Evangelism doesn’t always make me feel happy- but it usually does. There have been times when the seemingly impenetrable condition of someone’s heart has left me deeply grieved. The most vulgar individual I ever met was a Pastor’s daughter. I turned around after witnessing to her and immediately burst into tears, feeling shocked, mortified, and spiritually drained. But most often, my experiences haven’t been too difficult.
As I said, I usually end a witnessing encounter feeling happy, but I always end a witnessing encounter feeling satisfied.
Why is that? God’s word instructs us to make the best use of our time, especially towards those outside of the faith, as we consider the great opportunity presented to us during this limited period of evil (Ephesians 5:16, Colossians 4:5). Simply put, evangelism never leaves me feeling like I wasted time. In fact, any time I have evangelized it seems there is nothing better that I could have been doing. If I could trade that time for a sunny day in Mexico, I would not do it. Why? Because I know that some lost soul has heard the gospel, and that they may come to saving faith. What could be more valuable than that?
I know (and am glad!) God is sovereign in salvation, so don’t misunderstand me. But there is something amazing about planting that seed by which God can lead a person to Himself. Even if the person seemed to reject the gospel, I love to imagine them being saved. I love to think that I could possibly see them in Heaven and talk about that day I had the privilege to share Christ with them.
How many activities can we engage in with that kind of eternal value? What greater gift can we contribute to this earth than the gospel of Jesus Christ? Sometimes I think “If only I had more money, then imagine what I could do for the kingdom of God.” But that’s absurd! God has “reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us (2Corinthians 5:18,20).” We have been entrusted with “the gospel…the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).” We have “this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us (2Corinthians 4:7).” We have something so much more valuable and world changing than money.
I mean really, this should just blow our minds. Can you believe that God has entrusted us with this? You with this? What an unbelievable honor. What a spectacular calling.
I get pumped up just thinking about it. But sadly, I really don’t think this way often. I quickly forget what a joy and honor it is to share the gospel with somebody. Led by my flesh, I reckon that there’s something more enjoyable to do. And really, I’m wrong. There truly is nothing more satisfying than obeying and pleasing my Lord, nothing more joyous than knowing His Holy Spirit is working through my life to impact people for eternity.
Jonathon Edwards said “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” I need to pray like that. If you feel the same you can pray along with me:
I repent of my worldly mindedness. Please forgive me. Set my mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Colossians 1:2). Help me to remember the reality of the gospel I’m entrusted with, and the state of the world I’m living in. Help me to remember the satisfaction and joy I experience in obeying you by preaching Christ crucified. Help this to be true of me: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me (Colossians 1:28-29).” Amen.