Legitimate motivation for evangelism

why preach the gospelMost people greatly fear the challenge to evangelize. Evangelism awakens insane feelings of fear, insecurity, pressure and guilt. For most of us, evangelism is merely an uncomfortable biblical obligation motivated by feelings of guilt. After all, if I do not evangelize, God will require the blood of those who did not hear. Their blood will be on my hands. However, the evangelism that God has planned never has guilt as its motivation. It is a natural reaction of a full heart. The mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

God expects our evangelism to be in accordance with the peculiar nature of our temperament. Authentic evangelism fills us with assurance and not terror. We must have the mentality of being concerned with people and valuing them. In Luke chapter 15, Jesus told three parables to illustrate the importance of the sinner before God. In the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, there is rejoicing because in each parable, someone found and recovered something of great value. The message of Jesus is clear: the rebellious, the profane, the immoral, and the backslidden are very important to God and He wants us to seek out their salvation.

We can share the gospel with the lost (2 Kings 6:24-7:20)

The second book of Kings tells the story of the siege of Samaria by the king of Syria. Because of the siege, the people became so hungry that they resorted to cannibalism. Condemned to die like everyone else, four lepers while contemplating entering into the enemy camp spoke among themselves, “If they let us live, we will live; if they kill us, we will die” (2 Kings 7:4). The lepers went in and found the Syrian camp abandoned so they feasted on the provisions of food and took the best clothes, because the Lord had chased the Syrian army away. Because of this, notice their attitude, they went and told the rest of the city.

Just as those lepers, we have much to tell of what God has done for us. We do not need to preach the Bible, we only need to tell others what God has given to and done for us. Why is it that we do not evangelize more like this? Because the devil has convinced too many people that they are poor, miserable and have nothing to share.

We are God’s representatives on the earth

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

As incredible as it seems, God chooses and uses people like you and me to be his mouthpieces on planet Earth. We are unique in our aptitudes, talents, personality, age and message. Each one of us is an agent sent to a special type of person. We are agents of peace and reconciliation. However, the key to develop this function is the filling of the Holy Spirit.

We must alert people of the reality of hell

It is disquieting, but true: hell exists and many people are going there right at this minute. Hell was one of the principal things that Jesus addressed. (Luke 16:19-31) We must spend more and more time, money and energy to reach those outside of the church. When we perceive the inescapable reality that there is a hell, then we will have the mentality to do everything possible to save souls.

The reality of hell

The way of life winds upward for the wise, that he may turn away from hell below. (Proverbs 15:24)

You shall beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell. (Proverbs 23:14)

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes. (Hosea 13:14)

But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘you fool!’ Shall be in danger of hellfire. (Matthew 5:22)

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. (Matthew 11:23)

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18:9)

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)

Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)

And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:23)

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; (2 Peter 2:4)

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (Revelation 1:18)

So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:8)

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:10-15)

God rewards those who evangelize

The last motivation for evangelism is that we will receive a reward for bringing someone to Christ. This reward occurs in two ways:

We rejoice greatly when we are able to father a spiritual child. The angels of heaven share in this joy.

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)

We receive a reward in heaven from God.

Therefore, my beloved and longed for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast for the Lord, beloved. (Philippians 4:1)

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

We will give an account to God if we fail to preach

If we are faithful, we will have a reward, but if we are negligent, the Lord will punish us. The responsibility of the watchman weighs over us. This should not be our principal motivation, but certainly, we must have it before us. To know the truth and not reveal it; to perceive another person going to the pit and not warning him; discovering a treasure and not sharing it; having medicine and keeping it for yourself, are situations that God will judge.

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 3:17-21)