Personal Evangelism is Our Responsibility

The end result in personal evangelism and the goal of the messenger is affirmed without placing responsibility in the hands of  the messenger. The prayed for and hoped for end result is in the court of the listener to respond to the activity of the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Also, we must NOT obscure God’s eternal glory as the real focal point for all we do must be accomplished with the Lord in view.

Romans chapter 10 may be the most observed portion of Scripture for evangelism. Paul writes, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.” But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.” vv 8-17 NET2. 

Sometimes we will hear some speaking of personal responsibility if someone refuses the invitation of the Holy Spirit to respond to the Gospel Message. Yes, there is a sense of our human responsibility, but our personal experiences do not truly affect the outcome of the presentation. The Gospel Message is from God; NOT you.

“We thank God always for all of you as we mention you constantly in our prayers, because we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,  in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction (surely you recall the character we displayed when we came among you to help you). And you became imitators of us and of the Lord when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction. As a result you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you the message of the Lord has echoed forth not just in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place reports of your faith in God have spread, so that we do not need to say anything. For people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10.

Our responsibility is TRUTH and we must NEVER take our eyes off the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we might want for more people to make decisions for Christ, but in our zeal we must NEVER insert our human efforts into the Gospel Message. Paul reminds us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” Romans 1:16-20.

Certainly you and I sometimes worry about what God may do if we fail to do what we may think is right or wrong. Our bottom line is to follow the Word of God; presenting it in such a way as to encourage folks to receive the Gospel Message for Salvation. We are reminded of Jesus’ instructions to His disciples, “So the 11 disciples went to Galilee to the mountain Jesus had designated. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20. We are given the responsibility to evangelize the nations, but the results belong to the Savior. We are but the Messengers.

Jesus is Savior and Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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