• Jenna

Witnessing Part 3 - Why Evangelize?

Updated: May 10

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2



If God is Sovereign, Why Evangelize?


If there is so much sacrifice and hostility that comes along with sharing the gospel, why wouldn’t we want to take all that energy and put it towards building our own relationship with God? Why wouldn't we take all that energy and put it into reading His Word or prayer instead? Why wouldn't we just allow God to draw these people to Himself on His own? After all, He is sovereign in His election anyways. Predestination is all throughout Scripture. (Btw, I don't identify myself as a Calvinist. But I do identify myself as a follower of Jesus Christ, a student of Scripture and reformed teaching).


even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:4).


For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:29-30).


No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day (John 6:44).


But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, (Galatians 1:15)


You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16


God’s command for us to evangelize is not for us to go and find intellectual loopholes and try to figure out why. When we do that, we’re doing the thing that all people are naturally bent towards, and that is to make the assumption that our minds are the ultimate and final call on all matters. In other words, if we can’t figure something out, it must mean that it’s not possible or that it's not reasonable.


Because I Said So


Even though Scripture makes it very clear that God is sovereign in His election, here is the biblical response to the question “Why evangelize?” And this is what the Word of God says: “I told you to.” And see, that should be sufficient for us. It’s kind of like telling a little kid to go do something and they ask, “why?” And because you’re unable to explain to them or reason with their child-like minds, you simply say, “Because I said so.” It’s because you know what’s good for them, and it’s not always for them to understand, but rather, to trust you as their loving parent and do it.


To God, that’s who we are. We are His children in terms of measuring our own finite minds with the infinite, incomprehensible mind of God. "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" (Romans 11:33). When we ask the question why because we can’t logically reason with one of His commands, He simply says it’s not for us to understand. It’s simply just for us to do. So, we are commanded to go into all the world and spread the good news, making disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19). And that command should be enough for us if we say that we truly believe in God. If we believe in God, we’ll do what He says in His Word. We may not obey perfectly, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will certainly desire to obey His Word - because we trust Him! The obedience of faith is not always easy, but it is cut and dry like that.


"Why evangelize? Because it's a command, and it's the highest privilege that God could give to us" - RC Sproul


Every Creature, Everybody, Everyone, The Whole Creation


Furthermore, we don’t have the knowledge of who God’s elect are, so we are to preach to everybody. "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Creature, meaning everybody, everyone, the whole creation. And the Bible is not talking about creatures as in animals here. Anyways, that’s our responsibility of planting the seeds in the whole creation, and God will take care of His part, which is the saving of the souls. Our responsibility is to be obedient to the Word of God, witness to others the power of Jesus Christ, and share the full gospel so that we may plant those seeds faithfully, according to His Word. We are not to escape His commands of witnessing by getting into all kinds of rational arguments or intellectual reasoning about it. We are to believe in God and do what He says – with joy. God only tells His children to do things that are good for us. We must trust in His goodness with every command, including witnessing.


I can't imagine something more fulfilling or more powerful than leading someone to Christ, rescuing them out of the fire, by God's grace. Even if I was born to share the saving power of Jesus Christ with only one soul on this entire planet, and I fulfilled that mission, oh boy, I would be overjoyed and filled with so much purpose. To know that I helped even just one soul find his or her way to Jesus...absolutely nothing could be better than that.


"I Don't Feel Ready"


Another rational argument we might try to make as to why we don’t just allow God to draw these people to Himself - is that we just don't feel ready to witness. I feel this way for sure at times, and I know that's not an excuse. I get nervous and feel like I have to have these perfect and profound answers for every question, like I'm John Piper or something. And I just put way too much pressure on myself to articulate my words like I've got a PHD in speaking. It's unnecessary. It's unreasonable. It's relying too much on myself and not the power of God. May I rest in the One who is perfect for me! I repent of my perfectionistic tendencies!


In witnessing, many of us won’t feel quite ready to answer all the questions, be able to defend the faith, or explain things theologically very well. Jesus never said that we should wait to share the gospel until we feel ready. Rather, He commands us to go out there right now and do it, and we’re responsible to do it because sharing the gospel isn’t a matter of theological knowledge. In other words, we all are responsible when we come to saving faith in Christ to share the Truth with others. We are all instant witnesses by the virtue of personally seeing, hearing, and touching the power of Christ in our lives. Even if the only thing we know is that Jesus has saved us, that’s sufficient to be a witness for Him.


A Transformed Life


We don’t have to be theologians to be able to give our personal testimony of how God transformed our lives; how we went from darkness to light, dead in sin to alive in Christ. For example, it could be that for 20 years you were a drug addict, until one day you saw the light of the gospel and Jesus transformed your life. Now, you’re serving Him and being a slave to righteousness instead of being a slave to sin and drugs. Now you're on your way to heaven instead of hell. Talk about a transformed life! "Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" (Romans 6:16). Or, it could be that you were just a regular guy or girl who went years and years without purpose, meaning, or any real fulfillment in your life. Now, since coming to faith in Jesus, you have been given real peace, joy, and purpose in your life. That's a transformed life! This should be enough to testify about Christ and be a light for others.


His Grace is Sufficient


First off, we are to witness simply because God says so. And second off, we know that we are fully capable of witnessing because we have personally seen, heard, and felt the power of Jesus Christ in our lives. And we know that like anything, witnessing and sharing the gospel takes patience and practice - and the grace of God that is with us. His grace is sufficient. The more we witness and share the transforming power of Christ, the more equipped we will become at answering people’s questions and articulating it with a Christ-confidence. Naturally, we'll get better with practice.


We don't have to be super articulate or all eloquent and scholarly with our words either. We simply have to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That's it. We just have to be the person God made us to be, and trust in His power. The more we will learn to trust God and rely on His grace with these special encounters, the more He will speak right through us, effortlessly. Let's remember what Paul said in First Corinthians, "And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).


In the Last Half of a Tick of a Tock


So, in the end, the most important thing to being an effective witness for Jesus is the testimony of a transformed life in Christ. Whether that was when we were six years old, or when we were 33 years old, or when we were in our final days, or in our last hours, or in our final breaths, or even in the final and last half-of-a-tick-of-a-tock on this side of eternity. As Christians, we all have our very own personal testimony of when we came to give our life to Jesus and truly walk with Him in obedience.


Our testimonies don't have to be super showy, impressive, or sensational. Some people’s conversions are very sudden and dramatic, like Paul’s. Other people’s conversions happen gradually over a certain time or season in their life; a time where they can look back and remember that was the month, season, or year they decided to give their life to Christ, and they realize their life hasn’t ever been the same since. However God shaped us, Christ comes to each and every one of us in our own special ways on His perfect timing. We all have our own personal testimonies, and whether they are loud and intense or soft and subtle, they are all true miracles of God. The new birth is nothing short of a miracle and the biggest milestone of our entire existence. As Christians, we are all living miracles. And it's nothing we did or could ever do to be born of the Spirit. Just as we had nothing to do with our physical birth, we had nothing to do with our spiritual birth either. It was all God's sovereign hand. There's nothing we can ever boast about. It's the grace of God gifting us with our faith. What a tremendous gift that is! It's bringing me to tears right now.


All glory belongs to our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ forever and ever and ever...


Love,

Jenna


Continue reading part 4 here.

 

Jesus answered,“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.' John 3:5-6


For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:13-15


But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:7-8


But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15


But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9). Throughout our witnessing efforts, it will also build our faith and intimacy with Jesus.

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