Though brought up in a religious home, Charles Spurgeon described his youth in these words: “was years and years upon the brink of hell… I was unhappy, I was desponding, I was despairing. I dreamed of hell. My life was full of sorrow and wretchedness, believing that I was lost.”

One morning, everything changed. While walking to church on a Sunday morning, Spurgeon encountered a snowstorm. After wandering into a Primitive Methodist Chapel to escape the snow, Spurgeon heard a substitute preacher give a message that transformed his life.

In Spurgeon’s own words:

“He [the preacher] had not much to say, thank God, for that compelled him to keep on repeating his text, and there was nothing needed—by me, at any rate except his text. Then, stopping, he pointed to where I was sitting under the gallery, and he said, ‘That young man there looks very miserable’ … and he shouted, as I think only a Primitive Methodist can, ‘Look! Look, young man! Look now!’ … Then I had this vision—not a vision to my eyes, but to my heart. I saw what a Savior Christ was.… Now I can never tell you how it was, but I no sooner saw whom I was to believe than I also understood what it was to believe, and I did believe in one moment.”

“And as the snow fell on my road home from the little house of prayer I thought every snowflake talked with me and told of the pardon I had found, for I was white as the driven snow through the grace of God.”

Why do we share the gospel? Do we evangelize simply in hopes that we may win to Christ the next Spurgeon? We can and should pray for such a miracle. Yet ultimately, we should share the gospel for three biblical reasons. 

1. Obedience

Obedience to Christ the King is our highest call on earth. We are only good soldiers if we instantly and unquestioningly follow His every command (2 Timothy 2:3). We are not called to fully understand, but to fully obey. 

Christ assured His disciples in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” 

We demonstrate love for Christ by following His words. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21).

In Matthew 20:19-20, Christ commanded, “Go ye therefore.” From God’s perspective, evangelism is a non-negotiable.

As one evangelist observed, “If we only evangelize because we see the need, we will eventually burn out. If we share the gospel out of obedience to God, we will continue no matter how difficult our endeavor is or how few the results may be.”

William Carey, often referred to as the father of modern missions, labored in India for seven years before baptizing his first convert, Krishna Pal. Loving obedience to God sustained Adoniram Judson when he saw no converts his first six years in Burma. 

2. Compassion 

Do we view every individual we meet as an eternal soul who will spend eternity in heaven or hell?

Matthew 9:36-38 tells us,

“But when He [Christ] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” 

The kindest thing we can do is to point the lost towards God’s law so they may be convicted of their sin. Once they realize their guilt, we can then reveal Christ’s atoning gift to be received in repentance and faith (Acts 3:38-41, 8:37, 16:31, 17:30, 20:21). The discomfort we face is nothing compared to the eternal torments of hell. Compassion towards others overcomes fear. As Ray Comfort said, “Don’t pray for less fear to reach the lost, pray for more love.”

Would I be a loving friend if, unknown to you, I had the diagnosis and cure for your cancer, but failed to explain your disease and its cure? We love the lost most when we help them see their disease of sin, its path to hell, and the gospel remedy for their sin.

My 12-year-old younger brother recently experienced the joy of leading his first convert to Christ. Hudson possesses a deep love and an eternal perspective often not held by people much older than him.

Charles Spurgeon reported, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”

3. Eternal Rewards

II Corinthians 5:10-11 states,

“Therefore we labor, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body; according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”

As described in the parable of the stewards in Matthew 25, each one of us will give account to our Master for how we used the time, health, influence, finances, gifts, and opportunities entrusted to us. Ephesians 2:8-10 explains that salvation is obtained by grace through faith, not by works; however, multiple passages, including I Corinthians 3:12-15, assure that the saved will be rewarded to varying degrees in heaven based on how they stewarded everything God gave them.

Following The Master

Like some of you, I’ve often found myself guilty of disobedience and hardness of heart. I’ve failed to lovingly obey Christ’s wisdom and to love others as I should. I’m thankful that in God’s mercy, He gives every day as a new opportunity.

Ask God to increase your love and trust for Him so that you will gladly follow wherever He leads. Pray that God would consume your soul with a passion for the lost. As you faithfully share the gospel by God’s strength, may He richly bless the seeds that you sow (Psalm 126).

In the words of William Wilberforce, “There are four things that we ought to do with the Word of God – admit it as the Word of God, commit it to our hearts and minds, submit to it, and transmit it to the world.”

Question: Which of these points resonated with you the most? How will you take evangelism more seriously?

Recommended Resources: 

Will Our Generation Speak?” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Will Our Generation Speak?

The Way of The Master Basic Training Course

Answers in Genesis

Living Waters Youtube Channel

____________________________________

Disclaimer: I may not personally agree with everything stated in the recommended resources, but I have benefited from each resource in some way. One link in the post above is an “affiliate link.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend books I personally have read and believe will add value to my readers. 

Categories: Evangelism

9 Comments

Elizabeth Mitton · June 26, 2018 at 7:44 am

Thanks so much for the encouragement…It’s easy to share the gospel when you see the need, so I needed the reminder to witness out of obedience to Christ!

    Joshua Bontrager · June 26, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Like you, I’m definitely still learning to be more obedient. As John 15 describes, the greatest joy is found in keeping Christ’s commandments.

Chad Anderson · June 26, 2018 at 8:40 am

Joshua,

Really, really, really good blog entry.

Thoughts: The Word is clear. We are told to preach the “Good News”. We are told to witness. If we don’t do this we are being disobedient. So why? Why are we being disobedient? What if we were to explore our own personal reasons for why we are being disobedient to the charge of Christ to evangelize? What is so powerful that keeps from obeying His command? How would the things that hold us back or the reasons that keep us from actually doing what our call is stack up to everything that God brings to the table? Think just for a brief moment about all that God is and all that God does. I think that if we really looked at this in the “Real Light”, we would find that the reasons that we don’t fulfill the commission are invalid, silly, mirages, deception, faithless, selfish, powerless, phantoms of unreality, nonsense, based on fears, workings of the enemy, and etc., etc., etc. Basically, there would not be any valid reasons for being disobedient. SO WHAT IS SO POWERFUL THAT KEEPS US FROM THIS? WHAT ARE OUR REASONS?

    Joshua Bontrager · June 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Chad,

    When we disobey God’s clear commands, we in reality are claiming that we know better than our all-wise Heavenly Father. When we obey His will, we find that His way is always the best way, even when it’s not easy in the moment.

    Thanks for your convicting challenge!

Bami · June 26, 2018 at 8:44 am

I ask God to set up appointments for Him by placing me in proximity to someone who wants the Truth and He has been faithful to help me respond to those opportunities! No greater joy in life than to see hearts open to and receive the pardon offered to them, paid in full by Jesus.✝️!

    Joshua Bontrager · June 26, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Bami,

    Thanks for your example! The greatest joy comes when we follow Christ and let His heart drive our heart.

Sarah F. · June 27, 2018 at 7:53 am

Thank you for this great post! I really needed this reminder, especially the point on compassion. So often I really don’t “feel” like going out of my comfort zone and sharing the gospel with people, but when I think about where they are most likely headed, like you said, how can I not tell them the good news? Every 4th of July my siblings and I go witnessing at the park before the fireworks and this year I was feeling a little discouraged, so I was really blessed to read your encouraging post on this topic! Thank you!

Chad Anderson · June 28, 2018 at 9:27 am

Think for a moment……What if your determined place to be born was in a place as one of the millions of totally unengaged unreached people’s that has never even heard of Jesus? Could you imagine if being one of those people’s was your destiny? Oh if one person had only come! Not just to you either, but even to any of the millions around you. What a difference it could have made to your eternal destiny? But we have heard and we are safe. What a blessing we have and what a blessing it is to be born where we have been born. It could have easily been us who were born amongst these less fortunate. How great it is to have been born in a place where the gospel is in abundance around us? With this blessing that has been afforded us, how can we not share with anybody and everybody that we come in contact with? How?

Chad Anderson · July 12, 2018 at 9:34 am

Joshua,

I feel like that at the very least the fail safe default mode of operation could be safely assumed to be obedience. When there is an absence of cheerful and possibly even compassionate feelings, we could default to sharing the gospel purely because He said so. While it is true that everything without love is a noisy gong, but at the same time every time we share the gospel, it does not have to be white fluffy clouds and pretty pink paper. We must have compassion and we need love for the Master, but feelings can be a deterrent sometimes, right? So in those times when feelings are lacking, can we just spread the gospel because He said so?

I was thinking about Acts 13 & 14. Paul had to have at least a single second in there somewhere where he didn’t feel up to it. At Antioch, Paul preached the gospel. He was persecuted severely and was driven out of the area with force by the Jews. But Paul doesn’t quit. As a witness and testimony to his rejection, he wipes the dust off his feet and leaves full of joy as a result of the persecution. Now at Iconium, Paul continued to preach to Jews and Greeks. Some of the Jews persecuted him hard again and came against his efforts strongly. They actually had to attempt to stone him just to get him to flee Iconium. Now at Lystra, the Jews that were from Antioch and from Iconium had followed Paul. They spoke against Paul and proceeded to stone him and dragged him out of the city because they thought that they had stoned him to death. So what does Paul do now? Run? No, he goes back into the city of Lystra and shows himself alive. A testimony to them that they didn’t kill him. So the next morning he gets up and goes to another city (Derbe) to see if they wanted to hear the gospel. Ladies and gentlemen, that is crazy! He did not slow one bit! We would quit because someone said something that didn’t motivate me or make me feel all peachy inside. Or we quit cause we don’t feel like it. Or we quit cause the world is against us. Not Paul! And the persecution that he faced was major compared to what we face. What we face is nothing in comparison. Yet, we let what we face stop us…..So back to Paul. Now at Derbe, he preaches the gospel to that city and makes many disciples. Then, get this! He goes back to Lystra the very city that he was stoned, back to Iconium where they attempted to stone him and severely persecuted him, and also back to Iconium where he was persecuted and physically driven from the city! Now that is really crazy! Super insane!! Who does this!!! But, what does Paul do at these places? Let’s see. Here is what he does, he loves and encourages the disciples that he actually did make when he was in those cities. He goes back to where he was persecuted, double crossed, stoned, and all but killed just to love on some people! Now that is an example!!!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: