For most of us, if we are honest, evangelism is intimidating. It can be incredibly hard to work up the courage to talk to others about Jesus. In some moments when we have opportunities to share the Gospel, that little voice in your head rattles off about 10 reasons why you shouldn’t. “What if you mess it up? You should just remain quiet until you have studied more…” Or “You really don’t have time. After all, if you speak up now and get into a conversation, you may be late for church!”
The first thing that needs to be said is that this is, unfortunately, normal. I say it is unfortunate because it would be great if when we became a Christian, evangelism, all of a sudden, became easy. But that isn’t often how it works. Rather, evangelism is hard. It is hard because evangelism requires us to kill our pride and the fear of man.
And, because evangelism never just becomes easy (at least in my experience it hasn’t), this means that the reason why we evangelize must be based on something other than our feelings. Therefore, consider these eight reasons we should evangelize. These eight reasons will, I pray, help to give you proper motivation to share the Gospel (even if you don’t feel like it).
First (and in no particular order), we evangelize because we have an incredible message to tell. Think with me briefly about the nature of our salvation. God is the holy and just one, and we are sinful and unworthy. Due to sin, humanity’s relationship with God was ruptured. God would have been right and just to give sinners what they deserve, that is, His holy and righteous wrath due their sin. But instead, God planned to save sinners. In the Gospel, we are confronted with the reality of full pardon for all of our sin, past, present, and future. Not only full pardon, but a restored relationship with our Creator. We are adopted as sons of the King. This is truly a remarkable message, and God’s goodness demonstrated in this remarkable message compels us to tell others.
Second, we evangelize because Jesus commanded us to do so. Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
We, as followers of Christ, are commanded to go and make disciples. This is not an optional endeavor for a set apart group of Christians. Rather, this call is for every person who claims to be a follower of Christ. As slaves of Christ, we must be faithful to what our Master has commanded us to do.
Third, we evangelize because Hell is real. There is a real place called Hell where people will go if they die outside of Christ. The Bible describes this place in graphic terms. Listen to some of them:
Revelation 21:8: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Matthew 25:41: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:46 says that those outside of Christ will “go away into eternal punishment.”
Revelation 14:11: “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says: “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”
Matthew 13:50 describes the unrighteous being thrown “into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
And we could go on and look at more verses that speak about the awful reality of Hell. Because Hell is real, we should pray that God would use us to save as many people as possible from that terrible reality.
Fourth, in light of the reality of hell, we evangelize because we love the lost. What kind of sick people would we be if we had the cure for cancer but told no one? That would reveal that we don’t actually love people. But sometimes, this is how we act with something even far more important than a cure for cancer. We have the good news of the Gospel which reconciles God and man for all eternity. Therefore, let us pursue people with the Gospel out of love for them. We aren’t trying to win arguments; rather, we are trying to win souls. To truly love people is to share the Gospel with them.
Fifth, we evangelize because we are God’s means to reconcile the world to Himself. Yes, God is absolutely sovereign over all things. Yet, He accomplishes His Divine purpose by using means. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God could have written the Gospel in the clouds for all to see, but He didn’t. Rather, He calls people to Himself and then He entrusts them with the ministry of reconciliation. That is, He entrusts you and me to take His saving message to all peoples. God uses means to accomplish His purposes and accomplish His purposes, He will! Revelation 7:9 describes an incredible scene in heaven, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
So, take confidence that God does in fact save people, and there could be several people standing around the throne one day because of God using you, as His means, in this great endeavor called evangelism. Let that amaze you for a moment.
Sixth, we evangelize because tomorrow is not promised. Our lives, and the lives of those around us, could be gone in an instant. As we are told in James 4:14, our life is but a vapor. Therefore, we seek Gospel conversations with others in the here and now because tomorrow is not guaranteed. The Bible is clear that Christ could return, or we could die at any moment. Let’s share the Gospel with diligence and zeal because we never know when the Lord will either return or call us home.
Seventh, we evangelize because it sanctifies us. Evangelism is one of God’s means to kills our pride and make us more dependent upon Him. Some of you might find that evangelism is one of the hardest things you will ever do. You will find that you pray for strength a lot when you are sharing the Gospel with people. But this is intended! God designed it that way because we were never meant to live in our own power. Dependence upon God is a good thing. So, when you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or fearful. Pray. That may be exactly why God has you in that moment.
Eighth and finally, we evangelize because we love God. This is, perhaps, the most important reason. The fuel for our evangelism should not be out of duty or dread. Rather, we should strive to be obedient in evangelism because we love the Lord, and we want to see Him rightly honored and worshipped.
In conclusion, we have at least 8 reasons we should evangelize.
- Because we have an incredible message to tell.
- Because Jesus commanded us to do so.
- Because Hell is real.
- Because we love the lost.
- Because we are God’s means to reconcile the world to Himself.
- Because tomorrow is not promised.
- Because it sanctifies us.
- Because we love God.
Therefore, when you don’t “feel” like sharing the Gospel, don’t let that “feeling” have the final say. Rather, remember these reasons for why we evangelize and strive to be faithful. It won’t always be easy, but our God is faithful.
This piece originally appeared at For the Church. W. Tyler Sykora serves as the chief of staff in the Office of the President at Midwestern Seminary. He is also a lay pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo. He has an MDiv in Biblical Languages and a PhD in Biblical Studies from Midwestern. He and his wife Samantha have four children, Adeline, Jaxson, Lynlee, and one on the way.