The Job of World Evangelism
“Globalization” is the new buzzword in the secular world today. The Internet has made geopolitical boundaries irrelevant when it comes to information. Countries like China and Iran try to control the in-and-out flow of information, but savvy technophiles find creative ways to get around these barriers. Businesses like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart have expanded into the global market to ply their products internationally, and adventurous travelers have relatively easy access to just about every continent and ocean on the planet. Moreover, the proliferation of the English language throughout the world means that there are few areas where English speakers cannot communicate today. Such circumstances make it imminently conducive to fulfill our Savior’s command to go into the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15-16; Matt. 28:18-20). The only question that we must ask ourselves is “Why not go?”
Some people do not go because of fear. There are different kinds of fear that can prevent us from sharing the gospel. Fear of strangers, fear of speaking to others, fear of rejection, fear of public places, fear of travel, fear of sickness—the list could go on and on. Young children sometimes will claim that they are scared when it is time to go to bed. Yet, we tell them (more or less) to conquer their fears and go to bed anyway. We realize that such fear is irrational. The same evaluation may be made of the fear to carry the gospel; it is irrational. If God loves us and we love God, then we have nothing to fear. John wrote, “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Until we conquer our fears and obey the Christian mandate, we will be anemic Christians, our efforts sickly, weak, and lackluster. A robust and healthy practice of God’s word requires us to be fearlessly involved in world evangelism.
Some people do not go because of lack of knowledge. They reason: “I just do not know enough to teach others the gospel.” Some are still learning and growing, but if one knows enough to become a Christian, then one knows enough to tell someone how to become a Christian. It really is not that difficult. I have been studying the Bible for decades, yet there are questions to which I do not know the answer. What do I do? I tell people that they have raised a good question, and that I will get back to them when I have found a good answer from God’s word. Ignorance is no excuse to take the gospel to others. Those who neglect talking about the gospel to others fall into the category of Hebrews 5:12, “For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.” This is not commendable. We are responsible to God to learn, grow, and be involved in teaching others about His Son, Jesus. Instead of giving up at the get-go, let us resolve to do what we can with what we have got, and not give up until the person with whom we are studying has the information for which he is searching.
Some people do not go because of apathy. They simply do not care about preaching the gospel to others. Perhaps they are of the mindset that if people want the Gospel, they can come get it. This also is a mistake. Jesus didn’t tell the apostles to sit back and let others come to them. He told them to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and constrain them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23). One preacher put it this way: “Some won’t seek, but they need to be sought; some won’t learn, but they need to be taught; some won’t come, but they need to be brought.” If you lost that which was precious to you, would you be apathetic about finding it? Yet, each soul is precious to God, and as His children, we must hold these souls precious as well. Shame on us if we are apathetic about the lost!
Evidently, Jesus recognized that there would be a dearth of workers in relationship to evangelizing the lost because he said, “The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). This issue of the Christian Worker is devoted to the topic of “Taking the Gospel.” There is something that everyone can do in this respect. The writers that we have engaged for this issue all have experience in taking the gospel to the world through one means or another, and they present multiple avenues by which each one of us can be involved. Some of us are involved in many of these avenues. Others of us are involved in just a few. The point is that if you are not involved at all, then you need to pick one and get involved today! Let us never forget the haunting words to James Rowe’s and J. W. Gaines’s song “You Never Mentioned Him to Me.”
When in the better land before the bar we stand,
How deeply grieved our souls will be;
If any lost one there should cry in deep despair,
“You never mentioned Him to me.”
“You never mentioned Him to me,
You helped me not the light to see;
You met me day by day and knew I was astray,
Yet never mentioned Him to me.