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  • Writer's pictureMarco Inniss

6 Scriptures on Evangelism

What does the Bible say about evangelism? We take a look at six scriptures that provide direction and encouragement for reaching others about Jesus.

Exponential Growth

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

“To the ends of the earth.” That’s a pretty ambitious goal. You’ll notice, though, that Jesus didn’t lead with that destination. He started with Jerusalem, the immediate vicinity for the disciples. That was their first assignment.

Your immediate vicinity–your home, neighborhood, town, job—is your first witnessing assignment, too. Don’t underestimate its importance. You may be called to take the gospel to a distant land, but remember that you don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to impact the people there. Spiritual growth is exponential. Ideally, the people you influence on a local level will influence others. Those people, in turn, will impact still others. And so on and so on . . . all the way to the ends of the earth.

A Light to the World

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

What do non-Christians see when they look at your life? Do they see someone whose life and heart have been transformed? Do they see someone whose actions reflect the priorities they claim? Do they see a person who demonstrates the extraordinary love of Jesus to friends and enemies alike? Do they see a person who can be trusted to give godly advice when they need it? Do they see a light of God’s salvation in a dark world?

That’s a lot to ask of anyone, but God asks it. What can you do to be a light of his love to the world?

Sowing Seeds

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” Luke 8:4-8

When it comes to spreading the gospel, would you describe your method as sowing seed? Are you overly careful about who you tell about Jesus and the salvation he offers? Or do you faithfully spread the message, season after season?

We can’t readily see hearts the way God does, and sometimes the most surprising person is the one where the seed takes root and grows vigorously. After sharing, think about the cultivation process. Seeds need soil, water and sun. So spend some time with people; get to know them. Find out what’s going on in their lives. Look for ways to share what Jesus offers so that it addresses specific needs in people’s lives. And then pray for a harvest.

A Reasonable Act

As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. Acts 17:2-4

“He reasoned with them.” That’s a key phrase for us to remember as we approach non-believers with the truth about Jesus. Many well-meaning Christians make the mistake of treating witnessing as a combative exercise. They approach it with a win-lose mentality. Their goal is to change minds and win converts. Anything less is viewed as a defeat.

Paul’s approach makes much more sense. He engaged people at a level where they were comfortable. He used reasoning, not arguing, to get his points across. He trusted the Holy Spirit to bless and use his efforts to make a difference in people’s lives.

Be Prepared

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15

It’s one thing to revere Christ as Lord and follow him. It’s another to be able to explain why you do. Why do you live your life based on a book written thousands of years ago? Why is Christianity any better than another religion? How can anyone have hope with the troubled world situation today?

If you’re serious about representing Christ, prepare yourself for answering some questions. The best way to prepare is to anticipate the questions. Think about the things that confused you before you became a Christian. Talk to mature believers about how to answer difficult questions. Read, listen, learn. Christ is the hope of the world. Be prepared to share why.

Something About You

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’” Zechariah 8:23

When was the last time someone asked if you were a Christian? Whether the question was phrased as an accusation, an exclamation of surprise or out of simple curiosity, how did you respond? Being thought of as “different” or being recognized as a Christian because someone has “heard that God is with you” is an honor. Pointing others to our great God is both our privilege and our responsibility.

So, how often are you recognized as a Christian? If true godliness is a magnet that attracts other people, how strong is your magnetic appeal? What steps can you take to strengthen it?

Questions for Growth:

1. How might you use your gifts and relationships to witness to others?

2. If God does not need us to witness to others, why does he command us to do so?

3. What can you do to gain a greater love and passion to “lead many to righteousness”?

Drawn from Rooted: The NIV Bible for Men.

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