Preaching the Gospel and Witnessing
Evangelism should be the lifestyle of every disciple of Jesus.
Compassion toward all human beings is part of our calling and enables us to see the lost through the eyes of Jesus to lead them to Him.
Evangelism is preaching the Gospel and taking care of new believers to lead them into maturity.
We can better understand Evangelism and Compassion and how it relates to the Church and our lives by exploring the following;
- Preaching the Gospel and Witnessing
- Compassion for those in need
- Evangelism and making disciples
- Christ’s Commission
The need for preaching the Gospel
God created every human being for a close relationship with Him (John 3:16). But human beings disobeyed God by violating His commandments and deciding to turn away from Him (Romans 3:23). The punishment for this disobedience and sin is death and hell (Romans 6:23). However, God, in His mercy, wanted to save the whole world; God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son—Jesus Christ—from heaven to earth. Jesus lived a sinless life and pleased the Father God through His life. Finally, He died on the cross, taking the wages of sin for the whole world. Jesus loved us to the extent of giving His own life for us. On the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead, and Jesus ascended into heaven. Jesus will come back again to take everyone who believes in Him back to heaven where they will be with Him forever. Everyone who does not believe in the Lord Jesus will be thrown into hell. Jesus Christ is the Gospel (2 Timothy 2:8) and there is no salvation without Him (Acts 4:12).
As sinners, when we come to Jesus Christ and ask Him for the forgiveness of our sins, He forgives us and cleanses us from all of our sins with His precious blood. He fills us with His Spirit, His love, and His compassion so that we will reflect Him in our daily lives. We become the children of God because we are called out of the darkness of sin and Satan into His marvelous light in Jesus Christ. As people who experience the love and compassion of God, we become the agents of transformation to the rest of the world
Why do we preach the Gospel?
If we do not preach the Gospel, people will die in their sins without hearing the Good News of Jesus. There is no other way of salvation except through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). The Gospel is the power of God to transform lives (Romans 1:16). We also know that the time is short which creates an urgency to preach the Gospel. Jesus commanded us to go and preach the Good News (Mark 16:15). The Gospel is the Good News of salvation for the whole of humanity, and it cannot be kept a secret; we must use all of the methods and media at our disposal to spread that message. God does not want anyone to perish but wants all to repent of their sins and receive the free gift of salvation. Preaching reminds us not only of the preacher’s passion, conviction, vigor, and enthusiasm for what he is preaching but also of the urgency of communicating that message. This is why the privilege and the responsibility of preaching this glorious and eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ is entrusted to save sinners like you and me who have experienced its power (Romans 1:16; Acts 4:5-21).
When we preach the Gospel, we must expect results—transformation and repentance (Acts 2:37-38; Acts 18:8); miracles and wonders (Mark 16:15-18); persecution and imprisonment (Acts 16:20-24); even death (Acts 7:54-60). Regardless of the results, the Lord Jesus is always with the preacher (Acts 18:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:16-17). All of us who have experienced the power of the Gospel are called to preach it. A famous bishop in South India asked every believer after baptism to place the Bible and a hand on their head and repeat 1 Corinthians 9:16 three times. This practice eventually produced thousands of powerful preachers from that region, and churches multiplied. In 1 Corinthians 9:16-17, Paul said, “If I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me” (emphasis added).
Sin has alienated people from God, and they must be reconciled to Him. Reconciliation means “the bringing together of two parties that are in dispute; particularly, Christ’s bringing God and man together, the result of which is salvation.”
Reconciliation comes through Christ alone who came to take our sin upon Himself and grant us His righteousness. We are ambassadors of that message. An ambassador is a special representative from one government appointed to represent its government’s interests to another. To represent Christ is a high honor and a significant investment of our lives.
The goal of preaching the Gospel
We preach the Gospel with a desire to see the salvation of the people (Acts 4:12; Matthew 24:14; 1 Peter 4:6). Those who believe will be saved and those who do not will be condemned (Mark 16:15-16). Those who are saved through the repentance and confession of their sins come together in local fellowships to worship God. One of the goals of preaching the Gospel is to establish new churches or strengthen already existing churches by adding more disciples into them. The formation of a worshipping community among unreached people should be our goal.
What motivates us to preach the Gospel?
The love of Christ is what motivates us to preach the Gospel (2 Corinthians 5:14). He died for us while we were yet sinners—His love compels us. Jesus purchased us by His precious blood, and we belong to His family. We see the world through the compassionate heart and eyes of Jesus. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments—and one of His commandments is to preach the Gospel.
The heart of a preacher is very important. We understand the two kingdoms that are at work on the face of the earth. Satan has blinded the eyes of the unbelievers and they are being led to hell. Hell is the place of eternal torment prepared for Satan and those who follow him (Mark 9:47-49). On the other hand, the loving heavenly Father wants all mankind to live with Him forever in heaven. We are the people who stand between heaven and hell to proclaim ‘come and be saved.’ It has to be done with urgency, love, compassion, and prayer.
Boldness in preaching the Gospel
How we present the Gospel is very important. Boldness is one of the most important aspects in preaching the Gospel. In the Book of Acts 4:13, we read, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” The boldness to preach the Gospel comes from the deep conviction that the Lord Jesus is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12). The conviction of a person who has received the forgiveness of sins in Jesus will help him/her to be effective in communicating the Gospel.
We need to memorize verses from the Bible which can be used in communicating the Gospel. For example, Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world and sent His son for us. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that we can be saved by faith. Romans 8:1 says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. John 1:12 says if we believe and accept God’s free gift of salvation, we become His children. There are many more verses that can be used to lead someone to the Lord depending on the background and knowledge of that person (1 Peter 3:15).
The definition of witnessing (Isaiah 43:10)
The word witnessing is used mostly in the courts to tell others about what one has seen, heard, or experienced. No one can truly witness without hearing, seeing, or experiencing (1 John 1:1-2). As we become the children of God, we share the joy of being in the family of God. We are the people chosen to witness the love of God to all who have never heard of it. We are to bear witness through our words and deeds. Others have to see and hear about the love of God in and through us. As witnesses of Jesus, we need to maintain a close walk and fellowship with Jesus on a daily basis. One of the characteristics of first-century Christians was that “they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). In other words, if we are disconnected from Jesus, we do not have a message to tell.
In preaching, we proclaim or communicate the Good News of Jesus, but in witnessing, we tell what we have experienced as disciples of Jesus. Our personal life, therefore, is very important. Every disciple is called to declare the goodness of the one who called us out from darkness into light. We need to reflect the character of the Lord Jesus through our life. As disciples, we are the living epistles, the Gospel in human form to affect the world. We preach with our actions and reactions. Someone correctly said once, “Preach the gospel through all means . . . use the words if needed.” A witness of the Gospel should have the boldness to say like Apostle Paul, “imitate [follow] me as I imitate Christ”(I Corinthians 11:1).
As witnesses, His disciples are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). We need to reflect the life of Christ (I Peter 2:21; Colossians 3:12; Philippians 2:5-11). In 2 Kings 4:9, we read the testimony of the Shunammite woman about Elisha, the prophet of the Lord. She says, “I know this man who often comes this way is a holy man of God.”
Another example is that of the well-known preacher Sadhu Sunder Singh from Punjab, India. He used to walk to Tibet many times in only his bare feet and preach the Gospel. When he reached the countryside, the children used to run to their mothers to tell them that Jesus had come to their village. Once, while visiting a rich man’s house, the servant of that house came to the door and asked him to stay there while he called his master. The servant’s message to his master about this man was, “A person, who looks like Jesus is waiting at the door.” Hearing this message, the master ordered to let him be greeted with honor, and he hurried to receive him. This example tells us that witnessing has to be done through our lives. We need to live exemplary lives. Our lives should not contradict what we speak.
The role of the Holy Spirit in witnessing
The power of the Holy Spirit is another important prerequisite to witness for Jesus as He told His disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The first-century Christians waited until they had received the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was an appointing to preach the Gospel and to be witnesses for Jesus.
We should allow the Holy Spirit to work within us. He comes into us and convicts us about our sins, our need for righteousness, and the reality of judgment (John 16:5-11). We experience His work within us as He leads us into all truth to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This helps us to live Spirit-filled, crucified lives. He also empowers, guides, and directs us to become the witnesses of The Lord. The Holy Spirit comes upon us or baptizes us to make us powerful tools for His ministry. He demonstrates His different gifts through us for the common good and deliverance of the people to whom we witness (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). The Spirit gives the needed gifts and boldness to us to exercise these gifts. He performs these miracles and wonders in order to establish the word of God and bring glory to God. Satan always brings fear and doubt whenever we step ahead to preach the Gospel. The only way to have victory over such fears is to be filled/empowered by the Holy Spirit and to walk by faith.
The commitment to being a witness (Acts 1:8)
The word ‘witness’ also has a root meaning of becoming a ‘martyr,’ willing to die for the message we preach. Becoming a witness of the Lord Jesus is a bold step and, most of the time, a very expensive one. Knowing this, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to be with us forever. Starting with Stephen in the Book of Acts, Christian history is full of people who have died for the message they preached.
Prayer: Lord, I know that you have commissioned me as your witness to the places I go. Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit so that I will be bold in sharing my testimony of walking with you to the people around me. Fill me with the Spirit of boldness. Help me to lead many from hell to heaven.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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