Evangelism. It doesn’t come easy, does it? As the Week of Talks fast approaches, with so many great opportunities to be either seized or missed, we need to keep on reminding ourselves why it’s worth it. To that end, here are some bite-sized motivations to spur us on (why not ponder one a day this week?).
- God’s name must be honoured. This has to be our starting point. It’s the repeated message of the bible. God is deserving of all honour and praise and glory. Every person living without Jesus as Lord is a person from whom God is not receiving honour, and that is a travesty (Romans 1:21-23). In fact, the ultimate reason why Christ died for us was so that this situation would be rectified. Paul begins his great gospel explanation in Romans with this statement: ‘Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations’ (Romans 1:5). It ought to pain us when God’s name is not honoured. It ought to, in a decidedly God-centred way, drive us to evangelism.
- God cares passionately for the lost. He desires every single person to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). He considered the death of his own Son a worthwhile price to pay to save the lost (John 3:16). He rejoices every time someone repents (Luke 15:10) – I love this image of God shamelessly celebrating while the angels look on thinking ‘what’s he going so crazy about?!’ If God in all his perfection feels this way towards the lost, then surely it is good and proper for his people, being transformed into his image, to have similar desires.
- It’s the reason why this world is still spinning. Do you ever wonder why Jesus hasn’t returned yet? Why we’re still in this dysfunctional world and not yet in the perfect New Creation? The bible’s answer is that God is being patient; he’s holding back the fires of judgement so that even more people have the chance to repent (2 Peter 3:8-10). And he wants us actively involved in that (Matthew 28:18-20). So it’d be a shame if we were to endure everything that comes with living in these last days, and yet not actually get onboard with the reason why God’s allowing this broken world to keep going for a little longer – the gospel going out.
- Everyone faces one of two starkly different destinies. Consider these descriptions of the New Creation: ‘everlasting joy shall be upon their heads… sorrow and sighing shall flee away’ (Isaiah 35:10); ‘a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine’ (Isaiah 25:6); ‘The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him… the Lord God will be their light and they shall reign for ever and ever.’ (Revelation 22:3-5). And then consider these descriptions of hell: ‘the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might’ (2 Thessalonians 1:9); ‘In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 13:50); ‘the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death’ (Revelation 21:8). By nature, everyone is heading to hell. But we have a message that, should we share it with others, could change everything.