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First Thoughts

Winning with Evangelism

If you were to survey Christians in our city, asking them, “how many people have you shared the Gospel with this week?” you would be hard-pressed to find evangelism happening at all. We need to change that. One of the most helpful ways to do that is to adjust our perspective. I believe that a proper view of evangelism leads to evangelism. When we are thinking biblically about it, we will do it. Evangelism is obedience to what God says, like prayer, bible reading, and attending church.

So, what is stopping you? We know we should evangelize, but we get hung up on rejection and relational fallout. We are careful to speak the truth in love, but all know Gospel conversations can end in tears. So, I want to share a lesson my mentor shared with me. He taught me as a 12-year-old boy, every time you share your faith, you are winning. You never lose! Let me explain what I mean.

First, suppose you share the Gospel with someone, and they become a Christian. In that case, we are told, “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10). Seeing someone added to God’s family is exciting and should motivate all of us to get out there and go for it.

The second thing that can happen is we plant a Gospel seed. This is a normal part of Gospel work. Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6). This is also a win, and we prayerfully anticipate God doing something with that seed in the future.

Lastly, someone can reject the Gospel and even persecute us. At first, we could see this as a loss, but the Bible tells us something different. In Matthew 5:11-12 Jesus says, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” That’s incredible! The very thing that keeps many of us back from evangelism brings us rewards in heaven. This is not the only verse that speaks of rejection as a win. Peter tells us, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:14). What Christian doesn’t want the Holy Spirit resting upon them? We are blessed when we are rejected because of Jesus!

Think of it this way: there is never a time that evangelism is losing! Every response is a win. This reality should motivate us to get out to our city and boldly share Jesus with the lost. They are perishing and need salvation. God, in his wisdom, ordained salvation to come through broken and weak Christians. You don’t need to go to Seminary, Bible College, or take a class to be qualified as a preacher of good news. Training can help you get better at it, just like prayer & Bible reading, but Jesus calls all of us to evangelism as a normal part of our Christian life.

I exhort you to believe what Paul says when he writes Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Ask yourself, “is this true?” “Can Jesus actually save sinners?” “Can Jesus save our city?” I believe he can save Jacksonville, and you should too.

Recommended Resource:

One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill

Akiya Johnson (M.Div., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as First Baptist’s Student Pastor, leading students from sixth through twelfth grades. He has a passion for evangelism and loves to share the Gospel wherever the Lord leads him.

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