Article by Sheldon Ko (summary by John Warren Antalika)Contributors at GraceLife London
Why are you left here in this world as a Christian? Is it to worship God? Is it to be like Christ? Yes would be the right answer to these questions but the reality is that God could take us to heaven immediately after we are saved and we’ll do these things perfectly there. We’ll be fully like Christ and worship God perfectly. But there is one thing that will not take place in heaven and that is evangelism. Evangelism, which is God’s mission given to the Church is the sole reason why we are here today. Yet, why do we only a few Christians evangelise? What has happened to evangelism in our generation?
Often, excuses such as, “I’m too busy, too tired,” “I’m an introvert”, “I fear persecution” or “there are enough people doing it so it’s fine,” are given as excuses to not evangelise. Whatever your excuse or excuses may be, keep in mind that to not evangelise is to disobey God. It is a command, not a suggestion, and it is for all believers and not a selected few.
Perhaps you lack the zeal you once had for evangelism and need to be motivated again. If that’s you, here are 5 motivators that will cause you to resolve to evangelise.
The first motivator for evangelism is the chief commandment in the Holy Scripture which is to “love the Lord your God” (Matt 22:37). When we talk about love, we are not just referring to a feeling but a heart full of affections towards God which results in actions that please Him. According to the Bible, the one who truly loves God, keeps His commandments (1 John 5:3). So true love for God should always be demonstrated by our obedience to the call to evangelise. Love for God should be the greatest motivator for evangelism because we want Him to receive the Glory that is due to Him.
The second motivator to evangelise is love for our neighbour. After stating that love for God is the greatest commandment, Jesus said “a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matt 22:39) Since we love God, we, therefore, desire all men to bring him glory. But there’s a problem unless sinful men are saved, they would not bring Him the Glory that He deserves. We must, therefore, desire to see them saved and that stems from not only our love for God but also our love for them. Think of your conversion, it took someone who loved you enough and desired for you to be saved which resulted in them sharing the Gospel with you. The greatest act of love towards our fellow men is to share the Gospel with them so that they may escape the wrath to come and become true worshippers of God.
Why were you saved? Several biblical answers can be given to this question (i.e. to save you from God’s wrath, to have your sins forgiven, to be reconciled back to God, to have a righteous standing before God). But there are passages of Scripture such as 1 Peter 2:9 which says that we were saved in order to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” How often do you think of that? In other words, salvation was brought to us so that we might take it to another. Paul stated that we are “ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Cor 5:17-20). You and I get to share the message of the King of Kings. What a privilege! Consider the purpose of your redemption and may that motivate you to share the Gospel.
Another motivator for evangelism is the glorious Gospel we proclaim. How? The Gospel we declare gives life as opposed to the law which brings death. The Gospel, according to Paul exceeds in its glory as opposed to the lesser glory of the law. When the law was given at Mt Sinai, it came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moss’ face. However, the glory revealed in the Gospel, the new covenant, is much more in comparison to the old covenant. In fact, Paul writes in 2 Cor 3:10 that “what once had glory (namely the Law) has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it (namely the Gospel). So we should be motivated to preach the Gospel because of its surpassing glory.
Finally, we should be motivated to evangelise because of the Glory of God itself. The Bible unashamedly declares that God is after the glory of his own name. God is chiefly glorified in the redemption of sinners. As Christians, it should be our greatest desire to see God glorified. We should desire to see everything that has breath give praise to Him. Do you desire for God to be glorified in the salvation of your neighbour, your loved ones or your friends? Well, it is your job to go and share the good news to them.
Paul experienced much persecution and yet he could not stop proclaiming the Gospel. Why? For he said “so that as grace extends to more and more people, it may increase thanksgiving to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 4:15) May you do the same for the glory of God.