Abundant Life Challenge
Day 8
Evangelism to unbelievers

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Category: Abundant Life Challenge Posted: 04-28-2020 By: Gerrit Kamp

The Challenge

Topic: Evangelism to unbelievers

Spend a few minutes reading, praying, and meditating on the following verses:

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 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.

Challenge: In your journal (or here https://www.quiettime.today/journal) write down the names of 3 people you doubt you will see in heaven. Write down what you think is the main reason that they have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior yet. Pray for their salvation and ask God to reveal to you what you could do to help them get closer to God.

Bonus verse

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

More information: https://www.quiettime.today/blog/challenge-8 

More Information

Today, on day 8 of the challenge, we are looking at our relationships with unbelievers. Our task as Christians is to reach out to a lost world and be a witness to them of Christ our Lord and Savior.

We call this evangelism, from the Greek word euaggelizó (gospel), which means to bring good news. It is the process of helping someone become a Christian, and thus from death into life. Their spiritual birth.

We see this word for gospel also in the LXX, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, in Isaiah 40, which is quoted in the beginning of each of the four gospels. You know verse 3 for sure, but do you also know verses 9 and 10?

Isaiah 40:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert, a highway for our God.

9 O Zion, You who bring good tidings (gospel), Get up into the high mountain;

O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings(gospel), Lift up your voice with strength,

Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him;

Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.

The good news that John the baptist came to share was that the Lord, the Messiah, would come and rule, and reward! The focus is more on Christ as Lord than as Christ as Savior. There is of course no denying that it is fantastic news that Christ saved us from our sins by paying the penalty for sin Himself by dying on the cross. But that is not the full picture of the gospel according to the scriptures. It is part 1. Part 2 is that Christ will come to set up a kingdom in which He will rule and reward. Christ is our Savior, and that is good news. Christ is also our Lord, and that is even better news. It means that we are not only saved from the lake of fire, but are actually looking forward to a full, rewarding, eternal life in which Christ is King.

Satan has done a good job of blinding Christians to this glorious aspect of the gospel, and by doing so he has been able to remove a strong motivation for Christians to live so as to please their Lord. As a result, when we in Christianity talk about evangelism, we typically only talk about sharing the good news with people that Christ died for their sins, and that they can be saved if they believe this. And since the topic today is about our relationship with unbelievers, we will also focus on this first part of the gospel. For convenience sake, we will call this evangelism (helping people become Christians), and distinguish it from disciple-making (helping people to grow as Christians).

For those who consider themselves followers of Jesus, evangelism is one of their most important tasks.

Matthew 4:19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

To view yourself as a fisher of men may not seem very respectful towards people. Yet it is the metaphor that Jesus used. The disciples were fishermen and knew what it took to catch fish. You go to a place where they are, and you use the bait that they like to get them to bite, or you cast your net over them. And then you reel them in, and they are caught. They just had to transfer their skills from fish to people. They went from fishing for their livelihood to fishing men into eternal life. They immediately left their temporal jobs and accepted the challenge of Christ to become fishers of men.

Paul talks about the gospel as well.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

He is not ashamed of it, and was indeed sharing the gospel wherever he went. We likewise should not be ashamed of sharing the gospel.

There are generally speaking two different approaches towards evangelism. The first is called friendship evangelism. The objective with friendship evangelism is to develop friendships with unbelievers for the purpose of later sharing the gospel with them. This is a good thing. By developing those friendships, we authenticate the message as they witness the transforming power of Christ in our lives. This of course assumes that you are no longer living in sinful ways. A second benefit of friendship is evangelism is that we can show to our friends how Christ will meet their specific needs, we can tailor the message to the needs of our audience, because we know our audience quite well. The disadvantages of friendship evangelism is that it takes a long time, since building relationships takes time. And there is a danger in friendship evangelism. Over time it may get harder to share the gospel, because we are becoming quite comfortable in the relationship and frankly, we are becoming more like them instead of them becoming like us.

A better approach would be Spirit-led evangelism. This is an ongoing sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to share the gospel, both with people we know well and with those we do not. This means we sometimes have to be more bold than we are now, in order to share God’s good news, and it means that sometimes we just develop the friendships longer in order to better understand the needs of our unbelieving friends, and authenticate our message. The Spirit can and will guide us if we are honestly searching His direction.

The biggest challenge in our lives is to decide to become people who share the full gospel. Both evangelism and disciple-making, to help people develop a better relationship with God. It is to leave all other pursuits of your life and pick up your cross daily, and follow Jesus. But it’s totally worth it, the King will reward you for it. Even Daniel in the OT already knew this.

Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.


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