No unbeliever wants to be a Christian.
It’s not just a stubborn refusal to trust in God’s promises [because they are dead in sin], the removal of social barriers, or even the hypocrisy of a church that holds a person back, but something even more powerful.
When evangelists don’t acknowledge the spiritual forces behind unbelief, they will be ill-equipped to provide an appropriate and ongoing response to counter them.
When the angels appeared in the night sky to proclaim the good news of Christ’s birth, they provided an example and a clue for all believers on how to be evangelists.
All believers, like the angels, are to be heralds of Good News. And in that old English word “herald” we discover the truth and misconceptions about evangelism.
Expectations can cause a prospective evangelist to either soar with hope or be deflated with doubt. Too often, when improper expectations are left unchallenged, a believer with good intentions can bridle their tongue rather than proclaim His name.
Proper expectations that have a biblical perspective are influenced by one important factor. Without this understanding, most Christians will struggle at the prospect of witnessing.
Sherlock Holmes relied on deductive reasoning. Thomas Edison relied on experiments. Even Benjamin Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm. Each attempted to unlock a mystery using skill and intuitive minds.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a mystery. A key is needed outside of a person’s power or reasoning. Without it, a heart will remain locked and unable to receive the saving power of God’s grace.
Every Christian has been given the key to salvation to unlock the mystery of faith. And Christ is asking every person who trusts in Him to share it with others.
What is the key? Where can I find the key to unlock the mystery of faith?
The fear of evangelism is a normal response. Trepidation can typically accompany Jesus’ call to carry out the Great Commission. When a soul’s eternity is at stake, even the most seasoned Christian can succumb to fear when God has given them opportunities to proclaim His name.
When we examine Scripture and God’s promises, we discover that most of our fears are self-imposed.
I believe the prophet Isaiah offers us a few clues. Out of great love and mercy, God provides a simple, effective tool on how we find delight when confronting the fears of evangelism.
That tool is an ax.