“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent?” (Romans 10:14-15a) This passage of scripture I have coined as “the Evangelism Chain”. This logical scale of progression that the Apostle Paul is speaking of begins with belief, followed by spoken proclamation, then a human herald, lastly the herald or evangelist is sent. This has been God’s way of getting the gospel to the Nations since Jesus gave us the Great Commission (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20). When any of these links is missing the chain is broken. God intended His church to work together; we need to “link” arms for the gospel. There is an urgent need like never before for the equipping and sending of men and women into the harvest field (the world). After teaching evangelism classes for the last few years at different venues, including Koinonia Fellowship’s Equip Evangelism class, I have come to the realization that Ephesians 4:11-13 has been somewhat neglected in terms of equipping believers and sending them out for the work of the ministry in the area of evangelism.
Many people do not realize why the Old Testament law was given. Most Christians cannot name all or most of God’s Ten Commandments. Others cannot explain the gospel in a simple way. Much of the church has never shared the gospel with a lost soul. A recent poll revealed 93% of believers never have shared their faith with someone. I do not say these things to be arrogant, condescending, or demeaning, but rather to shine a light on a dire need. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
Recently while doing street ministry with the Equip students, a believer expressed how he works in a difficult environment and when a difficult situation came up and he reacted well, his peers asked him how he responded so well. His reply was: “I’m not sure how I did it.” Did you catch that? No glory to God, no gospel, but a missed opportunity! There is no such thing as undercover operations as a Christian. WE ARE SALT AND LIGHT so that people “see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and everything else will be given to you (Matthew 6:33). However we seem to reverse this verse in terms of kingdom work. Do everything else first and then leave the kingdom the leftovers.
Picture this. Someone is terminally ill and they are given 4 weeks to live, but you have the cure for their terminal illness. One week passes. You still have the cure but it is unknown to the terminal patient. Week two passes. Now with only two weeks left before this person’s life is over on earth, you still hold onto the cure, knowing that this person has days before they pass into an eternity of either heaven or hell. Now there are only a few days left. It’s the final week and family members are crying, sharing their parting prayers, thoughts, etc., and you still have not offered the cure. Your conscience is weighing on you, but you do not have the courage to give the cure in spite of the fact that this person, who is literally days from death and eternity, needs it! Your reputation or thoughts of being ridiculed or shunned overwhelm you and the cure stays “bottled up”. Fast forward to the funeral. The person is deceased, never to return, and the cure remains wrapped up, hidden, yet it’s the only thing that could have saved this lost soul. It’s the only cure. Feelings of guilt and conviction come upon you, and you weep over the fact that a soul has past into eternity without ever hearing or receiving the cure.
How much longer can we carry on in this country knowing as Christians we have the cure for the soul and yet refusing to give it out? Friends, we need to set our hearts on things above. We need to pray that God would set our hearts ablaze for the lost. We must not ignore the fact that our closest family members need the cure, which is the gospel, proclaimed to them ASAP! We are the “sent ones”.
Practical action steps to take
- Pray for God’s heart for the lost.
- Get equipped to share the gospel. Yes, all we need to know is Jesus to share the gospel, but there are many tools available to help you become stronger, more confident, and better equipped in the area of evangelism.
- Be intentional about sharing your faith. The more you share your faith, the better you become at it.
- Remember that the Holy Spirit is the best Evangelist. Let Him lead your prayers and evangelism opportunities; trust Him.
- Take a missions trip. Missions will change your life in terms of caring for the lost, hurt, and broken; I guarantee it.
I’ll end this article with the words of our Lord and Savior: “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35, NIV) No more excuses, church! The harvest is upon us and we have the answer; we have the cure. Let’s give it to all the world.