Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.
A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.
Do you talk to others about our depraved nature and our desperate need for salvation in Jesus Christ? Do you say that you are no better than they are by nature; that we are all, apart from grace, sinners with a terrible record, which is a legal problem, as well as a bad heart, which is a moral problem? Do you talk to them about the dreadful character of sin; that sin is something that stems back to our tragic fall in Adam and affects every part of us, so dominating our mind, heart, will, and conscience that we are slaves to it? Do you describe sin as moral rebellion against God? Do you say that the wages of sin is death, now and for all eternity?
“Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face – whose mercy you have professed to obey – and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.
We are called to love others. We share the gospel became we love people. And we don’t share the gospel because we don’t love people. Instead, we wrongly fear them. We don’t want to cause awkwardness. We want their respect, and after all, we figure, if we try to share the gospel with them, we’ll look foolish! And so we are quiet. We protect our pride at the cost of their souls. In the name of not wanting to look weird, we are content to be complicit in their being lost.
Nothing is more discouraging than evangelism. The mere mention of the word strikes fear in most people. If it is my goal when speaking in a church to make all my listeners uncomfortable and convicted, all I have to do is say, “evangelize!,” and the guilt quotient rises as fast as the heads drop. Beads of sweat appear on the pastor’s brow. It is the great undone command, and none of us like to be reminded of it.
I know that some are always studying the meaning of the fourth toe of the right foot of some beast in prophecy and have never used either foot to go and bring men to Christ. I do not know who the 666 is in Revelation but I know the world is sick, sick, sick and the best way to speed the Lord’s return is to win more souls for Him.
If you knew how to be saved, you know how to tell somebody else how.
To call a man evangelical who is not evangelistic is an utter contradiction.
Christians will – and should – continue to feel bad for not sharing their faith. Christ is the most glorious Person in the world. His salvation is infinitely valuable. Everyone in the world needs it. Horrific consequences await those who do not believe on Jesus. By grace alone we have seen Him, believed on Him, and now love Him. Therefore, not to speak of Christ to unbelievers, and not to care about our city or the unreached peoples of the world is so contradictory to Christ’s worth, people’s plight, and our joy that it sends the quiet message to our souls day after day: This Savior and this salvation do not mean to you what you say they do. To maintain great joy in Christ in the face of that persistent message is impossible.
Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?
Oh, my friends, we are loaded down with countless Church activities, while the real work of the Church, that of evangelizing the world and winning the lost, is almost entirely neglected.
The Bible does not so much command Christians to be witnesses for Jesus as much as it identifies those who are witnesses for Jesus as Christians. As fish swim and birds fly and the IRS collects taxes, all Christians are identified as witnesses for Christ.
Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.
I will not believe that you have tasted of the honey of the gospel if you can eat it all by yourself.
Believing that further delay would be sinful, some of God’s insignificants and nobodies in particular, but trusting in our Omnipotent God, have decided on certain simple lines, according to the Book of God, to make a definite attempt to render the evangelization of the world an accomplished fact… Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! In God’s holy name let us arise and build! We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, nambypamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.
Aren’t the most popular mission trips the ones that take us far from our own neighborhood? Russia is easy; our own neighborhood is a constant challenge. Has anyone consistently had the boldness and clarity of Jesus in testifying about the gospel? Never. Has anyone consistently avoided the fear of man in evangelism? Certainly not. There is a “foolishness” inherent in the message of the cross. The clear proclamation of the gospel does not make us look good. It doesn’t make us popular.
In response to two excuses why people do not evangelize: A Christian who has heard biblical preaching, participated in Bible studies, and has read the Scriptures and Christian literature for any time at all should have at least enough understanding of the basic message of Christianity to share it with someone else. Surely if we have understood the gospel well enough ourselves to be converted, we should know it well enough (even if as yet we know nothing else about the faith) to tell someone else how to be converted… Do we really want to say that we are too busy to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to make disciples of unbelievers (Matthew 28:19-20)? Do we expect that at the Judgment Jesus will excuse us from the single most important responsibility He gave to us because we say, “I didn’t have time”?
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 1991, p. 106-107, Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com. All rights reserved. For more information please see the website www.BibicalSpirituality.org. Get this book!