Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Importance of Personal Evangelism

How involved are you in personal evangelism? This is probably one area that every believer struggles with in their life. Satan wants to keep us from sharing the greatest message to those without Christ. It is easy to become apathetic about evangelism and to excuse our lack of obedience.

The book of Philemon is only one chapter, but yet it reminds us of the salvation of a former slave. Philemon’s slave had fled from him and had become a believer. He has served Paul faithfully while he was in prison, and ministered to his physical needs. Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to recognize that he is a fellow follower of Christ. Paul states a wonderful truth about the importance of evangelism with this statement: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you may have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6) . We should all be active in sharing the gospel because it is commanded in Scripture and a matter of obedience (Matt. 28:19-20).

I had many opportunities to share Christ with people when I was in the hospital. It is always a thrill to share my faith and to let others know of the joy and security of knowing Christ (I John 5:13). I find that many are willing to listen because of my illness and more receptive to my message because of what I am going through in my life. Our trials can be a springboard for sharing our faith. God has designed for every believer to be involved in personal evangelism . He uses people and their example and proclamation of the simple gospel message.

I believe the most effective way of evangelism involves building relationships and friendships. We need to be building redemptive relationships for the purpose of sharing Christ. Paul’s insight is both a challenge to sharing Christ and a realization that when you are involved in evangelism, it will change your life. When you share the gospel, it gives you an understanding of your position in Christ and the wealth of that relationship.

What happens when you witness? It reminds us, first, that we are sinners and have no hope because of our permanent separation from God. Salvation is a free gift, undeserved, and it is completely by God’s grace. Our position in Christ gives us a wealth of spiritual treasure that we receive at the moment of our salvation. When we witness we are reminded of these many rich blessings that we have in Christ. Sharing Christ in obedience will change our life and assist us in our spiritual growth. We will enable God to transform us as we marvel at the spiritual wealth that we have “in Christ.”

Make personal evangelism a priority in your life. I have found a good way to keep my focus on evangelism and make this a real priority in my life. I have developed an evangelism prospect list. This is simply a list of unsaved people, who I pray for regularly. I pray for their salvation and for an opportunity to build a deeper relationship for the purpose of sharing Christ. I guarantee that if you pray for people you will develop a heart for people.

Are you passionate about sharing the gospel with people who need the Lord? It will change your life!


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