Faith is a sensitive subject. It’s not the easiest thing to talk to people about. The call to follow Christ is a weighty one. It is packed with moral baggage and inconvenience, demanding a shift in our outlook on life and the way we live. This, among many other factors, makes sharing the Gospel difficult. Therefore, there are things we must remember to encourage ourselves as we do so.
1. Remember your message
Firstly, you must remember your message. The Gospel is simple enough for a child to understand (Mark 10:14), yet so profound that we will fail to comprehend the fullness of its depth in this lifetime. There are elements of creation, the fall, redemption and restoration of those who have been redeemed and the world large. Stripped down to its most basic elements, we have a message of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life centred on the Person and work of Jesus Christ (John 3:16; John 5:24). Jesus came to rescue sinners and bring them into a relationship with the holy God from whom they’ve been separated in their sin by dying in their place and His resurrection from the dead.
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
2. Remember that this is a spiritual work
Moreover, sharing the Gospel is a spiritual work. Naturally, our hearts are not receptive to the Gospel. Before being born again, we may have been adamant that we did not need the Gospel. Convinced that we were not that sinful, that sin is not that serious or that we were good enough to be accepted by God on our own merit. This is because sin pollutes our minds, wills and emotions. Therefore, we were unrighteous and rejected God (Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:9-12). Spiritually speaking, all people are dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-5). Loving the darkness as opposed to the light (John 3:19) – the former being a metaphor for evil and ungodliness. Lacking understanding of the things of God (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14).
Believers are not better than non-believers. This is how we were (Ephesians 2:4-5), and these are the people we now converse with. Only God can give sight to the spiritually blind. Supernatural intervention is required to bring a person to acceptance and belief in the Gospel. Only then will they receive Christ as their Saviour and follow Him as their Lord. Therefore, effective evangelism begins on your knees.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.2 Corinthians 4:4
3. We proclaim the Gospel
Our job is to simply proclaim the Gospel. We have good news, the greatest story ever told which transforms lives. God is looking for willing people to proclaim it. In ancient times, heralds were the messengers who proclaimed war or peace to the community. They were the bearers of good news. In a like manner, we are heralds, God’s messengers with the most glorious news. Our message is the good news of peace and the salvation of God through Jesus Christ. Accordingly, it is through our proclamation of the Gospel that God saves people (Romans 10:13-17).
How beautiful on the mountainsIsaiah 52:7
are the feet of the herald,
who proclaims peace,
who brings news of good things,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
4. God saves, you don’t
God saves people, you don’t. We are powerless in bringing anyone to faith in Christ. God alone possesses the power to give new supernatural life to the natural person who is dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13) so that they may understand and respond to the Gospel. By His mercy, people believe because they are transformed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). In short, we proclaim, God saves. As Jonah realised ‘Salvation belongs to the LORD’ (Jonah 2:9).
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,Titus 3:5
5. Leave the results to God
Lastly, when sharing the gospel, we leave the results to God. The truth is that some will believe and others won’t. However, this should not discourage us. We must never place limitations on God. Never believe that some people are beyond His reach. Scripture is replete with examples of the most ungodly people coming to faith in Jesus Christ. In the Gospels, we see a cheating tax collector turn from his conniving ways to follow Jesus (Luke 19:1-10). At Calvary, we see a thief being crucified next to Jesus come believe in Jesus’ messiahship and request entrance into His kingdom (Luke 23:42-43). In the Acts of the Apostles, we see the most devout Jew and zealous persecutor of Christians become the most relentless evangelist, with exception of Jesus, who wrote nearly half of the New Testament (Acts 9:1-19). Hence, we must never lose hope. Wherever we are, God has prepared people to respond to the Gospel, receive Jesus as their Saviour and follow Him (Acts 13:48).
Keep sharing the good news, remembering the 5 points above as you do so. Share the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God. For how will they believe in the One whom they have not heard (Romans 10:14)?