Why Evangelism? (ES Aims, part 1)

James Krieg | Mar 5th, 2013

Why Evangelism?

‘Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.’ 1 John 5:10-12

Christians may cite a number of different reasons for proclaiming the Gospel: ‘Jesus commanded us to do it,’ ‘It’s an essential part of being a Christian,’ ‘Just think of all those people on the way to Hell,’ ‘If we don’t, the work will never get done!’

1 John 5:10-12 may not be a verse traditionally quoted when talking about evangelism, but it does give us what I think should be the primary motive for sharing the Gospel: A desire for God’s honour. He tells us that people who don’t believe portray God as corrupt: ‘Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.’ (vs. 10) 

In Jesus the Father has made Himself crystal clear: ‘No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. (John 1:18) No-one has any excuse for not knowing who God is, now that Jesus has come and displayed the Father’s glory in his words and obedient life. So, to reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ as being untrue or inadequate is essentially that same as saying, ‘God has told us something that is untrue; therefore He cannot be trusted.’ To live in unbelief is to insult God.

So what is at stake here is not just the fact that those who reject Jesus will go to a lifeless eternity, separated forever from God’s grace and goodness (vs. 12), but that the world at this time is filled with people who are defaming God by their words and actions and unbelief, and they are called by the proclamation of the Gospel to repent (Acts 17:30).

The joy in seeing a sinner turn and put their faith in Jesus should not only be the fact that they have come to know God’s mercy and grace in the the forgiveness of their sin; but also in the fact that there is now one more voice added to the great choir who for eternity will be singing to the glory of the One who saved them:

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.” 
(Revelation 15:3-4)

How would things be different if our passion for evangelism was fuelled not by legalism or sentimentality, but by a burning desire to see the Father glorified by people trusting in His Son?