(Today's Guest Writer for Engage is Kelley Crampton.)
Last Sunday afternoon, I went out to a local park to share the gospel with strangers for the first time in my life. It’s embarrassing that, after being a born-again believer for several years, I had never before presented the gospel story to someone who is not openly a Christian.
But the truth is, I believe I’m not alone in that. I’ve been a Christian in a good church for years, but I’ve never been pushed to share the gospel or even seriously consider something like door-to-door evangelism. I’ve been taught about the sinful nature of man, our inability to rescue ourselves, God’s justice and wrath, His love in sending Jesus Christ, the finished work on the cross, the eternal life we have now in Him, and the absolute necessity of every element of the gospel for how we live every single day - but why have I never shared this with the people I come into contact with on the street?
Because it’s awkward to confront people. Because I can “preach the gospel at all times; use words when necessary.” Because I don’t have time to stop on the streets and start long conversations with people. Because I’m not articulate enough. Because someone could ask me a question I don’t know the answer to. Because I live in the south and everyone already knows the “gospel.” Because I’m weak. Because *insert your seven million excuses here.*
If the gospel is true, these excuses mean nothing.
If the gospel is true, it has the power to change lives and change the world.
If the gospel is true, what could be more important than bringing this truth into every aspect of our lives, including our interactions with strangers?
In the midst of our excuses about sharing the gospel, people are dying. They are dying a slow, painful, and eternal death.
Charles Spurgeon reminded his people of this,
“Meditate with deep solemnity upon the fate of the lost sinner, and, like Abraham, when you get up early to go to the place where you commune with God, cast an eye toward Sodom and see the smoke thereof going up like the smoke of a furnace. Shun all views of future punishment which would make it appear less terrible, and so take off the edge of your anxiety to save immortals from the quenchless flame.”
But more than an eternity of death, there is life without Christ at stake. Life without comfort, purpose, joy, peace, security, grace, forgiveness, love, a Brother, a Father, a Guide. Remember those going through life right next to you outside of Christ.
Are we pouring out as if we believed the gospel we claim?
As Christians, we are (or ought to be) always filling up on God’s truths. We’re seeking His face in daily quiet times, we’re praying to Him, we’re going to church and learning from our pastor and fellowshipping with other believers. We do all of these things to fill ourselves up.
When we’re full, we need to pour out.
So often, we talk about filling up and making sure you have good things pouring into you, but we leave it there. Don’t stop short of proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)!
If we are full of Jesus, we must speak forth boldly.
Maybe not everyone is called to evangelize in the park. Maybe it’s the person behind you in line at the grocery store, the visitor in Sunday service, or in the neighbor working in the yard beside yours. Whatever it looks like, go and make disciples. Start a conversation. Ask an uncomfortable question. Have an awkward interaction for the sake of the kingdom. May God give us grace to overcome our excuses in pouring out to others the most important news in the world.