The Realities of the Doctrine of Evangelism


The Realities of the Doctrine of Evangelism

The theology of evangelism consists of three crucial realities: the doctrine of necessity, the doctrine of love, and the doctrine of special evangelization.

The doctrine of necessity. As recipients of the gospel and harbingers of God’s will, we should have an intrinsic desire to share the cause of our blessed salvation with others. If we do not connect with those around us and do not heed Peter’s command to “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” then we are being selfish and we extinguish the light of Christ in our souls (I Pet 3:15 NRSV). The Great Commission is not optional for Christians to choose to adhere to or not. As a matter of fact, Christianity is not a vast grocery store filled with ideas and stories, with the Great Commission being just one of many actions one can perform in their Christian life. The commission given to every individual is to evangelize the world, which is Christ’s earnest expectation from each person. It is also a mission given to the Church to breed more disciples throughout the world. Moreover, the commission is about God’s will being done on earth as it was in heaven.

For example, Peter and Andrew were told that they would be made into “fishers of men” when they receive their apostleship. Similarly, we as Christians also have this duty. The interesting thing about those two becoming fishermen is that they had to actually go to the lake and catch fish. They did not simply pay someone else to fish for them and call themselves fishermen; rather, they had to get their hands dirty, grabbed their fishing pole, and searched for fish to catch. In this same way, we as Christians are fishers of men and we are called to get our hands dirty.

The doctrine of love. Evangelization must be performed with Christ’s heart and out of an authentic desire to share the fruits of one’s salvation with one’s neighbors. Evangelism is just an expression of Christian love, which means that it is absolutely essential to the Christian, and without it, we are meaningless. The Apostle Paul taught exactly this; he said, “If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (I Cor. 3:3 NRSV). I is not mere actions which God seeks; rather, it is an authentic heart expressing itself in the social landscape of the modern world. God orders us to show mercy, not out of any selfish reason, but because He Himself has shown mercy to us. We should seek to share such blessings God gave us with our neighbors so they might have the same redeeming grace that we ourselves have.

The doctrine of special revelation. The gospel is a direct and supernatural revelation to man about the nature of God and His plan for the redemption of humankind. A special revelation is necessary for salvation, because all men have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), which means that Christ’s atoning work on the cross is necessary for one’s salvation. While God has provided natural ways to understand and contemplate on His existence like natural revelation (e.g. the beauty of the universe and God’s revealing of Himself to people through nature), people must consciously decide to follow and obey God. Such a decision requires one’s neighbor to bring to people the good news. “Therefore,” writes Paul, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God… For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore, all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them” (II Cor. 5:11-20 NRSV). God’s revelation to the Church is concerned with the gospel. Accordingly, we are called to share this direct message from God with our neighbors, lest we hide our light of Christ under a bushel and disrespect the calling of God.

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