Scriptures that have challenged my view of evangelism
Several passages of scripture have challenged the way I think about and do evangelism. Here is a list of them and how they have helped me think biblically about evangelism.
Matthew 28:19 – In the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to the church universal, He commands us to make disciples. He commands the church to be responsible for lifelong followers of Him. It is not enough to just preach the good news of Jesus; we must commit ourselves to turning them into disciples. This passage reveals evangelism to be a by-product of our relationship to Jesus.
Luke 14:25-33 – This passage asks potential followers of Jesus to think deeply about making a commitment to Him. He asks them to count the cost (through the parables of the tower and the king going to war). He reminds us of the often glazed over fact that following Christ is going to cost us something. Discipleship is costly. This passage reminds me to not force a decision from a potential Christian, but to let them think about the ways their life will be different (good and bad) when they decide to follow Jesus. This is how one counts the cost.
Luke 15 – The classic parables of the lost sheep, coin, and son constantly hold before us God’s mercy and love for the lost. It is always exciting to read these to a new Christian and watch them identify with what Jesus is teaching. It is hard to get them to stop smiling when you begin to talk about the celebration/party in heaven when they made their decision to follow Christ.
John 5:1-9 – This passage reveals the respect God has for people. Jesus could have instantly healed the crippled man, but asks him, “Do you want me to heal you?” Because God respects individuals, He wants them to make a decision for Him. He doesn’t force Himself upon us, but asks for our permission to intercede in our lives. I must remember this and imitate this in my witnessing for Christ. I would be a fool to expect people to want Jesus to heal them. I must remember they have a responsibility to make the decision on their own.