Posted in theology

Encouragement for evangelism wimps

By Elizabeth Prata

I know how it goes. You decide to gird your loins, face the family at the next gathering, and speak of Jesus. You’ll gently and lovingly point out some of those idols they have around the house (whatever type they may be). You decided that this time you’ll speak of sin and repentance. You maybe decide to do it at the 4th of July picnic, or the summer family reunion, or on vacation with the extended fam, or the Labor Day blast…whatever it is, you decide that THIS is the time to forthrightly speak against their beloved worldview and evangelize them.

But then you chicken out.

And you berate yourself, kick yourself, and generally feel crummy, calling yourself a wimp.

It’s OK.

Let’s look at the example of King Asa of Judah. There was still idol worship going on during the first part of his reign. There were male shrine prostitutes, Asherah poles, all sorts of evil being done in God’s sight. Azariah was a prophet in those days, spoken of actually only once, in 2 Chronicles 15 (2 Chron. 15:1). Azariah reassured Asa that God would be with Asa if Asa did right, and against him if Asa did wrong. The Prophet encouraged Asa to seek the Lord, and this gave Asa the impetus to face down the idol worshiping going on.

Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD which was in front of the porch of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 15:8).

His people and even his own mother worshiped idols! This is a sketchy situation for anyone to face. That Asa was king made no difference. Personal reassurance from a prophet was the catalyst for Asa, and even then, he had to “take courage.”

It’s HARD to face down the world. It’s harder when it’s your own family. But Asa did it because God is greater. God is worthy. He deposed his own mother as Queen. He commanded the People to worship God alone. He led by his own worship example.

Asa still didn’t remove ALL the high places of worship…but his heart was committed to God all his life.

If you haven’t ‘taken courage’ yet or you’re sad that you missed an evangelizing opportunity, all is not lost. I know I say this all the time, but it is a real solution all the time: PRAY.

It is the Spirit who draws all men to Jesus. It is the Spirit who gives us courage. It is the Spirit who brings the verses to mind. It is the Spirit who delights in pointing people to Jesus. Look at all His ministries, just look at them!

The Ministries of the Holy Spirit. List from John MacArthur Daily Bible, June 19

So, dear sister, prepare ahead. First, pray at the start of the day for the Spirit to send you opportunities. Pray in advance of a specific opportunity you know will be coming. Pray for the words to say the time to be right (a moment alone with her apart from the hubbub, a calm conversation…), pray for the courage it takes. It’s hardest with family and close friends, I know. I got a chuckle out of King Asa deposing his mother as Queen because she was attached to the Asherah worship. THAT must have made for some awkward Sunday dinners!

Also, prepare with a few verses, or a mildly rehearsed opening. You can watch Todd Friel (short video on evangelizing parents here, start at 3:22) or Ray Comfort (how to evangelize friends and family- video here) or read an an essay here, to see how they do it.

Mainly, remember it is the Holy Spirit’s job to draw men, no matter if you stumble, or just leave a tract, or if they get angry…it is up to the Spirit to take God’s word and translate it to their heart and mind. It’s not all up to you. So take the pressure off yourself and just do your best. God knows.

For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 13:47

RESOURCES

Todd Friel: How to evangelize to your parents | WRETCHED RADIO, start at 3:22)

Ray Comfort – interview with Doreen Virtue: How to Evangelize Friends and Family “Why is it so uncomfortable to witness to our loved ones? Ray Comfort teaches us how to share the Gospel with our friends and family. It can be intimidating to discuss Jesus with unbelievers; however, we want to do everything we can to make sure that our loved ones have heard the good news of the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel is an act of love and courage, because we care about the eternal destiny of our friends and family.”

GotQuestions/Compelling Truth, essay: What is the key to evangelizing family?

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Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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