends every part of our sinful nature. What I am getting at is this idea that we can treat people in a way that is totally disrespectful, and dishonorable, and then expect them to turn and follow the supposed “God of love” we are telling them about, is absolutely crazy. Yes, we are calling sinners to repentance, but these are people Jesus thought so precious that He left His place in Heaven and took the pain of the cross for. We can be both truthful and kind, unapologetic and respectful. Jesus had a way of gaining the hearts of lost people and building a bridge to speak truth into their lives. I believe this statement is true,” People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Go and share what Jesus has done for you. Let the world hear, feel and see it.