I was thinking about evangelism for the theology class I’ll soon be teaching and something struck me as odd. Aside from the “Great Commission”, I can think of almost no verses that emphasize personal evangelism, particularly in the epistles. All I can think of is:
- Inferences from Matthew 5:13-16 (“salt and light”) – this is too vague for me to build a solid case from
- Christ’s actions (He was an itenerant preacher)
- The example of the apostles (also as itenerant preachers / full time missionaries)
- The Great Commission
- A discussion about the importance of sending missionaries (Romans 10:14-15)
- Instructions to Timothy, a preacher, to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5)
- Instruction that we should be ready to share the gospel (1 Peter 3:15) if anyone asks.
The best case I can build out of this is:
* Live such a good life (obedience to God from a sincere heart) that people will see it and glorify God, and ask you about the gospel. Explain it when they ask.
* Send foreign missionaries (called “preacher” in Romans 10) to preach the gospel
Where are the verses that tell me to share the 4 Laws, the Roman Road, use “relationship evangelism”, knock on doors, pass out tracts, and so on? Why aren’t these things elaborated on in the epistles?
I’m told (heard Allistair Begg say it on the radio this morning) that the primary purpose of the church is to evangelize the lost. I’m also told that we have a personal responsibility to aggressively share Christ. If these things are true, and I’m not doubting that they are even a little bit, why don’t we get more Biblical instruction in it? Instead Paul spends chapters discussing the sovereignty of God in electing His saints, and John explains (1 John) why some people have apparently fallen away, and James and the author of Hebrews go and confuse us about our eternal security. But nary a word is written about personal evangelism in a layman’s life. Why is this? What am I missing?
Assistance would be greatly appreciated. I’m not challenging anything, I’m just trying to understand.