1 Corinthians 12:4-6
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
If you were to name several gifted evangelists you know or know about, who would that be? You might name Billy Graham. Two gifted evangelists include Iijima and Ruth. They are very different from Billy Graham and from one another. lijima is old; Ruth, young; lijima is very timid, Ruth is bold; Iijima doesn’t say much, Ruth talks a lot. lijima is a widow who has won several to faith in Christ just by being their friends. Ruth has won many to Christ also by deliberately becoming friends but also through explaining Bible truth to them. She writes them letters, gives them pamphlets and books, provides transportation, throws birthday parties and plans special times for them. Billy Graham, Iijima, Ruth – all with the ability to win people to faith in Christ. That’s the Spirit-gift of evangelism. Not everyone is gifted in evangelism and even those who have greater and lesser effectiveness. Who can compare with Billy Graham, for example? But all of us are responsible to share our faith. Some call that witnessing. We witness by the way we live a magnet life-drawing others to Jesus by the quality of our life. We witness by our talk – explaining how we got where we are. However, even witnessing can be faked if the person has enough personal charisma; but we’re talking here of those who truly lead people to Christ. Thus, every one of us is called to show and tell. If the church is witnessing, people will come to Christ. We could call it body-life reproduction.
“For God so loved the world.” I’m so glad He does, aren’t you? But we tend to love our own more than others. Why not write the names of people you believe need to know Jesus? Let me see if I can guess your order: family, friends, acquaintances, unknown people. That’s natural and not necessarily wrong. But maybe you had few or none in the acquaintance-of-another-kind-of-people category or in the personally-unknown-but-prayer-request category. I think the more we have God’s heart, the more we’ll care about people at a distance, too, because God loves the whole world. As we try to feel God’s heartbeat, we see the world with God’s eyes, and discover how the Spirit will help us reach out to those who are presently out of reach.
Do we need to be persistent? Perhaps you feel called to evangelize. Keep asking God for the gift of evangelism. People may come to Christ through your ministry only sporadically, and most of us long for the ability to consistently win people to Christ. So we pray, we live Godly lives, we love people, we share our faith, and we trust God for the outcomes.