It is disheartening to me that many Christians have never been involved in the joy of being used by God and seeing someone come to faith in Jesus Christ. To see someone move from the darkness to light, death to life, the family of the devil to the family of God. The reality is that God uses many people in this process of seeing someone “born again.” As we approach the Christmas season, let’s remember that people are open to the Gospel, and God wants to use each of us.
Here are some reminders from Mark Dever’s book 9 Marks of a Healthy Church:
Evangelism is not imposition– Some see evangelism as imposing their beliefs on others, therefore they refrain. However, when we evangelize, we are simply telling others the good news of the Gospel. We can’t make anyone believe, we simply communicate the message in love.
Evangelism isn’t necessarily your personal testimony– How God has worked in our lives to save us could certainly include the contents of the Gospel, but sometimes it may not. If one shares how God has changed them without getting into the specifics of sin, conviction, the cross and resurrection, etc. then the contents of the Gospel have not been communicated. Personal testimonies can be very helpful, but at some point, we must get to the objective truths of the Gospel.
Evangelism isn’t social action or political involvement– These things certainly have their place and will be affected by our new birth, but they are human solutions to human problems. Ultimately, we need to get to the deeper issue that feeds all the symptomatic problems that we see going on in our world.
Evangelism isn’t apologetics– Again, there is certainly a place for apologetics, but it isn’t necessarily sharing the contents of the Gospel (although it could).
Finally, we must not confuse the results of evangelism with evangelism. As one preacher said, “To ‘evangelize’…does not mean to win converts…but simply to announce the good news, irrespective of the results.”
Let me encourage you to begin thinking of people whom you can invite to church during this upcoming Christmas season.