How often do we fail to share the great news of Christ with those that need to hear? Don’t we often find ourselves fearful? Perhaps even ashamed of the gospel of Christ?
One of the goals of any biblical church should be to equip every believer to be a witness, and then encourage each to actually witness! (Shocking, isn’t it?) Such a basic thing ought to be a normal part of the Christian’s life. After all, God left us here for a reason – we don’t get saved and then go directly to heaven. We are commanded by Jesus to go and make disciples, teaching them… (Matt. 28:18-20).
Witnessing and evangelism aren’t only for missionaries or pastors, or even those with the gift of evangelism. (Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!) It is for every redeemed person. Make sure to attend a church that will teach and encourage each to be faithful and obedient in this – wherever you may live. And then trust the Lord to see what He might do with it!
What form should evangelism take? Here are some:
- Friendship (IF it is real evangelism, not just superficial friendship)
- Gospel tracts – a very useful tool
- One-on-one conversations (yes, even cold-turkey)
- Neighborhood Bible studies
- Open air (‘street’) preaching (read about The Lost Art of Street Preaching, or see a very good 7-minute video)
- Inviting friends to church (and then speaking to them about it)
- Yes, your lifestyle should be consistent with the gospel, but that by itself is not evagenlism – you must also speak the gospel
Let’s not limit ourselves where Scripture doesn’t! Click here for a 2-minute audio answer by John MacArthur on the question. Just make sure that the gospel is really presented (law & grace, sin and salvation, repentance and belief) in whatever “methods” you use.
Just as a fisherman may use different baits and lures and hooks and lines and nets, depending on the situation, so, too, the fisher of men may use different legitimate tools and forms – as long as the gospel message is made crystal clear!
If you are brave and want to be challenged, try reading the quotes below – and see if these men of God believed that evangelism is important…
Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story. – K.P. Yohannan
Some want to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. – C.T. Studd
How shall I feel at the judgment, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride? – Dr. W. E. Sangster
If you are not concerned about your neighbor’s salvation, then I am concerned for yours. – Ray Comfort
Nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, “evangelize!,” and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor’s brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it. – Jim Elliff
Evangelism is the perpetual task of the whole church, and not the peculiar hobby of certain of its members. – E. Wilson Carlisle
To call a man evangelical who is not evangelistic is an utter contradiction. – G. Campbell Morgan
Let us make haste to spread the Gospel in the world, for the time is short, not long. – J.C. Ryle
I remember no one sin that my conscience doth so much accuse and judge me for as for doing so little for the saving of souls, and not for dealing with the lost soul ones more fervently and earnestly for their conversion. – Richard Baxter
We ought actually to go into the streets and lanes and highways, because there are lurkers in the hedges, tramps on the highway, street-walkers and lane-haunters, whom we shall never reach unless we pursue them into their own domains. – Charles Spurgeon
To win men to acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is the only reason Christians are left in this world. – R.A. Torrey
Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned? – Leonard Ravenhill
Compelled by this clear biblical mandate [Matt. 28: 19-20], Christians through the centuries have taken the saving message of the gospel to the ends of the earth. It’s the only reason we’re still here. True Christians are already saved and sealed for eternity. There’s no reason to leave us on earth, except for the responsibility of evangelism. – John MacArthur, in Hard to Believe
There are no easy steps to witnessing! No painless, unembarrassing methods! You must bring men to see that they are filthy sinners under the wrath of God who must flee to Christ for mercy. That is offensive. And there is no way to coat it with honey. – Walter J. Chantry
Reckon then that to acquire soul-winning power, you will have to go through mental torment and soul distress. You must go into the fire if you are going to pull others out of it, and you will have to dive into the floods if you are going to draw others out of the water. You cannot work a fire escape without feeling the scorch of the conflagration, nor man a lifeboat without being covered with the waves. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
No man is interested in a piece of good news unless he has the consciousness of needing it; no man is interested in an offer of salvation unless he knows that there is something from which he needs to be saved. It is quite useless to ask a man to adopt the Christian view of the gospel unless he first has the Christian view of sin. – J. Gresham Machen
To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world. And with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven here upon earth. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them. – Richard Baxter
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled with the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I am contented to consume my body, to sacrifice to God’s service, and to spend all that I have, and to be spent myself, for the souls of men. – Richard Baxter
Faith is the gift of God – not the result of the persuasion of the evangelist. – Jerry Bridges
Oh, to realize that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus! – Oswald J. Smith
The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time. – Carl F.H. Henry
Your one business in life is to lead men to believe in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Every other thing should be made subservient to this one objective. – Charles Spurgeon
Some missionaries go to Africa – others travel to the Orient or to Europe. Every missionary goes somewhere. We all have a mission field, if only our own neighborhood or office building. Every corner of the world is a mission field. There are no boundaries in this world beyond which Christian witness is out of bounds. – R.C. Sproul