Fresh Start June 2016 | Page 22

5. The future of unbelievers matters deeply to God. Why Do Evangelism? The Bible offers us many good reasons for proclaiming the gospel. Here are 7 reasons it’s a privilege to share the good news of Jesus Christ: 1. God wants to see the world healed and restored. There is nothing like the power of Jesus to restore a broken world and broken lives to what God originally intended (John 3:17). Jesus urges us to invite others to engage in his mission to heal individual lives, relationships, and the world. 2. Jesus commands and commissions us. Jesus expects his followers to let people in on the meaning of his life, death, and resurrection. Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). When we share the gospel, we are obeying Jesus’ command and joining the Great Commission he entrusted to us (John 20:19-21). 3. God desires a relationship with every human being and for all to hear. Jesus repeatedly told stories of God’s love for the lost: God is like a shepherd searching for one lost and vulnerable sheep. He is like a woman looking in every nook and cranny for a lost, valuable coin. He is like a father who celebrates when his lost and confused son returns 22 home. These parables illustrate God’s earnest and patient search for every person. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Evangelism, then, is joining God’s search to see everyone come to repentance and a relationship with him. God is preparing for a full house in heaven. We are blessed to work with him toward this goal while on earth, to “go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23). Romans 10:14 rhetorically points out what will happen if we don’t: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Verse 15 goes on to praise the “beautiful” feet of those who share the good news. 4. Sharing the gospel is a powerful way to love people. We find inspiration to love others from God’s love for us. His sacrificial love was a free gift to you, and it’s a gift you’re intended to pass along (Matthew 10:8). In 2 Corinthians 5:14, it says, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” You can love people by introducing them to God’s love and compassion as demonstrated by Christ on the cross. Humankind desperately needs the salvation Jesus offers. John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” As Christians, our awareness that family, friends, and strangers will otherwise be eternally separated from God motivates us to proclaim the hope of Christ. Similarly, Philippians 2:3-4 encourages us to “value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Witnessing to the people in your life is a way to put the utmost value on their lives—their eternal lives. Even more, it brings both God and us joy. Luke 15:7 and 15:10 tell us there is rejoicing in heaven when even one sinner repents. Beyond the heavenly celebration, we too experience great joy when we see people’s lives transformed by Christ. 6. God is passionate about our personal growth. When we proclaim the good news, we grow as Christ’s disciples. Evangelism opens us up to the adventure of obeying God and collaboratin