Are you depriving yourself and others of your witness?
“Cry loudly, do not hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet, and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).
Consider well, especially if you live in a city, that most of the people around you are not following Jesus, and are not headed for Heaven when they die. Consider also that, due in large part to the Modern Day Downgrade, most of them have never even heard the Law and the Gospel properly proclaimed or explained. Thus, humanly speaking, they have never even had the opportunity to repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus to forgive them their sin and give them the gift of a new heart that loves to do good works and magnify Jesus as Lord and Savior as well as the gift of eternal life in the kingdom of God.
Consider well how many you can reach with your preferred methods of evangelism. How is that working for you? Are you close enough friends with your lost neighbor that you dare broach the topic of their sin and the Gospel, knowing full well (when you think about it) that the Gospel is an offense, and that you risk the friendship in talking about the fact that every day they live, their very soul is at risk? And how many will you share the Gospel with in 10 years, in this way? 20?
I do not mean to demean a strategy of evangelism that focuses on relationship. In some areas and in some countries, this is the only way. Yet consider this – hit the streets and you can share the Gospel with dozens, hundreds, even thousands in a single day. Because of you, the Gospel can go forth! You are a servant of the Most High God and you have been commanded to make disciples in all the world.
Consider this, too. We live in a time and place in which hitting the streets to share and proclaim the Gospel is by and large permitted and even most of the time ignored by law enforcement and government officials. That wasn’t always the case! Remember how the Apostle Paul and his friends were treated for their open-air ministry? With rare exceptions, such is not the case today.
So what are you waiting for? Jesus told His disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send more workers out into the field. I have been praying that, myself, for years. You are the answer to that prayer! Go to your church, gather Christian friends, make a plan. Start by dropping dropcards (maybe like this one) during your daily life. Buy or make some tracts (or email me and I’ll give you a decent tract that I wrote), print them up, look around for a gathering of people, and give out your tracts. Invite people to converse with you about Jesus. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. “Hi there, my name’s Alan. I’d like to talk to you about Jesus for a minute. Would that be OK?”
What do you have to lose? Reputation? Standing in the eyes of the world? Suffering through anxiety leading up to the moment that you talk to your first person or hand out your first tract or, dare I say it, spit out your first open-air sermon? Count it all joy!
Do you have a testimony of how Jesus saved you from your sin? Do you know what the Bible teaches about how Jesus saves sinners? Do you think that people need to repent and trust Jesus? Then what’s stopping you from proclaiming such magnificent and glorious good news from the rooftops, or at least from atop a box or a street corner? (Yes, even if you’re a woman.)
Some years ago, I made a firm resolution that I was going to go out, on
Halloween Reformation Day night and preach the Gospel in the open air. I didn’t want to, but I also did want to. I was terribly afraid. The day before, I had terrible anxiety and crazy stomach acid. I felt like I was developing an ulcer. The day of, the same. Fear, fear, fear, all the way up until I clambered atop the little stepladder I’d brought with me and belted out “Good evening, my friends, my name is Alan.” And then, just like that, the fear was gone. The grace of God flooded through me, and I thought “Whoa, this is awesome! I get to share the Gospel with 100 people at once!”
There has never been a time when the Lord Jesus has failed to bless me when I intentionally hit the streets to evangelise. The fear and anxiety have largely faded, such that sometimes I am barely even nervous.
Of course there are struggles. Of course one needs to know answers to some apologetic questions. Learn them!
Of course one needs to be accountable. Get accountable and gather a team or a partner, and go!
Of course one needs to go in a spirit of love. Pray, HARD, ask God to remove bitterness and pride from you, then go!
Of course one needs to know how to share the Gospel. Learn how, and go!
When will you ever get the opportunity to proclaim aloud / with people you’ve never met the glories of Jesus Christ, who bought you with His precious blood, if you don’t seek those opportunities out? How will you be better able to enourage other street evangelists who are, trust me on this one, usually quite desperate for others to join them as they hit the streets? How else will you be able to vastly multiply your outreach to the lost?
Let me just share with you a privileged moment I had just yesterday. I am currently in Paris, France on a trip that is half business and intentionally half mission, in cooperation with the good brethren at CEP Montreuil and other churches in the area. Here with my wife, kids, and an abolitionist friend, we got the opportunity to tract and preach at the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars in Paris last night. In a city of 15 million people, how can I be the only man lifting up his voice to glorify and magnify Jesus in the open air at one of the dozens of large gatherings of people? I don’t know, and I don’t mean to call others’ salvation into question or anything. I am asking you to examine yourself. Are you depriving yourself and others? Privilege and blessing await; God wants to pour out His grace on you when you step out in obedience.
What are you waiting for?
[Contributed by Rhology]
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