by Mark J. Ward
God Requires Evangelism of All Christians
Too few Christians are laboring in the field of personal evangelism today. God does NOT teach us that we will be judged by "how many" we converted to Christ, but we WILL be judged as to whether or not we were busy "sowing the Seed" of the kingdom. (Mt. 28:18-20; 13:1-9; 2 Tim. 2:2).
NOT Just for Preachers
Where in the Bible do we read that ONLY the "full-time preachers" of the gospel are to teach the lost and thus engage in personal evangelism? ALL Christians are involved. Please note the passages we have referred to above...
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen"
- Matthew 28:18-20"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
- Matthew 13:1-9
"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
- 2 Timothy 2:2
Ask for the Opportunity to Study
I truly believe that one of the biggest mistakes made by Christians today is the sin of omission in personal evangelism: NOT asking someone if they will study God's Word. James 4:17 teaches us that if we KNOW to do good and don't do it, its SIN. We cannot force folks to study with us. But we can pray that doors of opportunity will be opened that studies might occur. And we can ASK people if they would be willing to read and study the Bible with us. Let us resolve to take the initiative. We need to be willing to ask for the study time with neighbors and friends.
Listen to Understand
When we do get to study, we should be prepared and express sincere love for the soul of the individual we are with. Also, we need to listen carefully when they speak. Sometimes we are too busy talking to hear what the other person is saying. In personal evangelism, we need to pay attention to questions and comments made by those we study with. Then, proceed to bring Bible passages pertinent to the study to the table for proper understanding and application.
Let's all make a concentrated effort to do more in the future concerning personal evangelism. Our souls depend on it. Thanks for reading. --mjw
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