Evangelism is hard. But not really.
If Christ’s focus for His people is to be the Lord of their lives, then being a Christian in the public sphere, work, school, local park, etc. should be places we consciously recognize our words and actions in relation to His reign. By doing so we will have two witnesses, our words and actions. Looking at Romans 12:1-2 it is plain that our lives are to be in constant relation to the Gospel of grace. Remember, you have been bought at a price, 1 Corinthians 6:20. This means that you are no longer your own, but you are owned. Evangelism is not the main focus of either of these two passages, but I think the principle can be drawn out. This is merely to say that our lives (word and deed) lived in constant relationship to Christ’s kingship ought to be noticeably Christian. This is where it gets hard.
Luke 10:16 says,
“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
I think the title of this blog post is plain to you know. When we evangelize, that is, when we tell someone who Jesus is and what he has done and the state of the person’s existence apart from Him, we are being representatives of the King. We are His messengers, His ambassadors, and we bear His name. Just like in your favorite historical action movie, (think Braveheart), an attack on the messenger of the king is an assault upon the king himself. Christ says the same about His kingship.
When rejection comes, and boy will it, it would do us well to remember that it is Christ being rejected, not you. You do not proclaim yourself, but Him who has been sent by the Father, 2 Corinthians 4:5. The authority of the King is being rebelled against, and this is far more upsetting than your ego, or pride being wounded. Rather than getting upset, or feeling like a failure when rejection comes, weep. Weep for those who pick up their arms of rebellion and carry on in a losing war, marching uphill against an army being lead by the General who has already won the Great Battle. This is why, when we suffer for His name, we round the corner when no one is looking and rejoice, Matthew 5:11-12. Our King reigns as victor.
Rejection: it’s not about you.
Jeremy Walker has written quite a few blog posts on evangelism which I think are helpful, and encouraging. Here is his Intro, and the following posts are on characteristics of personal evangelism: love, tenacity, boldness, consistency, and understanding. It may be good to read one a day, or if you are an eager beaver read them all in one sitting.
Here is a great leaflet for sharing the Gospel, Two Ways To Live (be sure to watch the video and order 100!)
Here is a foundational book on evangelism, buy two, read one, give one. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer