Monday, 28 April 2008

God's Part and Our Part in Evangelism

Have you...
...ever wondered about giving up sharing the gospel because no one seems to respond?
...ever thought about stopping trying to evangelise because as God is in control there's no point in us doing anything?

We have to remember that all the time, God is completely sovereign in evangelism:
  • He gave us the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)
  • He convicts the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement (John 16:8)
  • He gives repentance to people which leads to life - (Acts 5:31, 11:18, Ephesians 2:8)
This takes a huge weight off our shoulders: God, the sovereign God who created, sustains and directs the universe, has the responsibility of doing the hardest parts in evangelism. He convinces sinful humans - free willed creatures that are predisposed to be against God and against doing his will - to believe and trust in the Gospel, a series of events that happened two thousand years ago in a distant part of the world.

But although God is sovereign in evangelism, he has chosen to use Christians as his tools:
  • We are to share the gospel - after all how can people believe in him they haven't heard? (Romans 10:13-17)
What are the implications for us of all of this?

We should persevere! We are told to just share the gospel. God does the hard work in the people we share it with. God is infinitely powerful and is sovereign. If he wants to save someone, he will do. Paul says in (2 Tim 2:8-10) that he endures everything (he was in jail for doing evangelism) for the sake of the elect (the people that God has decided to save) that they may obtain salvation. We should persevere in our evangelism because our evangelism won't fail - God will save those that he has decided to save.

We should pray! We are told to share the gospel. God does the hard work. But our part can be hard and we should pray about it and for it. In Acts 4:29-31, the church in Jerusalem prayed for boldness to continue to speak whilst they were facing opposition in evangelism. God granted them boldness and they continued evangelising! In Ephesians 6:18-20, Paul asks for prayer for him to have words to share the gospel boldly. I think it's a real encouragement that even Paul asked God for help in evangelism - none of us should be doing this in our own strength, but rather we should ask God to equip us!

We should do it! We are told to share the gospel. God does the hard work. Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 to go out and share the gospel. We must obey Jesus in this. We need to always be looking for opportunities to share the gospel.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Good choice of topic! An interesting & informative read.