For a lot of people, evangelism elicits one of two kinds of feelings:
- “Evangelism is a work I feel pressured to do.”
- “Evangelism is a joy I feel privileged to participate in.”
I imagine the majority of us want to be in the camp of #2 but often find ourselves in the grasp of #1. So how do we move from one to the other?
I want to walk you through one of the most common pressures people face and how you can approach it as a privilege with a small shift in mindset. I know this is a blog, I know your time is short, but I do encourage you to read through this slowly and give it some serious thought. I am confident your experience in sharing the gospel will change for the better because of your willingness to do so.
The Pressure: Present the Perfect Message
I remember when I trusted Christ. I was 20 and at a funeral of a good friend who had died in the process of doing a lot of the same very dumb things I was doing at that time.
Sometime during the funeral, I was invited to come and talk to a young man who fumbled through a gospel presentation while trying to simultaneously talk to me and read from the tract trembling in his hands. Despite the fact that I knew nothing of the Bible, church, or Jesus, after he finished up, I was convinced Christ was my Savior. But why? Was it because of his perfect, fearless gospel presentation? No, it was because of our perfect Savior who uses even our feeblest attempts to bring people to Himself.
Since then, I can’t tell you how many times I put the “mess” in “message” as I explained the gospel to others. I would think, “I didn’t really explain sin that well…”, “Did I define repentance right?” “Did I use the right illustration?”, and so on. But in the end, what happened? They wanted to place their trust in Christ anyway – despite my imperfections.
So, let me ask you a question.
Were you given a perfect gospel presentation when you trusted in Christ? Have you led people to Christ with only flawless gospel presentations? Probably not.
Of course, I’m not saying, “Just say whatever you want!” What I am saying is when the Holy Spirit leads you to tell someone that Jesus Christ is the only answer to the sin problem we all share, you can open your mouth and obey Him with the confidence that God will take care of everything else. That, my friend, turns the pressure into an incredible privilege.
The Privilege: Present the Perfect Messiah
Read this carefully:
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” – 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
This is one of my favorite portions of scripture when it comes to sharing the magnificence of Jesus. The Greek/Roman culture (much like our own) was so enamored with looking intelligent and sounding wise, but here Paul is saying “I didn’t come with any of that”. He came with one message – Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He came presenting the perfect Messiah, not the perfect message.
This is why in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul proclaimed:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18
It’s not supposed to be a masterstroke in wisdom that convinces all who hear it of your amazing powers of articulation and persuasiveness. It is the wonderful, life-altering message of the cross – and while its simplicity will come across as foolishness to many, this same simplicity will bring eternal life to all who are being saved. Why? Look at those last few words of 1:18 again – because of the power of God.
What an incredible privilege! You can participate in the awesome work of God to bring people to Himself with simplicity of the message of the cross.
What’s stopping you from sharing it now?
Copyright © June 2021 Brock Anderson of Evantell, used with permission.