Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:1-13
“Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things” (Ephesians 3:7-9)
A lot of times, we approach evangelism and ministry from a heart burdened with guilt. Our church, our friends, our peers tell us we must evangelise. It is a Christian’s duty. If you don’t tell people the gospel, they will go to Hell. These things are true. However, they should not drive us to evangelise out of guilt.
Guilt evangelism is self-centred. When we guilt evangelise, we don’t really care about the soul of the one with who we evangelise. We blurt out the gospel to them just so our hearts feel satisfied. Other times, we drag ourselves to take part in ministry at church. After we finish our ministry tasks, we feel that we have fulfilled our duty to evangelise, and we satisfy our guilt.
This is not the heart of evangelism. This was not the heart of Paul, and it certainly was not the heart of Christ.
First of all, the heart of evangelism is a heart that lovingly obeys God out of reverence for Him and His goodness. As Jesus prays in John 17:4,6 He says, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do...I have manifested your name to the people, whom you gave me out of the world”. Jesus evangelised out of willing and loving obedience to His Father. Our God is good; shouldn’t we also obey Him and His call to evangelise out of love?
This was Paul’s heart. Paul knew evangelising was a privilege, not a guilt-ridden task. He knew the spiritual benefits were not just for those who heard the gospel but for the messenger as well. Ephesians 3:7 says, “Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.” To receive the opportunity to evangelise is a gift of God’s grace. God’s grace is good things that we don’t deserve because we are sinful rebels against God. Evangelism is God’s grace which he gives to us by actively working his power in us.
Just as we pray for spiritual growth and growth in knowing and receiving grace from God, pray for the privilege to partake in the ministry of evangelism.
Furthermore, the heart of evangelism glories in the herald of good news that they bring. A heart of evangelism cares about the soul of others who must hear the good news that we have heard. Paul calls grace the privilege to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. The gospel is a mystery that has been made plain in Jesus Christ. The gospel is God’s plan and will for the universe. This is the truth and meaning of life. How our hearts should spark with a passion for sharing this truth with others.
Lastly, the heart of evangelism knows that the end of evangelism and the end of souls coming to Christ is so that the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to everyone and even to the angels, rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. When souls hear the gospel and are saved, we display the wisdom and glory of God in His plan of salvation to the whole cosmos. The end of evangelism and the end of the church is so that every living creature on earth and in heaven will be able to see the manifold of God’s wisdom who worked out salvation through Jesus Christ so that He could display the glory of His holiness, His love, His bountiful grace and that all creatures would come to worship Him. To take part in such a magnificent end is indeed a very great privilege.
Lord, please revive in me a heart for evangelism. Forgive my wrong motives and self-centred heart. Give me a heart of loving obedience to You. Give me a heart that realises and understands the grace which You have given me. Help me to fathom the grace it is to know Your Truth and plant in me a heart like Christ who willingly gives all so that others may know this gospel. Revive Your church and me with a heart for evangelism. To You be all the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.