Written By: Tim Eby
We have this great glad message of good news for the world, and yet we struggle to win people into the Kingdom of God. Why does it seem so hard to pass on the good news in a way that impacts others lives? Why do we get distracted with the programs of the church and forget the central call of God to go and make disciples of all nations? In order to have authentic evangelism, we must first understand what is the Gospel message, what is the church, and what is evangelism?
Peter and his brothers had seen the miracles of Jesus, heard his message, watched him live out the love of God, then saw him sacrifice himself on the cross, and rise from the dead. So what did they do? They went back to fishing and, after doing so all night, had caught nothing. Jesus appeared on the shore and told them, throw the net on the other side of the boat! When they did, they caught more fish than they could pull into the boat. Peter jumped from the boat and swam to shore where Jesus invited him to breakfast and then told Peter to bring some of what he had caught. Then Jesus asked him the most important question of his life, “do you love me?” When Peter responded three times with a passionate “Yes” Jesus responded each time, “feed my sheep.”
How easy it is for us to forget what God has done and simply go back to our routine. He calls us to go and share the good news. The message we share does not begin in Genesis 3 with the fall of man and our condemnation to be separated from God and yet we many times we go out telling this message. Repent or be condemned to hell! That does not sound like good news! Our message starts in Genesis 2 where we are living in peace with God, where love overcomes evil, where we love our enemies and redeem the broken-hearted, and bring good news to the poor and the outcasts.
The church, then, must be the embodiment of this good news. We must not only be the Word but must also be in deed what we speak of with signs that confirm that we live out what we believe. Jesus has no body but yours! We must be the hands and feet of Christ that then draw people into this family of grace and forgiveness.
We then begin to evangelize not from a program sent from our church leaders above us but because we are sent by Jesus himself to go and feed his sheep. If you truly love Him you will obey what he commands and he commands us to go. Be the first to go into your family, into your neighborhood, into your city to share your faith. That simply means share your lives with others and be transparent enough that they see Christ in you. We must be good stewards or our relationships with others for the sake of Christ. You must be willing to leave what is comfortable and to be the stranger in other people’s worlds. It will not be easy, but the Spirit promised to go with us.
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news.” Where is God sending you to be uncomfortable and are you willing to be the first to go? Share the good news with others, live out a life submitted to the Holy Spirit, and you will have learned what authentic evangelism truly means- “go and feed my sheep.”