The heart of God compels us to seek the lost. The power of God enables us to emanate/impart grace that others might be turned to righteousness. It is what Jesus did for us. He prepared Himself for the work that the Father wanted to accomplish through Him. We know the story. He went missing at a young age, only to be found in the temple listening and asking questions regarding the things of God. When Mary exposed the anxiety He caused her, He responds, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?’” (Luke 2:49). He then grew into a Man devoted to one thing: the salvation of the world (John 3:17). To think like God is to consider others as more important than yourself, lay your life down, and win the lost. It is important that we become active in evangelism. The office of evangelist is not required for the advancing of the Kingdom. Evangelism is a life that is yielded to God. Because God first loved us, we can now fulfill the greatest commandment of all—we can love God. And as exemplified in Jesus, truly loving God has everything to do with others around us, or our neighbors. The two greatest commandments are contingent on one another. True love of self and neighbor comes by loving God. Loving God maximizes love for self and neighbor. The direct relationship between the two commandments are the foundation of evangelism. Though it is to be an every day lifestyle, we see in the New Testament, especially the book of Acts, that it can be done on a grand scale and in excellent fashion. This is the vision of Jesus, that we may know The Father and His Son, be in unity, and glorify God by the salvation of the world. It is a great honor and privilege to turn others to righteousness for the glory of God, and it is important that we steward the responsibility well. Below are six focal points of leading an evangelistic lifestyle.
Proverbs 11:30 states, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Much of our Christianity is individual devotion to God—an intimate relationship that has no regard for past wrongdoing, but a steadfast heart of what is to come. There is much time alone in prayer and song, fasting, and in the Word. These times are both important and powerful to the born-again life, but we would be mistaken to think that it is the end of what God has planned for us. As mentioned before, the love of God that reconciles us to the Father has everything to do with other people. This is why it is crucial that we take the delight of the secret place and turn it into a powerful life of impact in our individual (and collective) spheres of influence. Jesus refers to us as the salt of the earth, the light of the world, the city on a hill. One thing is sure: God’s word will never return forth void. Along with the identity that Jesus has given us, here are some reasons why it is vital to love the world:
1. Lost people need you: No God, no life. Both now and forever.
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Love constrains you: God loves the world, and so do we.
“For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3)
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: if One diead for all, then all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14).
God has chosen you: The winning of the lost fulfills your God-ordained purpose.
a. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:6)
b. “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4)
To be clear, being strategic is not a solely a systematic function (that ultimately lacks power/impact). The evangelistic strategies that God gives us in His word involve us dying to ourselves. There are many excuses that can arise in the face of advancing the Kingdom of God, so it is important to come boldly to God to receive grace. If we’re bold in our approach towards God, it shows that we are secure in who He says we are. From there is a healthy administration of the Gospel to the world. Along with the prayer/worship life, here are some strategies to keep in mind when it comes to evangelism:
Get past the excuses, especially in regard to fear. Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
Schedule soul-winning times. Even the evangelistic lifestyle could require some intention at the beginning. Prioritize times for the Gospel.
Be soul conscious when you go about your day. Meditate on Matthew 28 as your surrounded by people.
The two principle: “And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two..” (Mark 6:7).
The goodness of God leads man to repentance. Not the reprimand, but the goodness. Be kind, be a good listener, be simple.
Be an Effective Witness
The Holy Spirit dwells within us for the purpose of being God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Much of the hindrance to the advancement of the Gospel, which is nothing new, is fear and unbelief. If there is ever a time for the Body of Christ to stand up for what is true, it is now. We must not fear, but be clear on where we stand. Also, in regard to unbelief, Jesus instructed us to deal with unbelief through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21). Be intentional about your individual devotion to God, because it has local, regional, national, and global implications to it. Here are some reminders of what makes you an effective witness:
1. The Power is yours: Do it with power. Taking the time to love on people avails much. Do you realize that you have the power?
a. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings of the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:7-8).
2. Jesus is with you: Jesus will never leave nor forsake us. As we go out into the world to manifest Christ in us, it must be settled that Jesus goes with us.
a. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).
3. Expect results: There is a harvest! There are billions of people on this earth, and even a multitude at our doorstep. Be intentional about soul-winning.
a. “Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest “ (Luke 10:2).
In Matthew 28, we have the famous Great Commission. Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (v. 19-20). We must always remember we are baptizing others into God. We are submerging them into God. This is when evangelism becomes powerful, because we are introducing a life that is saturated in the nature and character of God. A disciple is a disciplined learner. Baptism apart from seeking God, and learning to follow Jesus, is incomplete. This requires us to do our part as well. We must be intentional about our individual pursuit of God. The more we seek God, the more we will see the heart of God for all people. We have the power dwelling on the inside of us! Below are some reminders to lead an impactful life of evangelism:
Matthew 10:5-15: We are more like Jesus when we make the lost a priority in our life. Evangelism is hardly a ministry, but a practical outworking of the nature and character of God. Be mindful of the people that you pass in your everyday life.
2 Timothy 4:5: Everyone is called to evangelize. Do not show partiality, and evangelize to everyone regardless of status (social, economic, physical) Cover every arena of people!
John 10: Though it is important to preach the reality of Hell, it is more important to preach the life of God to the lost. Don’t use a scare tactic to convert people. The scare tactic can be done in manipulation and do more harm than good. They must want to make this decision opposed to being emotionally obligated.
Psalm 22:27: What are people remembering about God? We want them to remember how Jesus set them free and changed their life.
5. Acts 21:17-22: Paul did exactly what Jesus called him to do regardless of what others, namely the religious, had to say about it. Don’t be distracted by getting into arguments with others. Share your testimony, love Jesus, and love others.
Soul Winning Conscious
Reinhard Bonnke, a powerful evangelist, once stated, “The Gospel is not good news to people who don’t hear it.” It is important for us to know that revival always follows aggressive evangelism. Bonnke also said that “prayers without evangelism is like an arrow shot into the air at no specific target.” Focus on the Father and be a light among others. People are depending on the sons of God to be manifest throughout the entire world. Below are some things to consider in regard to the lost:
Work the clock: Be diligent and intentional about the spread of the Gospel.
1 John 2:18 (AMP): “Children, it is the last hour [the end of this age]; and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming [the one who will oppose Christ and attempt to replace Him], even now many antichrists (false teachers) have appeared, which confirms our belief that it is the last hour.”
Romans 13:11 AMP: “Do this, knowing that this is a critical time. It is already the hour for you to awaken from your sleep [of spiritual complacency]; for our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed [in Christ].”
Know when to run to the lost! The father ran to the prodigal son. Have a sense of urgency towards the lost! Look beyond the current state of their life and run to them with the love of the Father.
3. Preach the full power of the Holy Spirit: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is one of power.
a. Romans 15:18-19 (AMP): “For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”