Seems like this is almost a bad word these days. There’s a lot of different ideas about what evangelism is and how to “do” it. One of the problems we have witnessed is a general fear of evangelism, it seems more people than we think are afraid of rejection and disapproval. Even myself (Travis) run into his fear and find it stifling at times, yeah I know, a missionary with a fear of evangelism, God has done stranger – read the Bible.
So what do we do? How do we accomplish the great commission? How do we walk in the scary truth that as followers of Jesus we too will be burdened with disapproval, hate, name calling, rejection, and slander? Just as we have read recently in our Life Journal (Mark 15 & 16) reading, Jesus did these things with much anxiety and yet because He knew (and because of who He is) it was his only option, to do the Father’s will.
The truth (even though it’s true rejection, slander, hate, and all kinds of other negative things) is that because God is for us in his sovereign love, grace, and mercy then who can stand against us? A hugely important piece of truth we heard from Graham Cooke really entitled on a visit to our church was “what is true is not always the truth” – meaning, it might be true that someone has character flaws, but in Christ the truth is they are a new creation and those flaws belong to the old, which we have left behind, most of the time. If we approach all things with wisdom, love, grace, and most importantly in God’s will then the fear and nasty attacks of the enemy will be overcome by joy.
So evangelism is scary, and yet with God we find ourselves compelled to do things odd. Now of course there are plenty who “in the name of evangelism” do all kinds of hurtful and hateful things. We must remember the Holy Spirit is already out there convicting the world, the world really doesn’t need to be reminded of how bad it is – it already oes a fantastic job on it’s own.
Evangelism for us is about showing peopl how loved and good they can be when in Christ. This is disturbing to many yet we should remember to consider it pure joy when we face trials and tribulations, not because we put ourselves there but because the end of the race is going to be a magnificent one – just you see friends. Go and be filled with a new love today and a boldness empowered by God’s truth.