Introducing Others to Christ
Evangelism: The word "evangelism" comes from the New Testament Greek verb euaggelizo meaning "to bring good news."
The original image behind the verb is that of a joyful runner coming from the victory of a battle, the birth of a child or other happy event, to jubilate it to those who will be blessed by the news.
Another image is being a reflection of hope to those in despair as in calling into a cave of darkness, "over here, over here, we found the way out!"
We have been rescued by the death and resurrection of Christ, and now have the privilege of bringing that 'Good News' to others. We announce victory over the power of sin, the devil and death.
Individual and Social: The Gospel is unqualified wonderful news for the individual and society both in history and all of eternity!
For the individual there is grace and mercy, victory over the power and punishment of sin, forgiveness and the discovery of true worth in Christ.
For society there is the possibility of movement towards right relationship (i.e. 'righteousness' in Christian language), harmony and peace.
An Example from Paul's letter to Philemon.
- The historical setting is that Paul, while in prison, led to Christ a fellow prisoner, Onesimus, who was a runaway slave. Paul now asks Philemon, the slaveowner, to set Onesimus free.
- The basis for this request is only that the Gospel, recognizing the equality of man before God-in-Christ, has implicitly in it the seeds of social transformation requiring the end of slavery.
- The Gospel, as Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God, does away with social class or status based on position or wealth (v.16).
- Paul's appeal to Philemon for this change is not on the basis of law or duty (there was no such basis in the culture of that time) but only of love born of the good news of the Gospel (v.8-9).
This is an example of sharing the Good News of Christ at a personal level resulting in the most direct means to social transformation and changing the world. Granted, the end of injustice can theoretically be legislated and attempted to be enforced by brute strength, but history shows legislation and even brute strength cannot change the human heart to want or do what is right. (At best, law can make a person aware of what is right. And sometimes human law has in fact been wrong in what it has directed people to do or avoid. Christ however both changes the heart and gives the power to change.)
For those who would like more clarity on the relationship between Christ, the Kingdom and the Church, please click here.
I want to share Christ often and invite you to do the same. Sharing Christ changes individuals, family and social systems, and our eternal destiny.
My prayer has therefore been this: "Holy Spirit, give me boldness to share Christ 'in season and out of season' so the Father will be praised, souls saved from hell for eternity, and social healing and transformation be the blessing on this age."
There are many means of sharing the good news of the Kingdom of God. For examples and encouragement please click here.