It is the duty of every follower of Messiah to be actively involved in evangelism on a regular basis. Each one of us is responsible to bring the Good News about the one and only Savior to a lost and dying world.
Messiah didn’t suggest or recommend that we be involved in evangelism. He commanded us to be involved in evangelism. Here are some of His last words to His disciples before He ascended to Heaven: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations. Messiah commanded us to go and bring the Good News to everyone. We are to go to them, not wait for them to come to us. We are to make evangelism happen, not wait for it to happen!
There are two things that prevent us from being involved in evangelism. The first is not being convinced that people are in need of salvation and there’s only one way to meet that need. The second is not being filled with the Spirit.
If you’re not convinced that people are in need of salvation, and that faith in Yeshua is the only way to meet that need, consider these teachings from the divinely inspired Word of God:
Because of the catastrophe that took place in Eden, human beings are alienated from God, who is the source of life. Because we joined the rebellion of the fallen angels, the authority to rule humanity was transferred to the devil and the demons. Satan became the god of this world and we became we his subjects. Because of the fall of man, we have a sin nature. Because of all this, we are headed to death, not life; to Hell, not Heaven. Our greatest needs are to be reconciled to God and to be rescued from Satan and the demons, sin and the sin nature, death and Hell.
However, it is absolutely impossible for us to do this ourselves. No amount of human effort, good deeds, law-keeping, rituals or ceremonies can ever be enough. But what we are completely helpless to do, God is more than able to accomplish! And here’s how He did it: The Son of God left Heaven and became a human being. He was born into the royal family of the Chosen People. Yeshua the Messiah became our greatest rabbi. He did many miracles demonstrating He was sent by God. He lived a sinless life. Then He allowed Himself to be put to death. But death could not hold this perfect man, and God the Father raised His Son from the dead. Messiah then ascended to Heaven, to the right hand of the Father, where He is now, ruling over the universe. Those who know these truths and transfer their loyalties to the Father and the Son are reconciled to God. They are removed from the control of Satan and the demons. They are given the Spirit of God. They are given a new nature. They may experience the first death – physical death – but they will never experience the second death. They will live forever!
Of the many verses from the Bible that teach us that people are in need of salvation and need to give their loyalty to Yeshua to be saved, John 3:16 is probably the most famous. It quotes Yeshua, who said: God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Whoever makes a conscious decision to believe in Yeshua, place his faith in Yeshua, become loyal to Yeshua will have eternal life. And the opposite is true: Whoever does not believe in Yeshua, ignores Yeshua or refuses to become loyal to Yeshua will perish. He will most certainly not experience eternal life.
Messiah said: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Yeshua is the Way – which means there is no other way to come to the Father. He is the Truth – which means no other religion or ideology or worldview has enough truth to save people. He is the Life – which means those who are not united to Him by having faith in Him, will not experience life, meaning eternal life. Yeshua informed some Jewish leaders – men who believed in God, knew the Torah, practiced Judaism, offered God-ordained sacrifices at the temple – that now that He had entered the world, they must believe in Him or die in a state of alienation from God. Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. Anyone who dies in his sins, unreconciled to God, will not be accepted by God and will not live with God. The only way to not die in your sins? Know that Yeshua is the Messiah and the Son of God and the one and only Savior, and become loyal to Him.
Peter stood before the religious and political leaders of the Chosen People and told them that Yeshua is the only source of salvation. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. If the leaders of the Chosen People need to believe in Yeshua in order to be saved, then so do Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics and atheists and everyone else.
Rabbi Paul made it crystal clear that if we confess with our mouth that Yeshua is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. But the opposite is equally clear: if we don’t confess with our mouth and don’t believe in our heart, we will not be saved.
So, the first thing that prevents many Christians and Messianic Jews from being involved in evangelism the way we should is not being convinced that people are in need of salvation and faith in Yeshua is the only solution to that need. I hope that if you were not convinced before, you are convinced now.
The second thing that prevents many of us from being involved in evangelism the way we need to be is not being filled with the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit, we must be born again. When we are born again and filled with the Spirit of God, we are close to God and are able to understand His Word, His mind, His heart. We understand His desire for people to be saved and that we have been tasked to bring them the message that can save them; and we get involved with Messiah’s ongoing mission of world evangelism. For most of us, witnessing to Yeshua’s reality is difficult. It makes us feel uncomfortable. We are afraid of being rejected. We are afraid of the consequences. If we are filled with the Spirit, the Spirit will enable us to overcome our feelings and our fears and we will witness to Yeshua’s reality. To be involved in evangelism the way the Lord wants us to be, we must be filled with the Spirit.
The Carrot And The Stick
To motivate us to be actively involved in evangelism, God uses the carrot and the stick: positive and negative reinforcement. Here’s some carrot: Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12)! I want to lead many to righteousness, so they are in a right relationship with God, so that I can shine like the stars forever and ever. How about you? Here’s another carrot: When we share the Good News with others, we benefit ourselves. We learn how to respond to various objections. We get smarter, wiser, tougher, stronger. This helps us grow to spiritual maturity. Now here’s some stick: The Son of God said: Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. If we remain silent when we should speak about Him, He will disown us. And believe me, you do not want to be disowned by the Son of God before His Father in Heaven.
The Tools Of The Evangelist
Many professionals need tools for their trade. Musicians need instruments. Farmers need a tractor. Carpenters need a hammer and saw. Plumbers need a wrench. Those who bring the Good News to the world need tools. Our tools are:
The Tool Of The Bible: The Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. When a person begins to interact with the Bible with an open mind, God starts to reveal Himself to that person, reveal truth to that person. If you can get someone to read the Bible, you have done a large part of your job as an evangelist with that person. Encourage people to read a modern version of the Bible, like the NIV or the ESV, and challenge them to pray that God would not only show them the truth, but give them the courage to follow the truth that is revealed.
The Tool Of Messianic Prophecies: The prophecies demonstrate that the Bible is a supernatural book inspired by God. Only God, who created time, and is beyond time, can give accurate and detailed predictions describing events that take place in advance, sometimes centuries in advance. It’s powerful when we inform others about the prophecies about the Messiah, because none of the other religions have prophecies about their leaders like we do about Messiah Yeshua. Here are the ones I commonly use: Messiah would arrive before 70 A.D. (Daniel 9:24-27). Messiah would be a Jewish child who will rule over David’s kingdom; and He is also God (Isaiah 9:6-7). Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and yet originate from the days of eternity (Micah 5:1-2). Messiah would enter Jerusalem triumphantly, as a king, yet humbly on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). Messiah would be despised and rejected by the majority of Israel. He would be tried and condemned even though He was innocent. He would be silent before His accusers. He would die as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. He would be raised from the dead and greatly rewarded (Isaiah 53).
The Tool Of The Evidences For Yeshua’s Resurrection: Since God would not resurrect a liar, a deceiver or a false Messiah, Yeshua’s resurrection lets us know that He is not a liar, deceiver or false Messiah. He is the true Messiah who has God’s seal of approval. Yeshua’s resurrection validates Him, and all of His teachings and His ministry. Yeshua’s resurrection makes Him unique and puts him on a level far higher than any of the prophets of Israel or any other religious leader. Is there evidence for Yeshua’s resurrection? Yes. There are many ancient and reliable manuscripts that mention Messiah’s resurrection. There is written evidence in the New Testament that more than 500 reliable eyewitnesses saw Him after He died. There is the evidence of Yeshua’s impact on history. He has affected the course of history more than any other human being. There is the evidence of millions of transformed lives, including my life and your life.
Look For Ways To Point People To Yeshua
Use things that people are interested in to grab their interest and point them to Messiah. That’s what Yeshua did. To a woman drawing water at Jacob’s well, He claimed to give living water that produces eternal life. On Sukkot, at the water pouring ceremony, when the nation was praying for water, Yeshua said: Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from within them. Also at Sukkot, when huge menorahs illuminated Jerusalem, Yeshua said: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. To a crowd that wanted bread, Yeshua declared He was the living bread that came from Heaven that gives eternal life. When you’re talking to someone, discern an interest and use it to point them to Yeshua. Martha remembers going to a mall with her grandfather, Fred Kendal, and when she bought some jewelry that had some gold in it, Fred asked the vendor if he would like to live in a place where the streets were paved with gold, and a conversation ensued.
- See your place of work as your mission field. Try to initiate conversations about spiritual things with co-workers. If you can’t do that at work, invite someone to lunch, or go out with them after work and talk about God.
- Engage in “evangelism on the way.” As you’re out and about, be aware of the people around you, and that the Lord may want you to interact with them. Yeshua was traveling to Galilee, and while He was passing through a town in Samaria, and sitting by a well, a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Yeshua initiated a marvelous spiritual conversation with her. That’s evangelism on the way.
- The Lord’s followers can isolate themselves so they’re only relating to other believers. Get involved in a club or a group or a neighborhood association where you have contact with non-Christians.
- A great way to have contact with non-Christians is on the Internet. Post your thoughts on social media. Respond to articles and videos.
- Use holiday and life-cycle events: Send holiday cards, birthday cards, graduation cards, condolence cards, always adding a personal note or a prayer that God would bless them, help them, comfort them, enable them to live forever.
- When appropriate, include a prayer or blessing or Bible verse with letters and emails.
- Use greetings. If someone greets you with, “How are you?” respond, “I’m blessed because of Jesus the Messiah and my risen and living Lord and Savior. How are you?” If someone says: “Have a good day,” respond, “Thank you. I will have a good day, if Jesus the Messiah and my living Lord and Savior, wants me to have a good day.” Instead of telling others, “Have a good day,” pray that God, who sent the Messiah so that we could live forever, would bless them.
- Instead of considering sales calls as an annoyance, consider them to be an evangelistic opportunity. You could say, “Thank you for calling and telling me about your product or service. I would like to tell you about the most important thing in my life – my relationship with Jesus the Messiah. He is alive and real and loves you and wants you to have a meaningful life and live with Him forever. Interested?”
- If you’re dealing with someone in customer service, at the end of the interaction they will often will ask: “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Your response: “Yes there is something you can do for me. I want you to know that the purpose of life is not to make a lot of money working for ___ (fill in the name of the company), but to be reconciled to God before you leave this world; and that happens when we know that Jesus the Messiah is alive and loves us and wants us to live forever with Him. I want you to know that, and that’s what you can do for me.”
- People hardly know their neighbors today. Invite a neighbor to dinner and try to share the Good News.
- Add a pamphlet to the envelope when paying your bills. Leave a pamphlet, along with a generous tip, when eating at a restaurant.
- If you like bumper stickers, use one like: “My boss is a Jewish Carpenter.” “Honk if you love Jesus. Text if you want to see Him.” “People use duct tape to fix everything. God used nails.”
- Wear a Jewish star, or a star with a cross, or the new star-menorah-fish symbol so that people will ask you about it and you can say: “My Messiah and Savior is Jewish,” or “I’m a kosher-hearted Christian with a Jewish Savior and I love the Jewish people.”
- When doing errands, out walking or jogging or at the gym, considering wearing a “Jesus Made Me Kosher” t-shirt.
- When doing street evangelism and you get into a conversation, ask the person one question: “Who do you think Jesus is?” Where they are right, agree with them. Where they are wrong, correct them. Where they lack information, teach them.