Take It to the World

Imagine the impact if we boldly shared the gospel with the same level of enthusiasm as we share on social media. Our friend Trillia Newbell issues this timely gospel reminder: every day, the eternal destination of lives is at stake. We’re giving away a copy of her new Bible study If God Is for Us to five winners! Leave a comment on how you first heard the gospel and you’ll be registered to win one of five books.

As Christmas approaches, you may already feel yourself growing weary from the personal and ministry demands you’ve come to expect this time of year. If that is true for you, here’s something to consider today and each day of this season—Consider Jesus, a new 31-day Advent devotional from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. It’s yours for a gift of any amount to Revive Our Hearts. You can also purchase additional copies to refresh the hearts of your ministry team or small group. I’m praying for you as you serve Jesus! —Leslie Bennett, Women’s Ministry Initiatives

 

I love giving my husband gifts. I daydream about what might encourage him the most. I plot sneaky ways to purchase it without his knowledge. And then the anticipation of giving my gift to him and seeing him open it just about causes me to explode. The whole process is so fun for me.

For me, writing a Bible study on Romans 8 was like opening a gift from the Lord, wrapped up in words of assurance and power. It’s something I just can’t keep to myself. I hope each time you and I study God’s Word, we feel the same way and are motivated to share the gospel with those who need to hear it.

The book of Romans, remember, was written to Christians, and its promises do not necessarily apply to everyone walking this earth. In other words, right now there are people who cannot proclaim, as we can, that “there is no condemnation” for them. In fact, those who do not know Jesus do stand condemned—and we need to take that very seriously.

Eternal Lives Are at Stake

One way the Lord distinguishes among people—and I’d argue this is the most important differentiation—is whether we are in Christ or not in Christ. And this distinction has eternal consequences because, as C. S. Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory, we are all immortal beings:

You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.1

Every human being on earth was made in the image of God. Each one has an eternal destiny—either heaven or hell. That means there is no one walking the earth who is not in need of the gospel. Eternal lives and hearts are at stake here. The only way for a heart to be aflame for God is through the pursuing, saving grace of God, which transforms hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezek. 36:26). And while God can and does access hearts directly, He typically chooses to do this work through humans who have tasted His love and are willing to share it.

My own testimony comes to mind here. God sent a young girl who was in love with Jesus and His gospel to share the good news with me. At that point I was not running after God—quite the opposite was true. My salvation required His pursuit. I remember this when I read Ephesians 2 and the truth of the words seems to jump off the page. I was dead, but God made me alive through Jesus’ death on the cross. By a free gift, I was made alive by grace through faith (Eph. 2:1–10). I could never have saved myself—I didn’t think my heart needed transformation—but God knew what I needed. His grace made it all possible. But—and this is crucial—He used a sinner saved by that same grace to teach me about Him.

Why am I sharing this with you, women leaders? Because I’ve noticed a habit among my fellow believers. All too often, it seems, we will enroll in Bible studies and learn about good things and even have our hearts and lives transformed, but we never get around to taking this good news to the world.

Evangelism Isn’t Complicated

Jesus told His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations and to teach them (Matt. 28:19–20). We Christians have information that needs to be out in the world—information about Jesus. But relatively few of us actually get brave and share the good news.

According to a LifeWay Research study conducted in 2012, eighty percent of churchgoing American Protestants who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a responsibility to share their faith. Of that same group, however, sixty-one percent have not shared the gospel in the six months prior to the study, and forty-eight percent have not invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or a program at their church.2

Most of us are probably not surprised by these statistics, but we should be. No, they are not the ultimate guide for how we order our lives as Christians, but they suggest that we have work to do. Knowing that we have the greatest news on earth should motivate us to get up and share with, invite, and engage those who might not know Jesus.

I’m not trying to guilt you here. I, too, can struggle with evangelism. But I think that if we really believe what we claim to believe, then not sharing it is a dreadful thing.

Why do we hesitate to do it? One reason is that evangelism seems complicated. But the real complication, for most of us, is in our own minds. We overthink what we need to do. We fear forgetting something or getting the message wrong. We worry about looking stupid and wonder if we even know what we’re talking about. We end up not doing anything at all.

Our concern is not just with finding the right words to say—though that’s not easy. (Trust me. I’ve been there.) The when and where and how of evangelism seems to stump people as much as, if not more than, what to actually say. Perhaps we want an angel to appear and tell us that now is the time. And of course, it would be much easier if someone simply walked up to us and asked, “How do I become a Christian?” That does happen, but not often.

Wrong Assumptions

We as leaders in our church and communities have a great opportunity to share the gospel. Every moment that we teach, we can remind others of the truth of the gospel. We don’t want to assume that people know the gospel. We want to assume that many don’t. Moreover, the gospel is not just for those who need redemption, the gospel is for the Christian too. We all need to be reminded of our great salvation.

So as you and I read and study and lead and serve, let’s not forget to share the good news. Making disciples starts with gospel proclamation. Watch for opportunities to share the hope you have found in the gospel. Keep in mind that people are not projects or goals, but human beings like yourself that are made in God’s image, and that you have the best news for them they could ever hear. So, out of love, share the gospel with boldness, entrusting the rest to God.

Adapted from If God Is for Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation by Trillia Newbell (©January 2019). Published byMoody Publishers. Used by permission.

Enter our book giveaway by telling us how you first heard the gospel in the comments below. You may the winner of one of five copies of Trillia’s Bible study, If God Is for Us.

1 C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York: Harper Collins, 2001, orig. pub. 1949), 47.

2 “Churchgoers Believe in Sharing Faith, Most Never Do,” LifeWay Research (website), August 12, 2012, https://lifewayresearch.com/2012/08/13/churchgoers-believe-in-sharing-faith-most-never-do/.

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About the Author

Trillia Newbell

Trillia Newbell

Trillia Newbell is the author of several books, including If God Is For Us, Fear and Faith, and the kids’ book God’s Very Good Idea. She is married to her best friend, Thern, and they live with their two children near Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more about her at trillianewbell.com.

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