Tag Archives: The Great Commission

Where are the Commands for Personal Evangelism?

Some people are under the impression that the Bible does not tell us to do personal evangelism. Have you ever considered it? It’s interesting – try to think of a biblical command that says something like this: “Be sure to tell your family and your co-workers and your neighbors about Christ,” and you’ll get the idea. You don’t see as much urging in this area as you might otherwise think.

Of course, there’s Peter’s command to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15). And more importantly, there is the Great Commission in Matthew 28. Actually, I think those few verses that close out the end of the first book in the New Testament are enough. Go make disciples and teach others to do the same. From these verses (not to mention the counterparts in the other gospels and Acts), we have enough direction to start talking until Jesus returns.

But generally the idea of talking to your co-workers and friends is simply assumed in the New Testament. But, that said, it is assumed powerfully.


Take Paul’s word to the Corinthians in chapter 5 of his second letter. He begins by telling us that he doesn’t see people like he used to see them:

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16 (ESV)

When Paul was still Saul and only a Jewish religious leader, he thought of people as very ordinary, just as he considered that rabble-rouser from Nazareth: Jesus was just a guy; nothing more. But now, just as Paul had come to know the Carpenter as God in the flesh, so the Apostle came to realize that there was more to all people than met the eye. Men and women, boys and girls, he now knew, were truly spiritual beings…and eternal.

And therefore, since God had made a way of reconciliation through Jesus, Paul took the task of evangelism with dead earnestness:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV)

Paul said, “Eternity is forever. Hell is real. And God has made a way, so we implore. We beg. Be reconciled to God.”

And although the Apostle does not explicitly say that all Christians should take such an approach, surely we should. He had already urged his followers in Corinth to follow him as he followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), and evangelism was Paul’s life.  And we know why – for there are no ordinary people, as C.S. Lewis once said so wonderfully:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – 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 splendors.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

For Wednesday, June 3rd: 2 Corinthians 6


Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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How About an Adventure?

Hobbiton, Shire, New ZealandIf you have ever longed for an adventure, maybe you dreamed of heading out with Bilbo Baggins and his dwarfish friends to kill Smaug the dragon and recapture the dwarf kingdom of the lonely mountain (with all of its treasure). Surely that would have been a great adventure to be a part of; but…as far as I can see, an even more exciting expedition would have been heading out with Paul, Barnabas and John Mark on the first of Paul’s missionary journeys. It’s a story of high adventure that has open seas, magicians, preaching to great crowds, miraculous healing, and of course, persecution. The story begins after a sea journey on the Isle of Cypress, and the tale is told in Acts 13.

And the opening story Luke tells us is a real attention-getter: Now, it happened after they had traveled the whole island preaching the good news that they met a magician named Elymas, a.k.a. – get this – Bar Jesus, (which, when translated, is Son of Jesus, if you were interested).

Bar-Jesus is traveling with a Roman official, a proconsul named Sergius Paulus, who is interested in the message of salvation. But Bar-Jesus fills the Proconsul’s heart with doubt, and Paul realizing what is happening, looks at Bar-Jesus intently and says…

“You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Acts 13:10 – 12 (ESV)

And the next thing you know, Sergius Paulus’s doubt has disappeared, and he places his faith in Jesus. It’s a great start to an incredible journey.

Now Paul would go on to make three missionary journeys, and though heaven might offer a “holographic missionary experience with Paul”, the truth is that we’ll never be able to really join him on his adventures. But that’s okay, for Paul’s trip was started by the Holy Spirit and guided by Him all along the way as well. And if you’re interested in an exciting venture with eternity-changing implications, the joyous news is that this same Holy Spirit is still guiding faithful Christ-followers on glorious adventures today, some really close to home, some very far away. And guess what – He needs a few good burglars in the spirit of Bilbo Baggins, not to steal treasure back from Smaug – but to steal hearts back from the enemy of souls.


Tomorrow: February 27th, Friday: Acts 14


Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


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