Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Evangelism Is Not a Dirty Word

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

RevRayIf you don’t know me well – let me share that if I am anything as a pastor or Christian I am evangelical.  I believe that Jesus is Lord and that there is no other way to salvation except through Him.  You could call me a John 14:6 kind of guy – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Having said that – the passage for today has a lot of meaning.  It is part of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 – Matthew 28:19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A number of pastors and church leaders as well as church members read my blog page each day.  The Great Commission is our marching orders so to speak as the church.  Because of the way some go about evangelism and the way that some have turned away from evangelism – in some circles evangelism has become a dirty word.

Whether you have been turned on or off by someone’s approach to evangelism – the bottom line is this – in order to go to heaven we need Jesus.  That is the church’s great commission friends – to spread the story of Jesus and His grace to the world.  We must experiment – using different methods to reach different people with the truth of Jesus’ saving grace.  One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to breaking down the walls of sin and rebellion – but the grace of God is for everyone and so we have our work cut out for us.  Read the Gospels and the book of Acts for examples.  Matthew was writing to a largely Jewish audience and so he quoted the Old Testament the most – because that method would reach them.  When Paul for instance was reaching out to the Gentiles he used other methods – appealing to their culture and even their religions as he shared the one truth of the Gospel.

Church – never tire of trying new ways to reach the lost around your church and in your broader community.  To stop trying is to stop being the church.  Our marching orders are to make disciples of Jesus Christ – of all nations (all types of people not just our homies).

So here is a question – how is our discomfort with going outside our comfort zone hindering the gospel of Jesus Christ?  How has our unwillingness to reach out to people with the Gospel truth in a way that we are not comfortable with holding the gospel back?

If the United Methodist Church wants to make disciples for the transformation of the world we cannot be afraid of evangelism.  Evangelism cannot be a dirty word folks – it must be the life breath of the church – reaching the lost for Jesus.  For some – claiming that there are lost and saved will be a stretch – hell and heaven a reality a hard pill to swallow.  But people need Jesus to save them from their sin – from their lost state – not through some church ritual but through a personal relationship with Jesus.  Jesus died for the sins of the whole world but His salvation only becomes effective for those who will receive Him as Lord and Savior.  And folks won’t do that without hearing about Jesus!

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – 1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Romans 10:12-15 – 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

I’m sorry if this truth makes some uncomfortable – inside or outside the church – but the truth is the truth and if we are to be the church – we must embrace evangelism.  It cannot be seen as a dirty word!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

July 2, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Amen, Ray. I am haunted by Jesus’ warning that if we are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us. People need the Lord!

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    Comment by Favorite Son | July 3, 2013 | Reply

    • I hear you brother – and that drives me too – I will not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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      Comment by raymcdonald | July 3, 2013 | Reply

  2. I agree!! But at the same time, I may fear also. But as we go into the world God has promised to be with us until the end. He is the one doing the work through us. We fear rejection and God has said man is like a blade of grass here today and gone tomorrow. I see that the church (methodist,or any other that proclaims the news of Jesus Christ)if effective needs to get out in the community. Meeting people were there needs are is what people need to see. Being willing to pray with people in their homes, no matter how it looks inside. Jesus went to Zacheus house and ate with him. I see many who don’t want to come inside the church and be a part of us. They think we are better than they are, that they have to fix something first. I had a woman sitting in my house last night that said that. She has had cancer for a lot of years and is elderly. This is an excuse for many but what if we met them were they are literally and then they had no excuse?? I have seen it work, but get ready cause once they start coming to church people need to disciple them… are we willing??

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    Comment by Millie Johnson | July 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Millie, I know you love Jesus and strive to serve Him with your all. God bless you as you witness to the people that God brings your way.

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      Comment by raymcdonald | July 3, 2013 | Reply

  3. I think the reason it is seen my many as a dirty word is that it tends to be inextricably linked to certain, unattractive methods.

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    Comment by Dave Self | July 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Indeed Dave – that is what happens with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as well – misuse or false teaching can cause folks to pull away from Evangelism and the Gifts and other aspects of the Gospel.

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      Comment by raymcdonald | July 3, 2013 | Reply

  4. Amen! Evangelism is not a dirty word, but the joyful sharing of the good news of the sovereign Love of God and calling people to repentance, to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, to active membership in a local church, and obedient service in the world.

    I Love this topic :)https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/evangelism-is-not-a-dirty-word/#comment-form-load-service:Twitter

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    Comment by Chris Walker (@EvangelismCoach) | July 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Chris, I couldn’t agree with you more…

      Like

      Comment by raymcdonald | July 3, 2013 | Reply


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