I have been so convicted recently the lack of evangelism in my life. If Jesus is my treasure why am I so reluctant to share His message? Why do I get so nervous and shy away from telling people about Jesus, who He is and what He has done? Obviously my own sin and flesh are constantly battling against me in this, and are more intent on stopping that message from going out than any other. That however does not excuse me from shying away from declaring the message of the cross.
Currently I am re-reading Jerram Barrs book “The Heart of Evangelism” and find this book to be encouraging and insightful. Barrs is a professor at Covenant Theological Seminary and was my professor in the area of Apologetics and Outreach. He is a teacher for pastors, in which I mean he is more concerned that we love people, care and have compassion than that we know all the theological jargon. I am not dismissing that stuff and Barrs is very solid biblically, but his emphasis is on the pastor’s role in leading out Evangelism through love, hospitality and boldness.
In the first chapter of his book, Barrs reminds us of what Jesus told the disciples in Matt. 28: 16-20:
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” ESV
What Barrs reminds us, is that it is not us who have conquered, or are the ones with the power, it is Jesus. That Jesus is reminding them that because He has all the authority and will be with them, these poor, raggged fisherman will be able to go out and spread this message and start a movement. In times of shyness or reluctance to share, I need to remind and preach that to myself.
Here is a quote from Barrs:
“But Jesus also gave them some comforting words (they needed them!). He told them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ He rules the unseen world of the spirits. He triumphs over the demons. he defeats the false gods of the nations and breaks their poer so that His disciples are able to go out into the world with confidence.” (Pg. 16-17)
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