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05-12-2011 - Posted by Marlijne

It has always amazed me how “evangelism” is a subject that, evidently, is experienced as being so very difficult and bothersome to deal with. Browse through any number of Christian magazines, and convince yourself of the correctness of this observation. I mean this: It is understandable that it is terribly difficult for a doctor to say to his patient that he or she is terminally ill. And it is understandable that it is unpleasant for a parent to tell a child that the enjoyable vacation cannot continue. But that it would be difficult and stressful to share a joyful message – that I cannot comprehend. Whoever would find it difficult to tell his neighbor that he/she has become a father or mother of a healthy baby? Or to have won the lottery? It seems to me that it would be much more difficult to keep such things to oneself!

I have only one sensible explanation for the trouble that “evangelism” experiences: one does not really (or: really not) tell a joyful message. What one does, in various ways, is to point out to fellow human beings that he or she is on the road to hell (or words to that effect), but that there is an emergency exit. Such a message can be ‘dressed up’, but it is and remains a tragedy. It is like pointing, in a state of panic, to a fire escape. Of those who tell such a message, one can hardly say: “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good tidings” (Rom.10:15).

The essence of true evangelism is that those who engage in it are messengers of great joy (as is referred to in Isaiah 52:7). We are privileged to tell of God’s love for this world, without any ifs and buts about it. We may speak of God Who is GOD, and Who works out everything in accord with His Plan, without there ever anything going wrong. We may speak of Christ Jesus, Who paid the price and brought to light New Life for all. Or, as Paul wrote: the living God is the Savior of all mankind! These are details of truly, glad tidings, regardless of whether the listener is pleased with this or not. We have a joyful message for all people, ESPECIALLY for those who believe!

Spread the word!