Evangelism is sharing the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ. But not everything is good news. There is some bad news mixed in.
For example, the bad news includes sin, death, and our heading to hell. And we cannot do anything to save ourselves from this hopeless situation.
In fact, unless God chose to intervene, every human would go to hell. And that leads into the six points of good news about God making salvation available to each of us.
5. Evangelism Explains God Sending Jesus to Save Sinful Humans
Evangelism starts with bad news. The situation for every human would be hopeless if God did not take the initiative to save us.
God hates sin. But he loves every single one of us (1 John 4:16). And in his love, he is patient towards punishing us because he does not want any human being to go to hell (2 Pet. 3:9).
Previously we mentioned an impassable chasm between God and humans as an illustration. Into that hopeless situation, God’s love reaches down to save us. He chose to bridge the chasm himself. And he mended the broken relationship through Jesus (John 3:16).
In evangelizing others, we need to emphasize it was God’s initiative to save us. Nothing else could have worked.
He sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Jesus is fully God and fully human. As the perfect “God-man,” he could be a” mediator between God and men” (1 Tim. 2:5). And by choosing to die for humans, he paid the penalty for our sin (John 3:16).
6. Evangelism Explains Substitutionary Atonement
Sometimes in evangelism, we do not appreciate the profundity of the phrase, “Christ died for us.” The reality is breathtaking in what Christ’s sacrifice means for every human.
When evangelizing is critical to emphasize that Jesus lived a sinless human life. Because he had no personal sins, he did not have to die physically. But Christ chose to die in our place as our substitute.
And he took our sins upon himself--like an Old Testament lamb sacrificed to God for the sins of the people (2 Cor. 5:21).
But taking on our sins meant that Christ had to bear God’s punishment. That’s right; Christ took on every human sin ever committed in the past, present, and future.
His sacrificial death on our behalf atoned (or covered) all our sins (Rom. 5:18).
7. Evangelism Explains the Resurrection
After his death on Friday, his disciples buried Jesus in a tomb. But three days later (on Sunday morning), Jesus was resurrected. His rising from the dead was through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christ’s resurrection proved two incredible realities:
- Firstly, he is God the Son (the second person of the Trinity) (Rom. 1:4).
- Secondly, God had accepted Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf (Heb. 5:7).
When evangelizing, some people will push in and claim the resurrection is impossible. Yet, the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is indisputable beyond a reasonable doubt.
8. Evangelism’s Unbelievable Message: Salvation Comes Only by God’s Grace and is Free
Grace is an often misunderstood word. In this instance, it means that God freely offers you a gift of salvation that you have not earned and do not deserve. While it costs you nothing, it came at a high cost to Jesus.
Consider the example of someone offering you a new car freely. And you didn’t do anything to deserve it. That unmerited favor is grace.
God offers every person:
- The unmerited (something we don’t deserve) gift of forgiveness of our sins
- A restored relationship with him
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit
- And the opportunity to spend eternity with him
But like any freely offered gift, you have to accept it (Eph. 2:8-9).
9. Evangelism’s Final Step: Salvation Comes Through Faith in Jesus Christ
In evangelism, first, share the gospel and then make the invitation for salvation. And if we accept God’s offer of salvation, three things occur.
- First, we realize our hopeless situation. We cannot get to heaven based on our good works and must depend entirely on God’s offer based on what Christ did for us.
- Second, we recognize that we are sinful. And that recognition leads us to turn from our evil and toward God by asking for forgiveness. This action is repentance (Acts 2:38).
- Third, and most importantly, we must believe in (or put our faith in) Jesus as our God and Savior (Acts 16:30–31)
By trusting in Jesus as our Savior, we receive God’s complete salvation. And that salvation is available to anyone. Anyone willing to genuinely repent of their sins and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
God’s word is clear:
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved … for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:9-13)
10. Salvation Brings Newness
Placing our faith in Jesus saves us (Acts 16:31), gives us eternal life (John 3:16), and forgiveness of our sins (Eph. 1:7).
We become “new creations” (2 Cor. 5:17) who are now God’s children (Rom. 8:15–16). And the Holy Spirit resides in us (1 Cor. 3:16).
This newness changes our whole lives. Our old lives stuck in sin are gone; we are made new as God’s children forever.
Now you know both the bad and the good news of salvation. The message extends from creation to Christ’s resurrection. And it gives us a clearer idea of the scope of God’s great love for us.
Do you want to become more excited about evangelism? Then learn both the bad and good news of salvation.
Why don’t you spend some time right now learning and reviewing these key points? And take time to memorize and meditate on some of these Scripture passages so that you can be ready to share.
You are now able to share this life-changing message with those who need it. Knowing the message makes evangelism less intimidating. And like any learned skill, the more you do it, the better you become.
Evangelism (Part 1 of 2): The Bad News by Dr. Bob Martin III