One thing you can't do in Heaven.
What's one thing you can't do in heaven? Sin? Curse? Steal? Find a dark corner? Find a good doubles man? Well, all those are indeed things you may not be able to do in heaven, although I'm not so sure about the doubles. But I remember looking at Mark Cahill's video on YouTube for the first time (Link at the bottom). He answered that question in a way I had never thought of before. He said: Evangelism.
Evangelism; the thing we know we all ought to do but hardly do it. But as Mark highlighted, we'd be able to sing songs to God, read His word and be in His presence 24/7... but the one thing we won't be able to do up there is to witness to a lost person. Why? Well, because there won't be any lost people up there!
Mr. Cahill highlighted that we on earth who are still alive can do something the great apostles Paul, Peter and John - who turned the world upside down for Christ- can't do up there in heaven right this instant… win another soul for Christ. It then follows that we have an awesome privilege that is difficult to adequately express in words.
But we don't usually think that way about evangelism, do we? So what’s the deal with that? Why aren't we absolutely exploiting this privilege, or as on fire for God as we should be in this area? Well that's what we're going to talk about right now.
I think you'd agree that a major reason Christians don't do it is because of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear we don't know enough. Fear that we'd be called hypocrites if we were to even try. So that's “rejection”, “don't know enough” and “I’ve got to clean up my life before I try to tell someone else about Christ”. Sounds accurate enough? Hang in there, there's hope for you. You see, these are the common reasons that many Christians cite as to why they don't evangelize. Yet they are also the same obstacles that countless other Christians have overcome and are now gladly sharing the gospel with the lost. By the end of this article, I pray you'll be part of that second group.
What if they reject me?
Well first of all, nobody likes being rejected. We all want to be loved, accepted and feel welcomed. But this fear reveals something else about us. Its presence in our lives hints to where we get our sense of worth from: others and their opinions of us. Now this is a real issue, it’s one that I am still working on myself. However, as Christians, our primary source of worth and value should come from Christ, being His own and being loved by Him.
Galatians 1:10 tells us “For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please Man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
You see: If you aim to please men you'll never please God and if you aim to please God you'll never please men. It's one or the other, i.e. you've got to make a decision as to whom you really want to please.
So what else does God's word say about fear?
Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 10:28, Proverbs 29:25.
What if they ask me something that I don't know how to answer?
Well when it comes down to it, you at least know enough to point someone to Jesus, seeing that you had to know something in order for you to become a follower of Christ (I'm referring to the gospel). And if it so happens that you get a tough question, don't try to invent an answer on the spot. Just admit you don't know, offer to get back to them, seek the answer via study and then follow up. Look at it this way: you either win or you learn! Therefore, if you go out and get a tough question, you'll then have to find the right answer. If you ever get that question again you'll know how to deal with it. You can also pray that God leads you to the right person who wont ask questions you can't handle and that He gives you wisdom and understanding as you read and study His word.
I need to clean up my own life first; I don't want to be a hypocrite:
Well this sounds very noble indeed, but you see, evangelism forces you to get your act together. It drives you to the Word and to your knees and so by effect, it causes you to clean up your life in the process. (Note: it’s actually Christ Who cleans us up, since we can't really do it on our own). Eccl 11:4, Matthew 4:19.
What can I expect to happen when evangelizing? (Pay attention here, I really want you to get this):
Mark explained that there are only 3 real outcomes:
1- they accept Christ = winning situation
2- you plant a seed = winning situation
3- you get rejected = losing situation
So that's win, win, lose
i.e. 2 out of 3 chances or 66% success. Good odds! I bet that if that were the odds to winning the lotto or play whe, everyone would go buy a ticket today! Perhaps even the pastor!
Consider this: the Bible says in 1 Peter 4:14,
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
It also states in Luke 6:22-23 that “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”
Therefore, if you get rejected, God is going to let His spirit rest upon you and you're also going to rake up rewards in heaven. That means that them rejecting you will in fact cause God to richly bless you! (With his Spirit resting upon you and rewards in Heaven).
1- they accept Christ = winning situation
2- plant a seed. = winning situation
3- you get rejected (then blessed)= winning situation
So that's win, win, win.
i.e. 3 out of 3 or 100% success
so you can NEVER lose by sharing your faith!
Therefore it follows that the only time we CAN ever lose concerning sharing our faith, is if when we don't go at all!
So what do you need in order to share?
1 - You need to be a follower of Christ. This means you have accepted the finished work of Jesus Christ and have made Him Lord (supreme rule, director, in charge, runs the show, influences your values.) Because you can't lead someone to somebody you don't know.And this is the cruncher. If you don't have this you better turn back now. This will either make it or break it...
2- You need to be alive. So if you happen to be dead, I'm sorry, you just can't share your faith. But if you have a pulse in your heart and breath in your lungs, you my brethren/sistren, are qualified to share your faith; in fact you're commanded to! See Matthew 28:19-20
3- You also need to have a desire to share your faith. If you honestly don't want to, fear not, you can pray that God puts a desire in your heart for souls that will drive you to the ends of the earth to witness!
Overcome “afraid to” - ask God to help you overcome those fears by His presence.
Learn how to- there are ways to get the task done and there are ways that can cause you to get everything but the task done.
How can I evangelize/witness?
-Remember sharing your faith is a conversation, not a presentation.
-Your job is not to convert but to converse (verbal communication).
-Let your light shine; talk the talk and walk the walk. One without the other doesn't cut it, like the two sides of the train track, you must let your lifestyle be one that conforms to the gospel and you must also clearly, accurately, verbally communicate the message of the Gospel. People won't deduce that they need to accept Jesus Christ just because you're the friendliest person in class; they must hear the message, and a message needs messengers.
-Find out what people believe and share the Gospel within that context.
-As you interact in your daily life, share the Gospel in that context.
- Did you have any religious upbringing/background? Is it less, or more important to you now?
- Have you ever thought about…
- Can I ask you an interesting question?
- If you died tonight, are you 100% sure you’d end up in heaven?
- Have you fully understand the Christian message?
- What do you think it takes to get into heaven?
-Communicate the Gospel: (look out for the next blog article)
-Start where you are and use what you have. Do what you can.
-NB: having another person go along with you helps a lot! It was the most critical ingredient that got me started. While I was overthinking, suffering from “paralysis due to analysis” as to how to open a conversation with a stranger, my buddy just went, “Hey how you doing?” The rest was history. Once he started the conversation, I was easily able to interject if he needed help, until eventually, I learnt to start conversations myself. Build upon each other's strengths.
-Pray and take action.
Mark Cahill - One thing you cant do in heaven
https://youtu.be/PKkrocVtXyU (short version) 30 minutes
Daniel Sookdeo (IS/IVCF Tertiary Staff )