It is time for all of us to begin to live evangelistically. Evangelism is something we must do with both our lives and our lips. Neither form of evangelism is complete without the other. No Christian is excused from either type of evangelistic responsibility. Whether man or woman, old or young, layman or clergyman Ė everyone must have a witnessing life and witnessing lips.
The New Testament presents a pattern of clear-cut, comprehensive, and constant evangelism. Neither Christ nor the early church camouflaged their purpose. Evangelism must extend to every person in every nation. A salvation that delivers from every sin must be proclaimed.
Every thought and motive must be brought into obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Spirit, soul, and body must be presented in a total consecration (1 Thes. 5:23). The church must be cleansed until it is without stain, wrinkle, or any other blemish (Eph. 5:27). There is no stopping place until we all attain the whole measure of the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19). When Jesus returns, every believer will be presented perfect in Christ (Col. 1:28).
In order to attain this purpose the life of every Christian must be definitely and ultimately evangelistic. Your eyes and mine must radiate an evangelistís love. Our lips must speak the Saviorís praise and voice the Saviorís invitation. Our hands must bless with a redemptive touch. Our feet must bring good tidings wherever we go. Our hearts must throb with a passion for the lordship of Christ and the salvation of people. The vision of Christ must become our vision; His passion for Godís kingdom must become our passion. His will must have pre-eminence; His kingdom must be priority number one in our lives.
This does not mean that every act can or should be directly and immediately evangelistic. We must live useful, practical lives. We must rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). We must teach, heal, and serve others. Jesus needs us, and people also need us.
We should not make every conversation a sermon, or every act an attempt to convert. But the underlying motive and passion twenty-four hours a day in you and me should be that others may see and understand Christ. The constant prayer-breath of our soul should be that people seeing our good works may see not us but Christ. My all-pervading desire, your all-consuming passion, should be that all may know our wonderful Savior, too.
When all of life is saturated with redemptive love, with the evangelistís passion, witnessing with our words will be as natural as breathing. The witness may be only a "God bless you"; it may be only a "I feel so happy today; Christ was so near in prayer this morning"; or "I am so sorry; I will remember this (or you) in prayer." But you will never hesitate to explain the reason for your joy, your faith, and your inner strength.
There is an insidious danger in the "influence theory" of evangelism; that is in letting the life speak for itself without witnessing with the lips. But when life and lips witness together, all of life can be a seeking of Godís kingdom first.
"Arise, shine...See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you" (Isa. 60:1-2).
If you rise and shine, then those about you "will come to your light."
Taken from Godís Power Is For You by Wesley L. Duewel. Copyright © 1997 by Wesley L. Duewel. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Dr. Duewelís books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6751 Ext. 361.