Our Motivation and Goal

Why Share the Gospel?

We were all unworthy sinners separated from God. We deserved His wrath for our sins. In His grace, He sent His Son Jesus to live a perfect life, die as punishment for our sins, be raised from the dead, and given all authority. We asked for His forgiveness, surrendered our lives to Him, and promised to obey His Word best we could. He restored our relationship to God, gave us the Holy Spirit to help us achieve His purpose for our lives, and will give us eternal life once that purpose is finished. What a wonderful gift for such undeserving people as us! We should tell the world about Him!

There's definitely a need. Billions of people, including many unreached, are still destined for God's judgement. Over a million non-believers in the Memphis Metro Area alone! Following that, they'll experience eternal torment. We see, talk to, and/or hang out with people every day who are slowly perishing. We're called to love God and love others as He loved us. If we abide in His love, we should feel compelled to try to reach them.

Instead, we tell ourselves it's not on us like Ninevah was on Jonah. Maybe we can run from our responsibility. Maybe we don't know what to say, we think it's awkward, and/or we'd just screw it up anyway. We hope God will send other people to do the job for us. People with gifts for that sort of thing. Yet, most people's testimonies show that ordinary people caring about and reaching out to them, often in small ways, had a major impact. That should feel convicting to any of us not or rarely doing that. What does the Word of God say about this?

In God's Word, Jesus and His apostles were clear this is everyone's job: Matt. 4:19; Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 5:17-21. He gave us the the Word, Holy Spirit, and the church to equip us for doing it. We don't have to convince them: God Himself grows the church. He limits our responsibility to just sharing His Gospel, living like we truly believe it, and praying for them. What they decide from there is on them. In the end, He'll judge us for what we did with the time He gave us, rewarding every sacrifice we made for Him and others. Since life is short (video), we should make it count. One way to is helping him bring back His lost sheep.

Right now they're dead in sin. Let's help Him give them life as only He can.

What's the Bible of Each of Us?

I know what you're thinking: most of that still sounds like an overwhelming, scary responsibility. I assure you it's not. Though the situation is grim, God has made our part something simpler, more manageable, and that we can often do in His peace and joy. Before giving you tools, I'm going to tell you a few things about our role so you can go out there feeling inwardly calm and outwardly bold. :)

First, we're graded on effort, not conversions. Most people most of the time will be gardeners: planting seeds and watering. Their work leads to a harvest later. Isaiah says some will lean in more than others. Focus harder on them. Even with all of this, it's normal to see few to no conversions. Some missionaries spend years before a single conversion. Some areas that currently have high devotion to God said no to Him, often persecuting believers, for over a decade. The Spirit of God was working then. He'll work through your efforts, too. Even if they all say no, God will be pleased and He Himself rewards our efforts. It's never for nothing. So, don't get discouraged!

Second, don't worry too much about doing it wrong. God shows His greatness by achieving His goals using unimpressive and flawed people like us. He requires us to use whatever we know, pay attention to what happens, and make attempts to improve from there. That means your first step, right now, is just having something to share and sharing it. If you can't answer a question, just tell them you don't know. Maybe get back to them. Just remember we do a small part of God's work in saving people. Even if we fail, His Plan is still moving unstoppably forward. We just gotta be moving with Him.

Last point you better never forget: God blesses obedience (i.e. dedication). After saving us, He offers another type of grace, a conditional grace, where He blesses people more for more effort. Proof almost everyone has experienced is prayer: you put effort in and saw God respond. Maybe it was fasting. Maybe it was a hard choice that He worked through. God promises to bless obedience to Him, love for others (esp poor and oppressed), and time in the Word. Invest as much time as you can into these. If you do, the Holy Spirit will impart more Christ-like character into you. If He chooses, He might also increase your effectiveness, line receptive people up for you, send you backup, or even perform miracles. Living for Him can be an adventure!

How does that apply to evangelism? Start with a foundation of holy living. Work at ridding every aspect of your life of sin, even jokes and entertainment where possible. Focus on who He is (pdf), humility like Christ's, biblical love, peace, and our hope. Pray without ceasing (sermon). Do fast (video) at key moments. His light will shine in and His love will overflow out of you. People around you will lean in to find out why. To get better at telling them, you can meditate on the Word, memorize Scripture, practice your sharing/testimonies, practice the openers/closers, learn what people believe, and learn some apologetics. Most important, try to talk to more people about Jesus in more places. The more you invest in Him and others, the more opportunities you create to see Him work in and through you. Teach new and long-time believers you run into to do the same.

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