June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
Let them know that evangelism is not mere presence (Matt. 5:16), and encourage them that we are to verbally communicate the gospel to people. Remind them that evangelism begins with God and that desiring the lost to come to him is part of his nature and character as in the story of the prodigal son, it was God’s initiative to come to us in Christ as demonstration of reaching the lost and part of his plan to use people to reach the lost. Somewhere in the conversation relate that the spirit of evangelism is compassion and that the power of evangelism is the Holy Spirit. The function of the Holy Spirit is to guide and empower us and to convince and regenerate the hearers. Then go through 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:21 which discusses motivations for evangelism.
Relate to them that half of all people struggle with fear as a barrier to witnessing. The Apostle Paul struggled with fear, even Billy Graham felt fear, and he took that as a signal that he must allow the Holy Spirit to be in control. If the fear is not knowing enough, tell them that you do not need to be afraid that someone is going to ask you a question that you will not be able to answer because it is going to happen! Only God knows all the answers so get over yourself and witness! In John 9:25 the blind man answered, “I was blind, but know I see.” The blind man said that he didn’t know about many things, but he did know that Jesus changed his life. The fear of failure can paralyze us, but we must realize that we never fail when we reach out. Successfully witnessing is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, and then leaving the results up to God.
There is also a fear that we might do more harm than good. This question shows we are sensitive people and we most likely will never have a problem with doing more bad than good because we are already aware of that. The lost person is already in the worst place spiritually that can be so how could we possibly place them in a worse place spiritually. God can redeem every situation. When we fear failure we must understand what our role is and what God’s role is. The greatest fear is probably the fear of rejection. In John 12:42-43 we read that even many of the rulers believed in him, because the Pharisees they did not claim their faith in Jesus because they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
Discuss sources of fear. The first source of fear is Satan, Satan attempts to keep us in bondage through fear, but the power of Christ can help us overcome our bondage. There could also be fear in recognizing the enormity of the task. This recognition should give us pause and reflection, but should not restrict us. Perhaps the greatest source of fear is too much a focus on ourselves. This is a source of fear to focus on openly and honestly, we are more concerned with our reputation than the eternal destiny of others. Will we let fear rule or life or Jesus Christ?
Proper responses to fear are that some fear is normal, even helpful. If you feel inadequate that can cause you to rely more on God. Fear can be a signal causing us to rely more on the Holy Spirit. The second response is to realize that most our fears are unfounded. Then we need to understand that fear does not disqualify or excuse us from our responsibility. The final thing we must realize that God has resources to deal with fear as in 2 Timothy 1:7 we see that they are resources of power, spirit of love and a spirit of discipline and sound mind.