Is Evangelism a Duty or a Privilege? [99 in :99]
The idea of sharing the gospel with others can be a little intimidating. We often worry about what will happen if we say the wrong thing? Or what if they say no? Or even if we’re bad Christians if we can’t name every single person who has come to faith because we talked about Jesus.
There’s often so much pressure involved that we’re tempted to just skip it altogether. But can we?
Every Christian, regardless of his or her gifts, personality type, or confidence level, is called to share the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Every Christian is called to play a role in making disciples from all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). God really does expect me to share the gospel message using my words, no matter how awkward or feeble I might feel. And He really does expect me to live in such a way that serves as a testimony to the truth of that message. And He expects the same of you.
In one sense, evangelism is a duty. We are commanded to share the gospel. But if we only see evangelism as a duty, then we’re defeated before we even start. What we have to see is that evangelism is both a duty and a privilege (Rom. 1:14-16). That’s strange, I know, but it’s true.
The gospel message is the most important news that anyone can ever hear. It is the news that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has made a way for sinners like us to be rescued, redeemed, and welcomed into His family as beloved children. Each one of us who has trusted in Jesus knows this because we’ve experienced it. And God has entrusted that message to people like you and me.
But He hasn’t left us alone to the task. God gives us the Holy Spirit, who gives us what we ought to say when we need it (Luke 12:11- 12). God calls us sowers of the “seed” of the gospel and releases us from feeling responsible for making it grow in someone’s heart (Luke 8:4-15). We should come to the duty and privilege of evangelism with a heart of compassion and concern for the lost (2 Cor. 5:20), but we don’t need to worry about messing it up.
And God says we don’t need to fear people’s responses because we are the means by which He has sovereignly declared the nations will be reached (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8).