By Ben Simpson
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Evangelism should be a great joy for all Christians. But it is often regarded as our most challenging task.
The word evangelism is derived from the Greek word euangelion, which means, “gospel” or “good news.” In the ancient world, the word evangelist described a person coming into a town square and announcing victory in a battle or a new ruler’s ascent to power. The implications of that message would be worked out over time.
The gospel is good news, not “get your life together.” It is not “go to church.” It is not advice. It is not a command.
Rather, it is the news that Jesus Christ lives and reigns. He has conquered sin and death through the cross. God has raised him up. Forgiveness is available; grace abounds. The work of new creation has begun. The Spirit of God is changing hearts and minds, forming a people of love and compassion and mercy. God the Father is forming a new family from every tribe, tongue, and nation, and is doing so for the glory of God’s name. This is good news!
The implications of this news is being worked out over time. The gospel animates and inspires the church, fueling a movement. It is not ancient history, but an ongoing revelation. In Mark 16, Jesus commanded his disciples to announce this good news to all creation.
Baptist minister Paul W. Powell writes:
The only movement Jesus left on earth to represent him was the church. It is, therefore, the most important movement on earth. He intended it to be a lighthouse to point men and women to salvation in Christ. He intended it to be an outpost to extend the kingdom of God into new frontiers. He intended it to be a voice crying in the wilderness and calling people to repentance and faith.
But so often, the church is anything but that. Instead of being a lighthouse, it has become a guardhouse for dead orthodoxy. Instead of being an outpost, it has become a hitching post to tie us to the status quo. Instead of being a voice for God, it has become an echo of the culture that surrounds us.
Those are convicting words. Let us pray that God’s Spirit would catch our sails and enable us to preach the gospel in word and deed that we might be caught up in a fresh movement of God’s abounding, conquering, refreshing, and renewing great good news.
How are you sharing the gospel in word and deed?
Holy Spirit, be at work among your people. Give us a clear vision of Jesus and a clear understanding of the good news of and about him. Help us not only to share the gospel, but to live in alignment with the kingdom of God, that all may see, hear, and experience your goodness and grace. Give us a testimony, and make us a testament of your love. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.