Jesus told his followers to preach the Gospel to people all over the world. Below are some Bible verses that can help us understand the need for evangelism, as well as help us in carrying out the responsibility and privilege of telling people about Jesus Christ.
Who should we evangelize to? Below are verses from each of the four Gospels to show that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are very much in agreement as to who we should inform about Jesus Christ:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, - Matthew 28:19
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. - Mark 16:15-16
and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. - Luke 24:47
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:17
Each of the verses above tell us that we are not limited as to who we can evangelize to. In Matthew 28:19 and Luke 24:47, for example, there are references to "all nations." In Mark 16:15-16, Jesus' followers are told to evangelize to "all creation." And, John 3:17 mentions the word "world" on three occassions. The four Gospels are unanimous: We can and should evangelize to everyone, everywhere.
What can we tell people when we evangelize? What should we say? One way to evangelize is to tell people that we all are in need of salvation and that Jesus is the salvation that we need. And here are Bible verses that can help:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23
... your iniquities have separated you from your God ... - Isaiah 59:2a
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ... Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. - John 3:16,18
It is by the name of Jesus Christ ... Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. - Acts 4:10,12
The Bible that says that we should always be prepared:
But in your hearts set apart 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
Imagine if you went to a job interview and were caught off guard by a question such as "why should we hire you?" Imagine if you had to fumble for an answer. You might be inclined to think that that you weren't going to get the job.
More than likely, though, you would consider it wise to prepare in advance for a job interview, to have a polished resume explaining the benefits of hiring you, and to have well-rehearsed answers for the basic questions that are likely to be asked during a job interview.
With this in mind, ask yourself if you believe it would be appropriate to prepare in advance some basic answers to some basic questions, such as "What is the reason for your hope?" or "Why are you a Christian?" or "Why do you believe in Jesus?"
The Bible provides some colorful and detailed examples of evangelizing in a variety of places.
In Acts 16, for example, Paul and Silas are thrown into prison. But they don't let that stop them from evangelizing. In John 4:1-42, Jesus is in Samaria where there is a great deal of tension between Jews and Samaritans. But that doesn't prevent him from evangelizing to a Samaritan woman. Let's take a look at these two examples as a way of reinforcing the idea that any place can be a good place for evangelism.
Background: In Acts 16, Paul and Silas travel through a stretch of western Asia and find themselves sailing the Aegean Sea for Philippi, a Roman colony on the continent of Europe. This is the first time that the Bible mentions Paul being in Europe.
After arriving, Paul and Silas are followed by a demonically possessed slave woman. Paul casts the demon out of the woman. But instead of being greeted with joy for the healing, Paul and Silas are greeted with anger. We learn that while the woman was possessed, she was able to convince people that she could predict the future, and this allowed the woman to earn an income for her masters.
The masters, now angry because they have lost a source of income, set off a chain of events that help ensure that Paul and Silas never forget their trip to Philippi:
20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar
21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.
23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Background: In John 4:1-42, Jesus evangelizes to a Samaritan woman at a water well in Samaria. Samaria was a name for a northern part of the land of Israel. The Bible tells us that there was tension between the Israelites of the north and the Israelites of the south even before the time of King David about 3000 years ago.
The tension between north and south continued through the time of Christ, although the reasons for the tension had changed dramatically over time.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria.
5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
Here are some quotes from the Bible that can help us:
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. - Acts 8:30-31
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? - Romans 10:14
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." - John 20:21
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. - John 14:6
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. - Romans 1:16
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. - Romans 10:9
Paul's Charge to Timothy: In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. - 2 Timothy 4:1-2
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