Jesus Saves, We Tell
After his death and resurrection, Jesus final marching orders to the disciples was to go and make disciples (Matt 28:19). Go and tell the world about who I am and what I’ve done. Go and evangelize. This is God’s mission and our purpose, yet so many of us don’t participate, or dare I say, obey, because of fear.
Fear of messing up the relationship.
Fear of saying the wrong thing.
Fear of being outsmarted.
Fear of offending.
But when Jesus sent his disciples on this mission, he doesn’t lay out the mission and say “Jesus out” and float into the heavens. He sends us in his authority. He sends us in his power. His power to save. His power to make what is dead come alive. His power to turn hearts of stone into living, breathing hearts of flesh. And more than that, he’s promised to be with us!
That’s power I don’t have and ability I can’t compete with. I don’t have a better alternative, yet all too often I’ll avoid evangelism or approach with fear because of my limitations.
In his article, “Why Don’t Christians Evangelize?” Daniel Darling says,
“In obeying the Great Commission, we can’t fail. Our job is not to do the saving, but do the sharing. Our job is to simply be faithful in declaring the word to those who haven’t heard. We are the ones God is using to share his message with the world. There are no others. (Romans 10:14). But we can rest in God’s sovereignty, motivated by the knowledge that if we share the news, people will repent and put their faith in Christ.”
Maybe it’s not fear, though. Consider if you’ve lost your wonder and awe about the power of God in saving people. Does Jesus love, mercy, and grace towards you, all undeserved by the way, move the needle for you anymore? Jesus command to make disciples was not disconnected from the fact that these people were so changed, so moved by Jesus love for them. This command actually connected in a beautiful wayin that it was an outpouring of their worship and love for him.
Consider this also: do I love this person enough to share the story and the reality of God’s grace and glory with them? Or are they an annoying neighbor? Do you think there’s no way God could save, let alone WANT to a republican/democrat/alt-right/black lives matter/white supremacist/etc.? You will not tell the best news a person could ever hear if you lack genuine love for them. Or maybe it will help if I say it inversely: because you do not love that person…because you view yourself as more deserving of God’s grace because of whatever reason, you are withholding the earth shattering news that Jesus loves them, that He died for them, and that He is King. Jesus is kind and merciful. God protect me from letting my biases, preferences and pride prevent me from sharing about true glory and rich grace of Jesus.
For most of us, our evangelism is stalled out somewhere. If one of these obstacles hit close to home, take some time to stop and do some work before the Lord. Repent where there is disobedient laziness. Be comforted where you feel paralyzed in fear. He removes the burden of having intellectual superiority or clever selling points in your evangelism. Be moved to worship because he actually accomplishes this for you and in you, and wants to use you to do the same.
Jesus is real. Jesus is alive. And Jesus is saving people. Know and hear the freedom in that. What an amazing thing to be called to participate in! What an impactful purpose to have for your day! What a beautiful mission to have in your life!
Deacon Daniel Reynolds