Tuesday Devotion – encouragement in evangelism

Today in this 5 minute devotional time I want to share with you from my great conviction about evangelism. I want to refocus us on what the gospel is and encourage you through scripture and my experience. I realise that such a talk will make many of you feel guilty. We can always do more in this aspect of our Christian life. If you do feel some concern then I encourage you to pray and ask God for the grace to grow you in this area. It is hoped that the upcoming Jesus all about life ad campaign will provide some evangelistic opportunities for us all. If you struggle to present the gospel take heart – I was a Christian for 12 years who always wanted to do it but never did. Now I still fail from time to time but I’m actually attempting to join in as a labour in the harvest.

There is much to say on this topic but let’s examine how the Apostle Paul viewed the gospel. In Romans 3 Paul is busy comparing the Jews – the people of God entrusted with the law of God – to the gentiles. Paul asserts from verse 9:

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all.
For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”,
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law,
so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
For there is no distinction:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

It was only when I was confronted with the Law of God that grace really began to have a deep impact on me. There is much value in using God’s law in our evangelism for:

Rom 3:19-20 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

I have seen many mouths of everyday self righteous Australians stopped when the law of God has been used to show them their true condition and real need before God – righteousness. I like to do this by using the Way of the Master’s good test: I ask people, would you say that you are a good person? Is it ok if I ask you a couple of questions to see if that is true? Have you ever told a lie? What would that make you? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? What would that make you? Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? Have you ever looked with lust at another person? I say their name and tell them that by their own admission they are a liar, thief or whatever they admitted to being.

I then ask that if God was to judge them would they be innocent or guilty? Would he send you to heaven or hell? Does that concern you? Do you know that God has a free offer of salvation for you? 2000 years ago God sent his holy and blameless son to die a criminal’s death on a cross for sinners. He commands you to repent of your sin and trust in Christ alone to be made right with God.

I have gone out of my way to start up conversations and share the law and the gospel with hundreds of people in the last 18months. I have had the privilege of sharing with pensioners, and 6 yos, typical Aussies and weird ones, Mormon ministers and missionaries, JWs, stone hard atheists, a pagan witch and even and extra-terrestrial last Sunday. I have countered arguments on the authority of the bible, the evidence and existence of God and the necessity of faith alone for salvation. I have bought and handed out tracts, put tracts on cars and public toilet, I have opened the phone book at random and called people, I have witnessed through the internet, I have preached open air on a beach full of people. I have encouraged Christians in Church; I have encouraged Christians through my blog. After all this still feel that I am still learning about evangelism. I want to share all this to encourage you in your evangelistic efforts with your friends, neighbours, and the guy at the petrol station or the lady at day care. I hope you don’t think it is some sort of boasting when I list all this, remember I did no real evangelism for 12 years as a Christian. I hope I have given you some ideas and encouragement to join in or continue as a simple labourer. I want to close reminding us that all this is only possible with and through God’s grace alone. Salvation really is of the Lord.

Prayer points.

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