Is evangelism the responsibility of every Christian? It was in the Early Church. The Apostle Peter wrote:
In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
These words were attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:
Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.
Every day we are doing evangelism, whether we are aware of it are not. For whom we are evangelizing is all important. Jesus said:
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)
The early Christians spread the good news of Christ with joy. Many gave up their lives as a result. Nevertheless, they had a story to tell – how God touched their lives and they were never the same. Do we have a story, a testimony?
The Samaritan woman that Jesus met at the well had a testimony:
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39-42)
We may not be trained as an evangelist. We may not feel that we have all the pertinent scriptures memorized. But we do have a story to tell if the Lord Jesus has touched our lives.
How important is our witness? God spoke through Isaiah:
You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I am the one who declared and saved and proclaimed,
not some strange god among you;
you are my witnesses, says the Lord, and I am God. (Isaiah 43:10-12)
The Apostle Paul wrote:
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)
Everyone, therefore, who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)