Evangelism is very important. It’s at the heart of what we, as followers of the Messiah, are all about. Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism – for quite a few reasons: Our Lord Yeshua was actively involved in evangelism, and we are to be like Him. Matthew 9: Yeshua went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. Evangelism was at the heart of the ministry of the Lord Yeshua. For us to be like Him, we must engage in evangelism like He did.
Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism because of love. God is love and He wants us to love like He loves. Love tries to meet the greatest needs of those who are loved. And what are the world’s greatest needs? To be saved from the things we can’t save ourselves from – Satan and the demons, sin and the sin nature, death and Hell. And the only way to overcome these deadly things is by responding to the Gospel. We are to love people like God loves people which means we will try to meet their greatest needs, which means we must bring them the message about Yeshua.
We wouldn’t have to be actively involved in evangelism if there was more than one way of salvation, but Yeshua made it clear that He is the one and only way of salvation: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Simon Peter said the same thing. He stood before the religious and political leaders of the Chosen People and told them: 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 Sanhedrin needed Yeshua to be saved, you can be sure everyone else on Earth does too. Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism because there is only one way of salvation – faith in Yeshua.
Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism because we know the Lord and we know the only way of salvation. We alone have been entrusted with the responsibility to bring the message that reconciles people to God. Rabbi Paul included this in his second letter to the Corinthians: We are Messiah’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Messiah’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. We must not fail the One who made us Messiah’s ambassadors by not imploring people to be reconciled to God.
Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism because if we don’t bring people the message of salvation, no one else will. Messiah won’t come from Heaven to bring that message. Messiah won’t send angels to proclaim that message. The unsaved people of the world certainly won’t proclaim that message. Paul wrote to Messiah’s people in Rome: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? We are the ones the Lord has sent to preach the message of salvation. We must not fail the One who sent us to preach that message.
Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism because Messiah didn’t suggest we be involved in evangelism. He commanded us to continue His mission of world evangelism, and we must not violate His command. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism because the Lord will not return until the Good News is preached to the ends of the Earth. Yeshua said: this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. The Good News about salvation through the Messiah will be preached to the whole world – and it is our responsibility to do that preaching.
Each one of us must be actively involved in evangelism. Are you? If not, won’t you make that commitment?
How do we get actively involved in evangelism? It’s simple: Be filled with the Spirit. When we are full of the Spirit of God, we are close to God and understand that salvation from Satan and the demons, sin and the sin nature, death and Hell is people’s greatest need.
When we are filled with the Spirit, we are full of the love of God and we want to meet that greatest need.
When we are full of the Spirit we understand that it is our responsibility to bring the message of salvation to the world.
When we are full of the Holy Spirit we won’t give in to the fear of man. We will have the wisdom and the power to proclaim the Good News to those around us.
When we are filled with the Spirit of Yeshua, we will testify about Yeshua. We will want to testify. We will be compelled to testify. We won’t be able to prevent ourselves from testifying. We will be empowered to testify.
It’s so important to receive the Holy Spirit, and then walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit.
How do we do that? We make sure we are followers of Yeshua. We end our part in the great rebellion against God. We humble ourselves and allow God to be God. We turn to God and God’s ways and away from our own ways. We make a serious commitment to follow Yeshua, the risen Messiah, as our Lord.
If we do this, we are given us a new, godly nature. And the Spirit of the Father and the Son is given to us. He lives in us – now and forever. Then, after we receive our new nature and the Spirit of God is living in us, we live by the Spirit on a moment by moment basis.
If we sin, or if we slowly drift away from God, we confess our sin, we confess our drifting away, and pray to be filled again with the Spirit – and we will be. And we are re-energized to tell the world the Good News about salvation through Yeshua.
Some people don’t engage in evangelism because they think they don’t know enough; that they may not know the answers to people’s objections. You don’t need to be a theologian to tell others the Gospel. Paul wrote this to the Corinthians, who loved eloquent and speakers who knew a lot: When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Messiah Yeshua and him crucified. Evangelism is simple. It’s telling others about Messiah Yeshua and Him crucified; telling people they need to follow Yeshua who died, Yeshua who overcame death, Yeshua who is alive now, the living Lord and Savior. Any follower of Messiah can tell others that.
The Tools Of The Evangelist
Many professionals need tools for their profession. Farmers need a tractor. Carpenters need a hammer. Plumbers need a wrench. Musicians need an instrument. Those who bring the Good News need tools. Our tools are:
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, starts to 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 Messianic 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 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 have about 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).
- And my favorite, go-to prophecy: Isaiah 53: 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.
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. He has God’s seal of approval. Yeshua’s resurrection validates Him and His teachings. 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 from eyewitnesses who saw Him resurrected, like Matthew, Peter and John. There is written evidence in the New Testament that more than 500 reliable eyewitnesses saw Him at one time after He died. There is the evidence of Yeshua’s impact on history. This one Jewish man 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. The evidences for Yeshua’s resurrection are powerful and persuasive.
Look for ways to point people to Yeshua. Use things that people are interested in to point them to Messiah. That’s what Yeshua did. To a woman drawing water at Jacob’s well, He claimed He could give her 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. 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.
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. Use things that people are interested in to point them to Yeshua.
Practical Things To Do
- See your place of work as your mission field. God has given you a job, not only to provide for your needs, but to be salt and light. Try to initiate conversations about spiritual things with your co-workers. If you can’t do that at work, invite them to lunch, or go out with them after work and talk about spiritual things.
- See your neighborhood, not just as a place to live, but as your mission field. Many people don’t know their neighbors today. Get to know your neighbors. Invite a neighbor to lunch or dinner and share the Good News with him.
- 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.
- We can isolate ourselves so we’re only relating to other believers. Get involved in an activity or a group 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, and add a personal note or a prayer that God would bless them, help them, comfort them, enable them to live forever because of the Messiah.
- When appropriate, include a prayer or blessing or a Bible verse with letters and emails.
- Use greetings. If someone greets you with, “How are you?” respond, “I’m blessed because of Jesus Christ, my risen Lord and Savior. How are you?” Instead of telling someone, “Have a good day,” pray that God, who sent the Jesus the Messiah so that we could live forever, would bless that person today.
- Mary-Anne let me know that she is working on a humorous pitch with Jewish people, which has so far rendered chuckles, smiles and curiosity. After polite and warm introductions, the pitch goes like this: “You know, sometimes I feel bad … I feel like I stole your Messiah – not that I stole Him per say, but I’d like to give Him back to you!” Then she smiles warmly and adds that she attends a Messianic Congregation and how much she loves how Jewish the Messiah is. Well done, Mary-Anne. May this new pitch result in some home runs.
- 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 want to tell you about the most important thing in my life – my relationship with Jesus Christ. He is alive and real and loves you and wants you to live with Him forever, and I want you to know that today.”
- 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 Christ 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 today.”
- Add a pamphlet to the envelope when paying your bills or taxes. Leave a pamphlet, along with a generous tip, when eating at a restaurant.
- If you like bumper stickers, use one like: If only you followed Jesus this closely. Read the Bible: It will scare the Hell out of you. 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 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.
One last thing. Be patient. People who are actively involved in evangelism need to be patient. Don’t expect immediate results. Think of yourself as a person who is planting seeds. It may take time for that seed to sprout. You might need to plant other seeds in that person’s life for the seed to sprout. God might use other people to plant seeds of truth in that person’s life. One sows, another waters and another gathers the harvest.
Father, Your Son came into this world on a mission – to save people. And He still wants to save people, but now that He died, was resurrected and ascended to Your right hand, He saves people through us. Help us to be faithful to carry on His mission of world evangelism.
Father, You have made it clear that it is the duty of each one of us to be actively involved in evangelism. Help us fulfill our duty.
Help us to be filled with the Spirit. When we are, we won’t wait for evangelistic opportunities to occur, but take the initiative and make evangelistic opportunities happen.
Help us look for ways to point people to Yeshua. Help us learn the tools of our trade so that we can be the most effective evangelists we can be.
Lord, each of us as individuals, must be actively involved in evangelism. And as a community we must be actively involved in evangelism. Make Shema an active, witnessing community. Make Your Church an active, witnessing community – the way we should be.
Father, Your Son told us: The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. We pray that You would send those workers into Your harvest field, and that we would be those workers.