From whence does evangelism flow? The origin is clearly in the eternal prerogative of God to redeem a people for himself by the blood of his Son. Evangelism has eternal roots. The moment in eternity past that the God of the universe decides to save future sinners is the birth of the gospel. Good news is found in the fact that based on nothing neither good nor bad foreseen in his creatures, God chose to save some of them.
But from whence does evangelism flow? Sure, we see God’s self-glorifying agenda in the self-sacrifice of the Lamb set even before the sun shone its first ray of light. But the origin of the gospel or evangel gives us an idea of surety in the truth of the gospel and hope of the gospel. But what about the proclamation of the gospel? Where does this grand act of grace and mercy find motivation and power? Taking the good news that you have received to others is an overtly frightening act. Although in one sense we should fear nothing that accompanies evangelism, telling a person he or she is a guilty sinner before a holy God and his or her only hope is to repent of their sins, is a massive and bold task.
The motivation for such a task would have to be immeasurably grand in order for us to risk relationships, jobs, and even our lives. In order for me to call someone a sinner and point them to a Savior who they may reject and me along with him, I must have a crazy awesome reason to do so. Why do we evangelize? From whence does evangelism flow? Here are five biblical reasons that I believe should not only give us an idea of the motivation for evangelism, but should ground all of our evangelistic efforts and push us on toward diligence in the proclamation of the greatest news the world has ever heard.
1. The Bible is True
The Word of God from Genesis to Revelation is unalterably and undeniably true and without error. The Bible is true and trustworthy because the God who inspired it is true and trustworthy. God spoke and the result is the Bible. God revealed himself to sinful man and the result is the Bible. God chose to save sinners in eternity past and the result is the communication of this gospel in the Bible. Without the truth of the Bible, there is no hope of the gospel. If the Bible is not true, then every claim from the sinfulness of man and the atonement of Christ are rubbish. Evangelism is a fool’s game if the Bible is not true. But because the Bible is true, we know that all men are born in sin and all men are dead in sin (Ps. 51:5; Eph. 2:1). We know that God is infinitely holy and man is devastatingly sinful.
Oh, but because God’s Word is true, we know that Jesus Christ, the spotless Son of God has come to be the perfect and only mediator between man and God. We know that in his life he fulfilled all righteousness in our place and in his death he bore the wrath of God in our place. He was raised from the dead three days later as an affirmation of the Father’s pleasure in his Son’s work; and we know this because God tells us so in his Word! Because the Bible is true, we can confidently proclaim the gospel to everyone without exception. Our authority and our ground for sharing the good news of Jesus is bound up in the perfect character of the God who speaks! We can confidently approach our neighbors and go to the nations because the gospel finds its truth in the fact that it has been spoken by God.
2. Death is Imminent
This is the most sobering reality. Every single human being is on a collision course with death. Death is a vicious enemy that seeks and finds all—other than the one that death could not hold, the Lord Jesus Christ in whom our gospel boasts! Oh, but death is coming for you and for me…and for your neighbors and coworkers. That person that you have resisted sharing the gospel with is going to die. And after death there will be judgment. Every deed and word will be judged and all who are not found in the Christ who lived and died for all who believe will be exposed as truly guilty and will be eternally condemned. Because death is imminent, we must take the glory of God’s grace in the gospel to everyone everywhere. Because everyone will die, every single conversation we have should be viewed in light of the gospel—the only hope in the face of death.
3. The Worship of God
The most ultimate motivation for evangelism is the glory of God. God has redeemed a people from every tribe and tongue to worship and praise his name (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). God’s desire to glorify himself is our motivation in evangelism because he has chosen to glorify himself primarily through the salvation of sinners by the blood of Christ. We proclaim the gospel in order for more worshipers of the one true God to be made. Yes, in evangelism we are making disciples, but ultimately we are making worshipers. An even more glorious thought is that God is making worshipers of himself through the means of the call of the gospel in his people. Because God is worthy of worship and resolved in glorifying his name, we must evangelize in every corner of this earth until the earth is filled with the glory of the Lord.
From whence does evangelism flow? Out of the truth of the Bible and with it the character of God. Out of the reality of death’s imminence. Out of the glory of God.
Evangelize because the Bible is true.
Evangelize because death is imminent.
Evangelize because God is worthy of worship.
Take the gospel to someone you know who needs Jesus for the purpose of the praise of the God who saves.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” –Ephesians 1:3-7