Jesus wants His followers to preach the gospel to every person in all the world (Mark 16:15). That includes teaching His saving message to those people in our own community. If the members of any local church will be actively involved in trying to teach the gospel to those who are lost, this will bring great benefits to both those individual Christians who participate in this teaching, as well as to the congregation as a whole. What are some of these blessings that will come to a local church that practices personal evangelism?
Being busy in personal evangelism will --
1. Cause Each Active Member To Study More – We have to be ready to give an answer to those who ask questions (1 Peter 3:15). The answers that we are to give them must come from God’s word (1 Peter 4:11). We have to search the scriptures (John 5:39) in order to be able to be the teachers that we ought to be (Hebrews 5:12). We cannot teach that which we do not know, so trying to teach others will force us to study more! That is going to be helpful to us.
2. Cause Each Active Member To Pray More – We will certainly feel the need for our Lord’s help, because personal evangelism can present some pretty tough situations. Have you ever noticed how often the New Testament speaks about praying for the gospel to be preached? Jesus said that we are to pray to the Lord of harvests so He will send forth reapers (Matthew 9:37,38). We are also told to pray for open doors in evangelism (Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1,2) and for the courage of those who preach the word (Ephesians 6:19). So often we have felt frustrated by our own inability to convince those whom we are trying to teach. Such makes us turn to the Lord in prayer and seek His guidance.
3. Cause Those Members Who Are Teaching To Grow Closer To One Another – This is the natural result of working together to reach a goal. God wants men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). So do you and I, and when we work together to help others learn the message of salvation, that is going to draw and bind us together. When we are busy teaching others, we will find ourselves praying together, we will talk together as we ride or walk, and we will cry and rejoice together. When all the members of a congregation are busy trying to teach the gospel to the lost, then they are giving their attention and energy to the task of helping others be saved. That does not leave much time for fussing among themselves.
4. Cause Souls To Be Saved And The Church To Grow – Yes, God’s word will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11). The church will grow when we sow the seed (Acts 2:47; 4:4; 5:14; 5:41-6:1; 6:7). Is this not what we are working for, not for our personal glory, but for the salvation of souls?! Remember the message of Mark 16:15,16 – it begins with preaching the gospel and ends up with salvation (go, preach, believe, baptized, saved)!
5. Cause Those Who Actually Teach To Have Personal Joy – "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:5,6). There is joy for a person simply in realizing, "God wants me to teach others, and hey, that is what I am trying to do." Again, we rejoice with those who obey the gospel (Romans 12:15). There is surely no way to top the wonderful joy that one feels as a result of helping a person be saved! How would you feel if you saved a child’s life by grabbing him off the railroad tracks at the last instant just before a speeding train passed, and as a result your picture was in the newspaper and your action was mentioned on the on the local TV station? Why, any of us would feel good about themselves over something like that. Yet, how much more precious than physical life is the eternal soul of every person?! We ought to rejoice in knowing that by teaching the gospel we can have a part in helping save a soul from eternal condemnation.
In so many ways evangelism brings great blessings to those congregations that practice it. May the Lord help each of us to be more excited about teaching His gospel to the lost!
-- Roger D. Campbell
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