Foundation Topic

What Is Evangelism?

When we have come to believe the message at the heart of the Bible and be changed by it, we tell others the good news about Jesus out of love for them and love for Jesus. Discover why followers of Jesus are so eager to share the good news about Jesus, and the motivations behind their evangelism.

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Short Content

Why Do I Want to Tell You About Jesus?

Why are Bible readers so adamant to tell others about Jesus? Yes, sometimes they can be obnoxious, or insensitive, or talk about him in a way that feels like they’re selling something. Sadly, sometimes they don’t even have the right motives.

But by the Bible’s own testimony, it’s genuine love that compels Christians to talk to non-Christian about Jesus.

Love? You say. Yes, followers of Jesus tell others about him because we have come to know and love God, and because we love and care about non-Christians so much that we are willing to risk our reputation and comfort to tell them the truth so that they also might experience the love of God.

Here are three reasons we evangelize, that will help you understand how evangelism is all about love.

First, we tell others about Jesus because Jesus is worth telling about.

In other words, evangelism is all about publicizing the love of God.

In the Bible, we discover that we are all in great danger—that we have rejected the God who created us and choose to live in rebellion against him. Thus, eternal judgment awaits our offenses against our eternal God (Romans 6:23).

In the Bible, we also discover the loving character of God, and repeatedly witness his reflex of mercy towards our sin. We read that God made a way for us to escape his just punishment at a cost to himself in the death of his own Son (John 3:16).

In the Bible, we discover that God offers to remove the punishment for our sin so that we can have a loving relationship with him once again (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:13-14). Part of that relationship includes God working in us a new heart that can know, love, delight in, and follow him (Ezekiel 36:26). Having a relationship with God through Jesus also includes the hope of spending eternity with him (John 14:2-3).

The Bible tells us that there is a God in heaven who not only is love but has proved his love to us in time and history through the life, death, and resurrection of his son Jesus, who went to the cross not out of compulsion, but out of joy at the thought of redeeming us (Hebrews 12:2)! Romans 5:8 says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (ESV).

We tell others about Jesus because we have discovered in the Bible the exciting news that God is love, has shown his love to the world, and invited us to enter into a loving relationship with him (1 John 4:8).  

We also tell others about Jesus because we have come to love Jesus.

In response to God’s love, we love him (1 John 4:19). Jesus tells us that our love for him will compel us to trust his Word and keep his commands (John 14:15). Before Jesus left earth, he commanded all of his followers to call other people to follow him. That means they must forsake their sin and believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for them, identify with him, and know God through a lifelong relationship with him (Matthew 28:18-20).

Christians want to obey Jesus, and so we publicize the goodness and grace he has shown to humanity. This isn’t a burdensome task, or a Christian to-do list item. The more you know Jesus, the more you love him and want others to know him too.

Jesus tells us to tell people about his life, death, and resurrection—that they can be forgiven and restored to a right relationship with God (1 Corinthians 15:3). He tells us that God has chosen to actually change people when they hear the message about Jesus (Romans 1:16). And he’s invited us to participate in saving souls out of judgment into eternal life (Jude 1:23).

Finally, we tell others about Jesus because we love the lost.

Part of this wonderful news about Jesus includes some scary news we often find offensive. God demonstrated his love radically because we needed serious rescue. This life is not the conclusion of reality. God will judge the world—every person—before we enter an eternal existence (Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16). This is also part of the Bible’s message.

Having believed God’s love for us shown in Christ, and learned to trust Jesus, we take him at his Word that every person needs salvation from their sin, or else they will suffer eternal consequences (Romans 6:23).

To think that those who don’t know Jesus will suffer his wrath for all eternity makes us shudder, and even weep. Because we are deeply convinced that God is serious about his coming wrath, we warn others, no matter how uncomfortable we may be. We tell others about Jesus because we love them, wanting what’s best for them now and in eternity.

Anything God asks us to do falls under one of two categories, which help us understand his will for our lives—loving God and loving others (Matthew 22:35-39). This is true of evangelism—or spreading the good news. We do it out of love for God and love for others, because we believe that through proclaiming the gospel message, people will come to experience the love of God.

by Bibles.net

OPEN YOUR BIBLE

Theme Verse

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

COLOSSIANS 4:2-5 NIV

What Is Evangelism?
Video: 6 Min
by Paul Washer
at HelloChristian.com
Quote

The Exciting Task of Every Christian

We must follow in the train of those who, knowing God, have proclaimed Him. Here is our task. Here is an additional delight. This knowledge, like all knowledge, is enjoyed best when it is shared. And this knowledge of God, like no other knowledge, will bring life and health to a sin-sick world. It is the glory of the Christian to tell out the glory of God. God made us for this. Let us arise and do it with all our might!

by Tom Wells | Source
Article: 5 Min

What Is Evangelism?

by Ligonier Ministries

Definition

Evangelism

The Spirit-empowered activity whereby believers give an intentional, complete and verbal witness to Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection, and call unbelievers to become his disciples by repenting of their sins, believing in him and verbally confessing him as Lord.

by Matt Queen

Quote

We Evangelize Because the World Needs God

The God who is worthy to be known and served for who he is, is himself the answer to this world’s longings. And those who know him best are best equipped to serve him. He is their message. If we have discovered the glory of God in the face of Christ, we must not hold back. The God of glory must be made known.

by Tom Wells
Messages: 37 Min

Evangelism

by Mark Dever

Pop

The Answer

by Jeremy Camp

70’s | 80’s | 90’s

Live out loud

by Steven Curtis Chapman
Image

And he said
to them,
Follow me,
and I will
make you
fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:18 ESV
Article: 7 Min

Don’t Just
"Share"
the Gospel

by Elliot Clark at The Gospel Coalition

Article: 6 Min

Who Should I Tell
About Jesus?
(Free Printable Graphic!)

by Bibles.net

Contemporary

Nobody

by Casting Crowns feat. Matthew West
Video: 3 Min
Why Do We Evangelize?
Quote

According to the Bible,
good motives for
evangelism are

a desire to be
obedient,
a love for the lost,
and a love for God.

Verse
Matthew 5:14-16 NLT

"You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

Video: 1 Min
by Fixed Point Foundation
Quote

Evangelism Is a Loving Warning

You came to hear me preach to-day, as you would have gone to the opera or playhouse; you thought I should amuse you. Ah! that is not my aim, God is my witness, I came here solemnly in earnest, to wash my hands of your blood. If you are damned, any one of you, it shall not be because I did not warn you. Men and women, if ye perish, my bands are washed in innocence; I have told you of your doom.

I again cry, repent, repent, repent, for "unless ye repent ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). I came here determined this morning, if I must use rough words, to use them; to speak right on against men, and for men too; for the things we say against you now are really for your good. We do but warn you, lest you perish.

by Charles Spurgeon | Source
Video: 6 Min

Contemporary

One Awkward Moment

by Casting Crowns
Quote

Could a doctor
sit in comfort
and just let his
patients die?

Could a fireman
sit idle, let men
burn and give no hand?
Can you sit
at ease in Zion with
the world around you damned?

Article: 15 Min

5 Common
Evangelism
Excuses

Instead of asking why we evangelize,
let's consider why we don't evangelize.

by Mark Dever at Crossway

70’s | 80’s | 90’s

Asleep in the Light

by Keith Green
Messages: 43 Min

Everyday Evangelism

by Erik Raymond

Verse
Luke 15:7 NIV

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Article: 4 Min

God’s Great Plan

God wants to accomplish his plan for the world through us!

by Bruce, a Friend of Bibles.net

Article: 5 Min

There Are No
Ordinary People:
You Have Never
Talked to a Mere Mortal

by C.S. Lewis at The Gospel Coalition

Image

Rescue others
by
snatching
them from
the flames of judgment.
Show mercy
to still others,

but do so with great caution,
hating
the sins
that
contaminate their lives.

Jude 23 NLT
Quote

What If I'm Not Gifted at Evangelism?

“Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face—whose mercy you have professed to obey—and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.

by William Booth | Source
Verse
Philippians 1:15-18 NIV

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Quote

We are to evangelize,
not because it is
easy, not because
we may be
successful,
but
because
Christ has called us.

He is our Lord.
We have no other choice,
but to obey him.

Quote

Do We Cherish Our Friendship More Than Our Friend?

A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.

by Richard Baxter | Source
Article: 6 Min

Why Share the Gospel If God Has Already Decided Who Will Be Saved?

by Bibles.net

Does Evangelism Work?
Quote

Four Things to Remember About Evangelism

First, we must admit that we were silly ever to think that any evangelistic technique, however skillful, could of itself guarantee conversions; second, we must recognize that, because man’s heart is impervious to the word of God, it is no cause for surprise if at any time our evangelism fails to result in conversions; third, we must remember that the terms of our calling are that we should be faithful, not that we should be successful; fourth, we must learn to rest all our hopes of fruit in evangelism upon the omnipotent grace of God.

by J.I. Packer | Source
Image

Salvation
belongs to
the 
Lord.

Psalm 3:8 ESV
Verse
1 Corinthians 3:5-7 NIV

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Messages: 53 Min

Faithful Witness to Christ

by Randy Smith