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Humanity has a natural inclination towards religious living. Many religions and pious people claim to have the answers to life through their religion. But hypocrisy easily exposes religion for what it is, beliefs that are “talk" and nothing more.
Jesus challenged His disciples to allow God to do an “inner work” in their hearts. When men and women observe this “inner work” – they would realise it is not shallow or phoney – but something wonderful. It will stir the observer to investigate and ask questions.
Not every disciple gets this right. We are a work in progress after all. Over time as the Lord refines us, the change becomes more evident in the way we love God and people.
Evangelism is part of the “THIRD major commandment” that Jesus gave His disciples. (Some may also call it the “Great Commission”).
Evangelism is not the same as proselytism or forced conversions to the Christian faith. It has nothing to do with any group or church that forces people to convert to their beliefs.
Evangelism is the work that every believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit should engage in. The Holy Spirit sends us out as messengers to relate the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of God’s Kingdom to people. This message is GOOD NEWS because it tells the spiritual dead and religious how they can leave the old life behind to become spiritually alive to God. The GOOD NEWS touches on various topics but all lead to this result. Every person on planet earth is different and so people are reached in different ways. The Bible tells us that Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of God…
- God speaks through the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most important messengers used to reach people. God has used supernatural encounters to meet with men and women. Such encounters are recorded for us in the Bible. These encounters are experienced even today in the form of dreams and visions, where God speaks to people and reveals His son Jesus to them (as promised in Joel 2:28 / Acts 2:17-18).
- God also uses human messengers. God uses people and their life stories (or testimonies) which tell of how they became followers of Jesus. These life stories are evidence of God’s saving power at work on the earth. Other messengers may operate using the gifts of Evangelism to preach a Holy Spirit inspired Word with Biblical backing. In addition, many who go out ask the Holy Spirit to equip with known Tongues, Prophetic Words of Wisdom, Knowledge and Gifts of Healing. These gifts empower and confirm what the human messengers are saying.
- God may use multimedia or literature to reach people. Television as well as online and printed resources have been a great tool in assisting the great commission.
Anyone who would desire an authentic spiritual relationship with the God of heaven and earth, can respond positively to these messengers of the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM. Evangelism affords people the choice by God to follow and believe in Him. If they call on God for salvation from their sins, the Lord is then allowed to do an “inner work” in their hearts so that the blood of Jesus will ransom and rescue them from the consequences of sin. The Lord also changes their destination, He redirects them through repentance. Each day God works on our hearts and minds so that they will be turned to Him and away from this world and the dead works of religion.
Where can you start?
Evangelism is being a light to the world – a witness to our families, communities, our country and the nations. Jesus tells us to be an effective witness.
We need to see ourselves as a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14 – 16). A city is a physical place. It stands out on the horizon, day and night. It glows with light and life, often obscuring the brightest stars in the heavens. Likewise, we need to stand out not just by what we say but also by what we do, how we live and eventually by what think.
How are you and I supposed to be light?
We start at all times with prayer.
- Ask the Lord to give you a passion and a love for people of all races, sex, religions and backgrounds.
- Pray for your Family, Community, City and the Nations. Our reaching out to others always starts at home. Ask God for open doors in these various arenas. No place is off-limits for God to work, through prayer we ask God to cross into places we have no access to yet.
- Remember, praying to a living God will bring a real response. God will open doors for you as a messenger of the GOOD NEWS.
- Ask God for wisdom and strategy. For example, wisdom will help you how to share the GOOD NEWS in the workplace without stealing from company time. Strategy is spiritual insight/revelation so that you may understand the obstacles (spiritual, soulish and physical) that may prevent reaching others in a specific place and time. The revelation will help you understand God’s strategy, and this will allow you to align yourself with this strategy.
- Finally, you cannot go without the Baptism (overflow) of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Religious and worldly people struggle to break out of the lies and programming of Satan. This will mean that Satan may stir within them opposition or persecution against you. The Holy Spirit gives power, boldness, conviction, words, truth, comfort and advocacy to God’s messengers.
Learn to be a listener.
- Everyone wants to speak. Very few want to take the time to listen. Jesus allowed some of His harshest critics to ask their questions or give their mocking remarks. He wasn’t afraid of what people would say.
- People often reveal their hearts by what they say (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45, Proverbs 4:23). We cannot answer peoples’ “need” if we do not know what that need is. Listening will help uncover the need. The Holy Spirit will highlight what is important.
- Listening is a key to unlocking authority. When we listen first, generally the intended audience extends the curteousy to you for you to speak to them. You may have to listen for 10 minutes or longer, and the audience may only give you a minute to respond. Never fear because the Holy Spirit can empower that one minute that it can transport the listener into the very presence of God. One second in God’s presence is more powerful than a 100-minute sermon of no power. Jesus often met with people for a few moments but that was all the Holy Spirit needed to save and heal them.
One way we can be the light is by sharing our life story.
- How did God touch you or redeem and change your broken life?
- Share with others the mighty work of God
- How did the Lord save you from poor choices?
- How did Jesus save you from sin?
- How did God rescue you from the mess you found yourself in?
- You can also share how God brought peace, answers and hope in your darkest hours (Psalm 9:1, 2 Timothy 1:8, 1 Peter 3:15).
Another way we can be the light is by doing good works to bless people within our families, communities, our country and the nations.
- Our works should speak to the world (Matthew 5:16, James 2:14 – 26). The works we do will speak of a life that has been touched by something out of this world.
- Generosity is not common – even among some professing Christians. A life touched by Jesus will stir within us a desire to bless others. Our abundance becomes a shared experience that will bring the Father glory.
- Our good works do not save us but rather they serve as evidence to the outsider that something special has happened within the heart of those shining for God.
Another way we can be the light is to be a friend to others during the hard times… especially to those who are outcast, mistreated, sick, lonely, hurting, abused, abandoned, afraid and helpless.
- Many people are broken by the evil world ruled by Satan. You and I can make a powerful difference by simply being a friend to another. Remember there was a time before you became a Christian that someone befriended you while you were a sinner (Romans 5:8).
There are others, such as missionaries and evangelists that purposefully meet people for evangelism sake. Evangelism should be taken up by all members of the Body of Christ (the Church of Jesus) and not just by evangelists and missionaries.
Remember we are the sheep – and in the Church, it is sheep that multiply sheep. We all need to see multiplication. Reinhard Bonnke said: it is the “plundering of hell to populate heaven".
BEFORE YOU START EVANGELISING – GET INTO PRAYER…
- Make a list of people you have in your heart to speak to, or to love through good works.
- Ask God to help you reach those people – one at a time.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would open their hearts to hear you and to see the love of Jesus by your actions.
- Ask the Lord to help you live like His disciple, not as a religious hypocrite.
- Ask the Lord to help you forgive those who reject your message and acts of love and kindness.
- Ask the Lord to give you the strength to move on to the next person who is on your list if you have been rejected. Remember it is not you that they are rejecting, it is the Lord they are rejecting.
- Follow up with those you have had a positive response with. Build a relationship and build trust. It takes time but people are valuable and worth it.
- Ask the Lord to help you refer those who have chosen to receive Jesus and believe in Him to a suitable mature person(s) who can assist in the person(s)’ discipleship.
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