Be Confident in Your Evangelism

Mark’s gospel begins quickly and doesn’t slow down until passion week. He moves from Jesus’ baptism right into His ministry, showing His power to heal, cast out demons, control the weather, and teach with authority.

Jesus’ teaching is both straightforward and in parables. In one parable, the parable of the seed growing, He says,

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”” (Mk 4:26–29)

What is the point of this short story? It is to show us that we cannot manufacture disciples. In fact, it is not our purpose to manufacture disciples. God is the One who produces the harvest just like the earth produces a harvest of food for us.

Our job, like the farmer, is to collect the harvest. How do we collect the harvest? We must talk about and ask others if they believe the good news about Jesus. As we have conversations with others, we will see a harvest being brought into our churches. Jesus’ parable implies then that we must be about the business of evangelizing others.

We can be confident in our evangelism because God is the One producing the harvest.

There is no escaping the Lord’s Judgment

“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Rev 6:15-17)

There is a day coming from which no one can hide. One day the fabric of the cosmos as we know it will roll back like a scroll to reveal the Creator and Judge of all the earth (Rev 6:14). A time of judgement will come. A time where the Lord’s wrath will be poured out.

What, when, and how this will take place is hotly disputed, but the most interesting aspect of the Day of the Lord is that no one can escape. Notice the text highlights “everyone” from those who are in power to those who are slaves. Kings and wealthy oligarchs and influencers will face the same wrath as those who are enslaved, used, and abused by those who wield power.

At the judgment seat, as well as at the foot of cross the ground is level. The ground is level because all are sinners. Sinners are not just those who miss the mark from time to time, or those who fall short of God’s commands, even though that is true. Sinners do fall short of God’s commands. We fall short because we are rebels. Not just because we messed up at that moment. No, we are rebels. We want to call the shots. We want to be King. We want to be Creator. We are rebels. As rebels, we all deserve God’s wrath.

Thankfully, there is a Lamb who was slain for our rebellion. The precious blood of Jesus was spilt on our behalf. Those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior are united with Him in His life, death, and resurrection. The Father’s wrath passes over Christians, not because we are better or more righteous than another, but because Jesus is better and more righteous.

There is a judgment coming. The only way to prepare for it is to believe in Jesus. We cannot build a bunker or run far enough away. There is no escaping the Lord’s judgment.

How can we go “on mission” without leaving the community?

“Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” (3 Jn 1:8)

How is it possible for us to go on mission without leaving our job, home, or family? Besides the fact that we are all called to be missionaries in our own communities by living life “on mission”, we do so through our giving.

When we give to support the work of missionaries around the world, we participate in their mission. Our giving provides them the opportunity to remain on the mission field to do the work of ministry, seeking to reach others for Christ.

It is important we support missionaries.

God has gifted and called each of us to a certain task. We each have a part in furthering the kingdom of God. Those called to domestic and foreign missions are the front line workers whom God has gifted in such a way that they are able to start ministries and reach the people to whom the Lord has given them a heart.

The Lord has also gifted you in certain ways so that you can participate in those ministries. He has not only given you spiritual gifts you are to employee, but he has also provided your current job and finances. In fact, everything we have is a gift of God. We are called to be good stewards of God’s gifts. Investing them in the kingdom. When we serve and give to support kingdom ministry, we are stewarding our resources well.

Be a good steward of the resources the Lord has provided, support your local ministry, as well as international missionaries.

Be ready to provide a defense of your hope in Jesus

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Pe 3:15–16)

Our world is increasingly growing hostile to Christianity. I’m not talking about cultural or progressive Christianity, rather, I’m referring to gospel-centered evangelicals who stand firm on God’s Word. The world in which we live is growing more hostile each and every day towards our message and values. Instead of assimilating or disassociating from the culture around us, we should engage. 

Peter tells us that we should be ready to provide a defense to the hope we have in Christ. It is that hope that keeps us going and it is that hope we should be ready to share with others. But we must not share the hope of the gospel in combative harsh ways. Instead, we must be gentle in the way in which we share. As well as we must share with a good conscience. We are not out to attack or one-up someone. We are not out to be harsh and disrespectful to other human beings. Instead, we must be gentle and loving in the way in which we share. That doesn’t mean we shy away from sharing the truth. We must continue to share the truth because it is the truth that sets us free. It is the good news from ages past that is still good news today, so we must not and cannot alter the gospel message. Instead, we must share it with others so that they might experience the same hope we experience. 

One book that has been helpful for me lately is Sam Chan’s book Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News about Jesus More Believable. He does an excellent job of walking you through how to share the gospel with others in today’s culture. If you are looking for a way to reach the world in which we live, give Chan’s book a read. 

If we want our witness to be effective, we must live peaceable and orderly lives.

“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” (1 Thess 4:10-12)

As Christians, we should be people who strive to keep the peace, not just in our family and Christian community, but in the world at large. Paul urges the Thessalonians not only to continue in brotherly love, but to live quietly. In the Greek, “quietly” carries the idea of being peaceable or orderly. As Christians, should be free of any conduct that might be construed as disturbance of public order. We can live peaceable and orderly lives by minding our own affairs and doing honest work so that we do not have to depend on anyone else.

Our goal in living quiet lives is to witness for Christ. If we are known as people who consistently cause disturbances and are disorderly, we don’t distinguish ourselves from the surrounding community in which we live. But if we seek to keep the peace and live orderly lives, not only can no one can bring a credible charge against us, but they more than likely wonder why we are different, providing us an opportunity to witness to Christ’s power to change us, which is undergirded by our lives.

If we want our witness to be effective, we must live peaceable and orderly lives.

Are your feet beautiful?

“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!”” (Rom 10:15)

As Christians we have been sent out to make disciple-making disciples. We are to make these disciples “as we are going” about our day. We don’t have to travel half way around the world to be “on mission” for Jesus. We can live “on mission” for Him right here in our own community.

Paul reveals in this section of his letter to Romans that we are sent to preach the good news. It is a beautiful thing. Beautiful can be translated as “the appropriate time; timely” or it can be translated as beautiful in the sense that it is an appropriate action or a lovely action.

If we translate the word timely, which it seems many commentators lean towards, the idea links more to God’s plan being worked out in His time. The preaching of the gospel as the message of hope to both Jews and Gentiles has come at the appropriate time in God’s plan of salvation.

While at the same time, the feet of those who come with the good news of the gospel are beautiful, they are lovely. It is a beautiful action for someone to preach the good news of Jesus to others.

We are to be those beautiful feet who in God’s timing are bringing a message of hope and light to those who live in darkness. Are your feet beautiful?