We are called to spread the “good news” about Jesus. The last command Jesus gave before His ascension to heaven was the Great Commission:
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 6:15)
Chances are you’re quite familiar with this directive—and equally nervous to carry it out.
Evangelism is scary for many young Christians. The thought of sharing the gospel with friends and family—who may very well reject our message—is an awful combination of awkward and uncomfortable. But though evangelism is hard, it is our responsibility to share the hope of Christ with those who are spiritually perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18).
If you’re nervous about sharing the gospel, here are three truths to dispel fear about our Great Commission.
1. God will give you the words the moment you need them.
When men bring you into the synagogues before the leaders and other important men, don’t worry about what you will say. At that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say. (Luke 12:11-12)
Fear is almost always the result of feeling out of control or unprepared. In evangelism, we fear having the right words, the correct answers and the appropriate response to the people with whom we interact. Here’s some great news: God will give you the words to speak the moment you need them!
I used to be very nervous about evangelism until I embraced this truth. When I came to terms with my responsibility—to know God and to know His Word—and accepted that God would do the rest, I was no longer afraid to share the gospel. As we pray for opportunities to share our faith (which we should do!), we can also pray for the words to say. God’s Spirit will remind us of the truths we’ve studied in His Word, enabling us to share them in a way that meets our friends and family right where they are.
2. We are not responsible to save anyone.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If we believe we must not only communicate the gospel, but also make sure the person commits to Christ on the spot, we’ve put an enormous burden on our shoulders. This burden is not ours to bear. God alone saves through Jesus Christ, and we are responsible only to share His story.
This should come as a relief, but also as further empowerment to witness for Jesus. If Jesus does the saving, we have it easy! All we have to do is talk about how He has influenced our lives and the hope He offers to all who call upon His name.
3. The gospel has the power to change lives.
…we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (1 Corinthians 5:10)
Our stories—no matter how boring they may be—reflect the goodness of God in our lives. When people see that goodness and hear God’s ultimate plan, they are drawn to Jesus. We are ambassadors, or representatives of Christ on earth. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “God makes His appeal through us.” The gospel has the power to transform lives, and we have the privilege of being part of that plan!
It’s not always easy or comfortable. Jesus knew how hard it would be when He called us to share the gospel:
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-11)
Some people will react negatively. Sometimes we lose friends, or family members tell us to “stop talking about religion.” But it is not enough to live a “good life” without explaining why we do it. We need to share what Jesus did and point back to Christ, the only Way, Truth and Life. In a world of many ideologies and as many religions, it is up to us to communicate the truth: that our God is the only god who made a way for us to reach Him, instead of man trying to prove himself to God.