“To evangelize is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.”
Given the above, it’s quite natural to ask the question “WHY is personal evangelism such a great privilege?”
The answer is quite simple, actually. God, being God, doesn’t need us to save anyone! He can save anyone he wants, whenever & wherever he wants, and however he wants. God has not only decided (decreed) to save a remnant for himself out of fallen humanity, he has decided (decreed) the means by which that remnant would be saved. We know and have probably memorized the following passage:
“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “– Romans 10:13
In the next two passages, Paul shares with us what I like to call ‘The Golden Chain of Evangelism’:
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:13-15
People who have believed the truth concerning Jesus Christ’s death for their sin (substitutionary atonement) call upon him for salvation. In order to first believe, they need to have been told what it is they are to believe, and those who do the telling do so because they have been sent to do exactly that – share Jesus.
That brings us to another question; “WHO are the ‘sent ones’, and WHO sends them”? Another good question, especially since you might be thinking that the ‘sent ones’ are pastors, Sunday school/Bible study teachers, or specially gifted evangelists like Billy Graham. That’s OK.
I would just like to propose to you that Jesus says that if you are a follower of Christ (disciple) YOU are a ‘sent one’! Listen to what Jesus had to say to his followers (disciples) when he appeared to them after his resurrection:
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” – John 20:19-21
There you have it. If we are followers of Christ, we are ‘sent ones’, commissioned by our Savior himself to share the good news!
Remember this though, that although we are sent to share the gospel message, when we do share Jesus we can in no way take any credit when someone actually believes the truth we share and ‘calls upon’ the Lord. How’s that for a lead in to another post!