God gave Christians a message to spread. The whole Bible talks about creation, about the fall of the world into sin, but also about the existence of a Saviour, in the person of Jesus Christ.
The Bible also provides the words to encourage Christians to speak to others about these things.
According to Barry York, president of the Presbyterian Reformed Theological Seminary, there are three fears that keep some Christians from telling others about Jesus.
The first of them is that they don’t know what to say, says York on the Gentle Reformation blog. He suggests Christians remember the words of the Bible in 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Evangelism should not be complicated and should focus on central messages such as the fact that God sent His only Son to die for the sins of mankind.
Another great fear that the evangelist identified in people’s behaviour when it comes to telling others about Christ is the fear of isolation. This fear, however, is somewhat welcome, as it always reminds people that they must constantly rely on the Holy Spirit in evangelism. In this sense, York offers the text from Matthew 28:20: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“In evangelism, you should also rely on other believers in seeking the Spirit of God. Ask them to pray for you if you are entering a difficult evangelistic situation where you have to go alone. However, most of the time, you should go with others or take other believers with you when possible.” Finally, let’s not forget that “you must also rely on the Spirit further still to produce the desired results,” he says.
The third fear identified by York is that of being ridiculed or of upsetting others. “Rejection, ridicule, and anger come with the territory in evangelism. Yet we know we are told not to fear even the most violent of reactions against the gospel.” In this sense, the evangelist recommends the text from Matthew 10:28: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Greg Stier, founder and president of Dare 2 Share Ministries International, prepares young people to share their faith. He too sees that fear makes many Christians take a step back. “Sharing your faith is a scary prospect. You can lose face and friends as a result of communicating this ‘narrow-minded’ message of the Gospel, even when you do so in love. When choosing between being accepted by others and sharing the good news with others, too often Christians choose silence. Fear is the biggest culprit that keeps most Christians from evangelising,” Stier says.
The solution offered by him is the prayer: “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”