All believers in Jesus Christ are ambassadors. We are representatives for Jesus and have the awesome responsibility and privilege of declaring the gospel message to a fallen world. The apostle Paul is a great example to us of a bold and loving ambassador who brings the message of reconciliation to all those he comes in contact with (2 Cor. 5:16-21; 1 Cor. 9:19-23). However, most of us are not the apostle Paul when it comes to doing faithful evangelism! For many believers the task of evangelism is one filled with fear, guilt and apathy. It does not seem to be the joyful privilege that it should be. My observation is that most believers struggle with doing faithful biblical evangelism to one degree or another. I too am included in this “struggle” category. Sometimes I seem focused on pursuing those without Christ and proclaiming the glorious gospel but at other times I fail to see the urgency of the evangelistic endeavor and make little effort to tell others the Good News.
What can be done to become more faithful with our evangelistic efforts? Much could be said in reply. In the future, I hope to develop some further ideas on this. First, I recommend reading several excellent books on doing biblical evangelism to help one understand and apply a biblical approach. I have read each of the following books and found them very biblical, practical and encouraging. None of us is born a faithful, zealous ambassador for Jesus. We must pray that the Lord would change us as needed and then practice telling the gospel to others while depending on God to save sinners. Here is my list of suggested books:
“Tell the Truth” by Will Metzger
“The Gospel & Personal Evangelism” by Mark Dever
“Evangelism & The Sovereignty Of God” by J.I. Packer
As a believer and ambassador, my goal is to live an “evangelistic lifestyle”. I desire to “show and tell” the gospel at anytime and with anyone. I am not at this point yet but God is changing me! Will Metzger reminds us in his book “Tell the Truth” that evangelism must be God-centered and exalt God’s grace. This must be communicated in a personal way to lost sinners. He writes the following: “God centered evangelism is a way of life. It does not advocate a method but encourages knowledge of people and how to apply a macrogospel to the conscience and heart. Witness should be natural, educational and bold. It is something we are, not just something we do. ‘Personal witnessing’ is the phrase that best describes the evangelistic life to which all of us are called” (p. 205).
This statement by Will Metzger has helped me over the years become more effective and faithful in my evangelistic efforts. My focus is not on a particular evangelism method but on understanding and living out the gospel before a watching world. My life is to be saturated with the glorious truths of Scripture and the gospel. Biblical evangelism is centered on God and his purpose to rescue sinners from eternal punishment through the cross work of Jesus Christ. The unbeliever needs to get right with God in order to escape the wrath to come. My role is to bring this Good News to fallen people. I must be involved with people and love people. I am to proclaim the truth of the gospel but only God can bring results. He alone has the power to save dead sinners. God saves sinners! Thanks be to God!
In closing, I have a few encouragements to help you develop the “evangelistic lifestyle”.
1. Immerse yourself in the glorious truth of the gospel and the cross of Christ (Col. 1:21-23).
2. Evangelize for the glory of God (1 Pet. 4:11). Desire to see God exalted in all things.
3. Use your sphere of influence (home, work, family, neighbors, etc.) to build relationships with people and proclaim the gospel of Christ (Phil 1:12-14). God calls us to love others.
4. Rest upon the sovereign grace of God to rescue sinners while working to win people to Christ (1 Cor. 3:5-9).
5. Bathe your evangelistic efforts in prayer. We must depend on God and ask God to make us bold and zealous to see others reconciled to God (Col. 4:2-4).
May the Lord cause you to grow in your love for Him and the Gospel. We have been given a wondrous privilege.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:18)