2020-08-18 - The E-Word
For those of us who believe the Bible is God's word, we know that every one of us has our own individual responsibility in helping to share the Gospel. Some of us have always been intimidated by the e-word, evangelism, which brings to mind going door to door, uninvited, intruding on people's lives to preach at them. But there is much more to it than that. In fact, contrary to bad theology spread by some preachers in my own life in order to scare us into "witnessing," people will NOT go to Hell if I personally don't speak to them; God is just and fair; thus, He would never send another person to Hell because of MY failings. He can always send someone else to share with them, or even give them a Damascus Road experience, like he did for the Apostle Paul.
However, it is not only our responsibility - but actually, it is a blessing that God provides to us, to be allowed to participate in this wonderful process of bringing people into the Kingdom of God. He can and sometimes does do it without us. Not all of us are called to be evangelists in the modern sense of preaching; however, we all do have our part to play. Some of us will indeed be called to be church planters or revival evangelists, but most of us have other roles to play. Some of us are seed planters as teachers or group leaders. For others, the primary responsibility is to pray fervently for people whom we know have not accepted Christ as Savior, as well as those about whom we are not sure. As the manmade but Biblically sound saying goes, "Love the sinner; hate the sin." It doesn't mean we are to just sit back and allow sinful behavior to flourish and even encompass the church, and we Christians have roles to play in this, as well - but that is another topic for another time. ; )
For most of us, the easiest, most natural and least preachy way to share our faith is to simply tell others what God has done for US. This most often happens when someone is going through something that we have already come through, as we offer to pray with them - but it can be done any time that the Lord leads us in such a direction. As Christ told a demon-possessed man whom he healed:
(Mark 5:19, ESV) “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
One of my favorite thoughts on this comes from a man that Richard and I had the joy of meeting several decades ago at a Missions Conference, the late Indian (from the country of India) "evangelist," speaker / writer / friend of God and mankind, Ravi Zacharias, speaking from his heart:
"Over they years, I have discovered that praying with people can sometimes do more for them than preaching to them."
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.