One Saturday, I volunteered at a homeless shelter and later met with separate friends to share the gospel. Our church always has a big turnout to feed the hungry. That week, almost 30 people rose early to fill empty bellies. Serving with believers energizes me because I see the body of Christ working together.
Afterwards, I tried to recruit a few folks to go witnessing at a local park. After lobbying several people, I initially was met with skepticism. One person said, "No one cares what I have to say." Another voiced, "I am glad you have the gift of evangelism." I sighed.
I get it. Often, filling a person's physical needs is easier than providing for their spiritual needs. One is tangible, and the other can seem daunting. My friends pointed out some common concerns including fear of rejection or assuming that they aren't "gifted" that way.
However, the honor of telling people about the greatness of God is not limited to those with the spiritual gift of evangelism. Jesus told all believers to share the gospel.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
The Lord commanded us to bring light into the lives of those around us by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ (Acts 13:47). He does not limit that directive to a chosen few, but applies it to all believers. People who haven’t received the gospel will die and go to hell one day. We can’t avoid this truth simply because it is uncomfortable.
We all need someone to tell us about Jesus, despite evidence of a Creator’s design in everything on earth (Romans 1:20). Paul puts it this way:
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!’”
Romans 10:14-15 (NKJV)
Physically, my feet are ugly. I have long scars on both, one from dropping a moving ramp on my foot and the other from a dog bite. My big toenail got crushed and looks funny. No one wants to see my feet. Except God. When I preach the gospel to my neighbors and the nations, I could be a foot model. People won't hear the hope they have in Jesus if my feet stay planted in one place.
While recognizing the need to share, maybe you've had fears like mine. The first time I told people about Jesus, I thought I’d say the wrong thing and turn people away from Christ. That line of thought makes the gospel about me instead of the Lord. The key to sharing the gospel with power is to cover the act in prayer. Then the Holy Spirit speaks through me so I don’t have to worry about what to say.
Also, I remind myself that whether someone receives the gospel or not is not my responsibility. My job is to point people to Christ. I can save zero people. Zero. Jesus saves, not Joanna.
Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (emphasis mine, NKJV). God grows the seeds we plant in people’s heart. Without seeds, nothing can grow. We can’t expect everyone to know Jesus, especially in today’s post-Christian society. Many people have skewed or incomplete understandings about Christ that they’ve gleaned from culture. We must love people enough to spread the truth of Jesus.
Some people may not like it when we talk about Jesus. That’s ok. As long as we speak the truth in love, bathed in prayer, the Holy Spirit will continue working in that person’s heart and mind. Sadly, they aren’t rejecting our message, they are rejecting Christ. We can’t take it personally, but release them to God for more watering.
For my friends who served the hungry, by the end of our talk they agreed to consider joining us in sharing the good news in the future. My heart sang.
So how about you? Do you share the gospel? If not, what holds you back? May we all obey God’s command to spread the good news of Jesus so that we may rejoice with God in a bountiful harvest of souls.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank You for the honor of spreading the gospel. Thank You that Jesus died for our sins and reconciles us to the Father when we repent and return to You. Please send laborers to share the good news so that many will come to know You. Help us not fear rejection or saying the wrong thing, but trust the Holy Spirit to equip us to evangelize with power. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over twenty years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people grow in Christ. Joanna enjoys coffee and reading, and currently lives in Florida.