The word evangelism comes from an old Greek word “euaggelizo” which means a “good message, or gospel”. It is connected to an act of sharing by “announcing, declaring, bringing, or preach this good news.
For Christians this good news is very specific, but it requires to understand some history. It begins with the understanding that God created all that is, and that the creation is good, 1 in fact with the creation of human beings it was considered to be “very good.”2
Human beings, namely Adam (whose name literally means Man) and Eve (whose name means “life” or “mother of living”), had a closeness with God and were set up to be caretakers of God’s creation.3 However, they were tempted and giving in to that temptation their close, covenant relationship with God was broken. 4
God wants a family, and it is Jesus his son, who most notably called and knew God as his Father. That separation from God endures and is magnified by our own wrong doing, which is known in Christian circles as sin. We miss the mark failing to be the people that God has created us to be.
God has always wanted that closeness, but it is inextricably linked with the recognition that God as Creator is Sovereign. We all fall short of what God expects and are in need of a means to come back into right relationship with Him.5 That is where Jesus comes in. The most famous verse in the Bible is this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.“6 Jesus came to reconcile human beings to God the Father. He was without sin and He was willing to offer himself in our place to take on the punishment we deserved. 7
We acknowledge our own wrong doing and express a desire to have a right relationship with God when we accept that Jesus died for our sins.8 In so doing God removes his guilty verdict on us. God wasn’t done there though. The Good news is that Jesus, though he died, was raised from the dead. If we accept that is our Saviour, and guide for living, and if we believe that God has raised him from the dead, the Bible teaches us that we will have that relationship with God restored and we will receive everlasting life.9
By submitting to God in this way we become part of His family, and live with and for Him. Jesus before ascending in heaven gave his disciples this command:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.“10
Evangelism is all about sharing the good news that God our creator loves us, and wants us to be reconciled, healed, and share in His work on earth, and after death to enjoy His presence in heaven. Jesus has provided the way to make that happen.
|1. Genesis 1
|6. John 3:16
|2. Genesis 1:31
|7. 2 Corinthians 5:21
|3. Genesis 2
|8. 1 John 1:9
|4. Genesis 3
|9. Romans 10:9
|5. Romans 3:23
|10. Matthew 28:18-20