Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Part in Evangelism

A person’s coming to Christ is the result of a work of God in their heart (John 16:8-11; 6:44; Romans 10:17). I am not here speaking of the issue of Calvinism vs. Arminianism. But whatever side you take on that issue, it is clear that a work of God is involved. Therefore, whether you think that, in the final analysis, the issue is God choosing us or us choosing God, there is one thing it does not ultimately depend on. The ability of the evangelist. In fact, Paul states that he avoids basing his approach on his ability, so that his converts’ faith may rest on the God’s power rather then Paul’s technique (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Now do not get me wrong; I am not advocating sloppiness and laziness. I am convinced that God wants us to do our best in this area (1 Peter 2:15). But what I am trying to avoid is the idea that if I do not have some special method or some special ability, I cannot share Christ.

My main claim to expertise in evangelism is that I have done almost everything there is to do wrong, wrong, and I can tell you how to avoid my mistakes. I have come on too strong and been too mealy-mouthed. It have lost my temper with the one I was witnessing to and the partner I was witnessing with. I have chickened out in saying things when I should have said something and said things when it would have been better if I would have kept my mouth shut. If I believed that everything depended on my technique, I would have given up on talking to people about Christ years ago. Now I am not suggesting you follow my example in doing all these things wrong. But I am suggesting that you not be scared off from sharing with people because you have not got it all down. Rather, the best way to learn to do it is to do it. 

The bottom line is God is at work in the world, building His church (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7). He has work for each of us to do as part of this (Ephesians 2:10) and promises His power working in us to carry this out (2 Corinthians 3:5,6; Colossians 1:29). But if we concentrate on our abilities or our past track record, we can become paralyzed and reluctant to do those things God has commanded us to. We also need to recognize that if we press on to share the truth of God with people, we will meet opposition, because the gospel is a stumbling block and there will be those who refuse to accept it (1 Corinthians 1:18-23). But God calls us to continue doing what He has called us to do, as He is the one who is ultimately in control of the situation (Psalms 127:1,2).

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