He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 8:8)
Evangelism. As Christians we know this word, we hear it all the time. Knowing and doing, however, is very different.
I’ve noticed over time that often the thing that stops people from sharing the Gospel isn’t out of mere laziness or lack of knowledge or by any means ability but rather comfort. Our comfort zone is what is familiar what is comfortable. I am not going to write this post to say that I have by any means conquered the struggle of getting outside my comfort zone for I have not. It is a really hard thing to do and without the power of the Holy Spirit, this task would be utterly pointless.
Whenever I’ve talked with people in regards to evangelizing one of the many things I’ve heard is, “Well I just don’t know much about what they believe so I don’t know if I could do it.” Brothers and sisters this is not a notion from our Lord. Nowhere in the Bible does God command we know everything about everyone else’s beliefs and religions before attempting to share the Gospel with them. For the man whose job is to identify counterfeit money, does he study all the possible variations of fake bills or the one real one? Of course, he is going to study the one real one so that when a counterfeit is present he will be quick to notice the difference between the two. This is the same concept I like to apply to studying the Bible and other religions. It is erroneous to think you must have a perfect or sub-perfect knowledge of every religion or belief system before even approaching them with the truth of the Gospel.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19,20)
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2)
In my experience, my ignorance to the full tenants of someone’s beliefs has been a really powerful witnessing tool. When you are in a conversation with someone and you don’t know what they believe, asking them and spurring discussions off of that is a great way to start having Gospel conversations. However, as believers with extraordinary access to the Bible, we need to be studying our faith so that we can provide answers for the unbeliever when they ask them. By no means am I saying you must know every single thing that is in the Bible. I’ve gotten really random questions about the most obscure things I had never even heard of from the Bible. It is ok to say you don’t know and get back to them with an answer. This is another thing that at first seems like a hindrance to sharing but actually isn’t. Not only are you already having Gospel-centered conversations when the unanswered question comes up, but now when you return to them with an answer. It is yet another immediate Gospel conversation you have the ability to have.
So when I say you need to study our faith I mean you need to be reading the Bible and growing in your love and knowledge of the Lord. The man or woman that does not abide in the Word will not want to or be led to share his/her faith.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4,5)
Last but not least. Your words will never be your words when sharing the Gospel. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and soften hearts and open eyes, not yours. I’ve often struggled with feelings of inadequacy in my Gospel presentations and sometimes feeling like I knocked it out of the park. Both views are flawed. To think my words were not enough says that I think if I did better I could’ve changed their hearts or that the Holy Spirit only convicts when I give a Grammy-worthy Gospel presentations. The other view is flawed because it as well thinks my words can change their heart, that I have the power to do that. Brothers and sisters, you will never change anyone’s heart of stone to flesh- you could not even have changed your own. Only God can. Stop being afraid to exit the comfort zone because of your pride or lack of knowledge or eloquence. You have the truth of the Gospel in your hearts!! Share that with every single person you possibly can!! The urgency is needed and the importance of the message is real and alive.
The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me. (Luke 10:16)
No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. (Luke: 8:16)