Evangelism. What comes to your mind when you hear the word evangelism? Maybe, a street preacher, a huge stadium revival, or names like Billy Sunday, D.L. Moody, or the great Billy Graham.
The name Mr. Kimball won’t cause memories of great revivals, but Mr. Kimball in 1858 led a shoe clerk to Christ. That clerk was Dwight L. Moody. Through the evangelistic work of Moody, Fredrick B. Meyer a pastor, preaching to a group of college students brought Wilbur Chapman to Christ, who in turn brought Billy Sunday in evangelism. When Sunday preached a revival in Charlotte, N.C. A group of local men were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned another evangelistic campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to town to preach. During Hamm’s revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the gospel and surrendered his life to Christ. What a tremendous impact one Sunday School teacher had for God’s kingdom. Hundreds of millions were reached for Christ through the ministry of Billy Graham. This is the definition of evangelism. Ordinary people sharing Christ and then God doing the supernatural.
So why, as Christians are we so hesitant to share the wonderful message of Christ? Only the sheer rapture of being lost in the worship of God can compare to the feeling of the Holy Spirit flowing through you as you tell someone about Jesus Christ. But yet, this brings so much anxiety and fearful reactions from those who have been called to spread the glorious message of Christ. We do not have to be afraid, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah (55:11) I am convinced that the reason we fail to share Christ free of fear is that we do not discipline ourselves to do it.
Evangelism is expected. The Lord Jesus Himself commanded us to witness. (Matt. 28:19-20) “Go make disciples” (Mark 16:15) “Go proclaim the gospel.” (John 20:21) “Jesus said I am sending you.” (Acts 1:8) “You will receive power, you will be my witnesses.” Could the Word of God be any clearer? The Gospel of Christ traveled over 2000 years and came to you. It was not meant to stop with you and me. “The gospel came to you because it was heading to someone else. God never intended for your salvation to be an end, but a beginning,” said Robby Gallaty.
God has called us each to share His message. It is not an option. Personal evangelism is a responsibility. Many are familiar with 1 Peter 2:9 but if we read the entire verse, it says “so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” How wonderful that we have been called to help someone else to find their way out of the darkness. Go forth and let God bring the harvest.
Eddie Turner has a master’s degree in Christian ministry and bachelor of science degree in religion/Christian counseling. He is retired and a member of Norwood Heights Baptist Church in Palestine.