Who Have You Reached Out To Today?
No, really? Who have you reached with the gospel today? If you say you told at least one person about Jesus today, I give you kudos! I can say even for myself, that I have not told someone about Jesus today. This post is as much for me as it is for you. I feel as a Christian, this is often an overlooked part of what a Christian is supposed to be, and how they must act. This comes to mind as Easter/Resurrection Sunday is approaching this way. There is so much opportunity for outreach every day, and especially over holidays!
Why Is Outreach Important?
We are told:
Mark 16:15-16, “15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
This is a command that Jesus has given. I feel it is disobedience to keep the gospel to ourselves. For those of us who are saved, we have received the free gift of salvation from God. Meaning, we made the choice to follow Jesus Christ so that one day we may go to Heaven. While we have the promise of Heaven, why do we withhold this gift from our neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus? Why do we say, “Hey, what’s up?” To our best friend every day and not tell them about Heaven and Hell?
There will be approximately 150,000 people that will die today. That’s not 1 or even 1,000 – it is 150,000 people! How many of them know Jesus? How many will be sent to Hell forever?
Reaching out to others is our duty! When you hear about the term “The Great Commission” – this is it! We must tell others about Jesus and spread the word.
What Keeps Us Held Back?
Comfort and rejection. It’s the thing that keep a lot of us sitting in the back of the crowd. Each person has a “comfort zone” of their own. What defines that comfort zone can vary from person to person. It does feel uncomfortable for some people to outreach to others, and strike up conversations with strangers and bringing up Jesus. Most of us fear rejection. Being in the United States, I do seem to have nearly endless opportunity to witness to others. We have more religious freedom than some countries out there. Go around and hand out tracts or use a neat conversation starter (ask about the best local eats, show someone one of these, or give them a good person quiz).
If we’re in the United States, a Christian, and we are not reaching out to others with the gospel then shame on us! We need to be reaching out and planting that seed of salvation. Don’t worry about doing anything else, only God can bring the sun and the rain that will help that seed grow into a magnificent plant. You know, sometimes that seed may sit there for years in that person’s life. All of a sudden, an event in that person’s life happens and they remember when you told them about Jesus. Perhaps they become the slightest bit intrigued and reach for a Bible. Maybe they even become saved. How wonderful that is!
But How Do I Even Go About It?
Reaching out isn’t easy, but that’s because the enemy grabs our ankles, trying to hold us back, and begs and pleads, “No! You don’t want to do this! How about we go see what’s at the movies? What about that homework you never finished? Didn’t you leave the stove on again?” Satan wants to do anything he can to prevent us from spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. We have to break past that barrier and say, “Stand behind me!” Once we break out of that comfort bubble, things get much easier!
There are varieties of ways to go about witnessing. You can start by sticking with tracts. I highly recommend tracts from Living Waters. Unlike some tracts on the market, this explains the “why you need a savior”. It doesn’t only say, “Jesus loves you,” which may be nails on a chalkboard to an unbeliever. If they know why they need a savior, they feel more in tune with the message it presents.
For many years as a Christian, the word “apologetics” was boring and uninteresting, but that was because I never saw it being applied in a modern day conversation. It’s actually fascinating and effective. Of course there are ways that atheists or agnostics will counter these arguments, but when you are equipped with the answers, you can put it into terms that anyone will understand. Using apologetics effectively can help avoid confusing lingo that Christians use such as “saved”, “gospel”, “good news”, “salvation”, etc. There are some excellent examples here, here, and here. Seriously, soak up these free resources, take notes, and practice a sample conversation in front of the mirror, in the shower, while driving to work, or whenever you are able. Consider investing in an Evidence Bible as they are awesome resources for those tough questions! Keep it in your purse, your briefcase, or your car. There is a free online version if you click the links on the Evidence Bible link. You can read the full book online before purchasing, or to study and take notes.
The Fear is Real
You will have fear, but within that fear Jesus Christ can make you stronger. It reminds me of
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Jesus will provide the strength when we feel short
Philippians 4:13, “13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
There is the fear of rejection, the fear of being told by an officer to “move along” for “disturbing the peace”, afraid others will complain about us, or scared that our reputation will be destroyed. Don’t let Satan hold you back. Satan hates humanity and wants it to fall apart, crumble, and suffer forever in Hell. God loves us so much. He created us in His image, and He desires for us to spend an eternity in Heaven with Him. We want to be like Christ so we must reach out to the lost! Get past that fear because it doesn’t come from God. In every outreach endeavor, pray before you go out, and allow God to guide you. If you need extra motivation, think about what happens to those who don’t give their lives to Jesus.
Don’t Keep Salvation to Yourself
There are times when I lost friends at a young age. I lost a friend when I was in jr. high and I lost a friend entering our first week of college. It is absolutely tragic, and sometimes I wish I could rewind and tell them about Jesus Christ, especially since I was their friend. I cannot be for sure whether they went to Heaven or Hell, but thinking that they could have gone to Hell because I didn’t reach out to them puts a burden there. I don’t want to think about a good friend in Hell all because I didn’t warn them. As a Christian, I still do have friends that are unbelievers, and I do pray and try to find the strength that Jesus gives to reach out to them. There are even more strangers than there are friends. How many more strangers are there that need someone to reach out to them with the gospel?
Let’s say there is a group of people stranded on an island, and they stay for years upon years trying to find a way out. What if one person was hiding the way to get off of that island from everyone else? For years, they knew their location, how to get contact with others, and a method to leave such as a boat? Wouldn’t the other people be super angry with them if they could have gone home this whole time? In a similar way, if we have received the free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ and we hide it, bury it, and keep it for ourselves – isn’t it a similar thing? We are hiding the way to Heaven, an eternity of peace, love, and joy from those headed to an eternity of torment, pain, and suffering.
Use Holidays to Your Advantage
Holidays are a great way to witness. Why is that? There is the perfect excuse to hand out fun gifts with tracts. Even though we should reach out to others as often as humanly possible, holidays are a great opportunity. On Halloween, you have people coming to your door so why not put a candy or non-candy treat in a bag with a tract? Why not give a gift to your neighbor with a tract around Christmas? Birthdays are even an awesome opportunity to reach out as well! You see where I’m going with this.While you may not believe in participating in every holiday for outreach, that’s okay. There are plenty of regular days in the year to reach out and get creative!
The best evangelism tools I have been able to find are on Living Waters. I feel this is a compassionate group that cares for God’s people and dedicate their lives to witnessing to others as well as encouraging fellow believers to reach out as well. Check out their neat free videos, too! They have plenty of affordable tracts and resources available in their store as well as plenty of free resources gathered together for you to use! You can head over there now or click the banner below:
What Are You Waiting For?
Check out free resources and find ways to reach out to others today! The least it will cost to reach out to someone is your time. Don’t wait, no one is promised a tomorrow.
[Image Credit: Ben White on unsplash.com]
Do you have any creative outreach ideas? Please feel free to share below!