Day 5: The urgency of evangelism
I believe that the only reason God does not take us back to heaven the moment we give our lives to the Lord is that God wants us to share the Gospel with our family members, friends and fellow Singaporeans, so that they, too, will be able to spend eternity with God.
This means that any believer who is not consistently winning people to the Lord is one who is frustrating God’s plan and purpose for his life.
Often we refer to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 to “go and make disciples of all nations” as the definitive mission of every Christian. Yet, the fact is that this was the mission Jesus has stated right from the beginning of His ministry.
When Jesus at the beginning of his ministry called Peter and his brother Andrew to be His disciples, he made clear the purpose of being a disciple of Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 4:19: “Then He (meaning Jesus) said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” That was the stated purpose of Jesus calling them to follow him as His disciples.
Every lesson learned, every encounter with miracles performed by Jesus and every example that Jesus has set for His disciples – whether in ministering to the poor or seeking to pray all night – is designed for one purpose: To make them fishers of men.
We see the urgency of Christ throughout His ministry to preach to the multitudes, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to move from town to town tirelessly and relentlessly to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
This was the mission Jesus has stated right from the beginning of His ministry.
Christ was seeking to demonstrate to the disciples the urgency of making disciples and, in our terms, the urgency of evangelism.
The mark of true discipleship is not how much of the Bible we know, how many hours we are praying, how well we can preach, important as these may be.
The mark of true discipleship is an unwavering commitment to preach the Gospel with urgency and to become fishers of men.
We sense this in the life and ministry of the apostle Paul when he said in 1 Corinthians 9:22: “To the weak, I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some.”
That was the mark of Paul’s discipleship – the urgency of evangelism.
During the two years of Covid lockdown and restrictions, the Lord brought me to the last verse of the last chapter of the book of Isaiah – Isaiah 66:24.
The preceding two verses describe the saints worshipping the Lord in the new heaven and new earth. But notice the last verse of the book of Isaiah in verse 24:
“And they shall go forth and look
Upon the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm does not die,
And their fire is not quenched.
They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
I shuddered when I read verse 24.
Imagine an eternity where we enjoy an intimate relationship with God in exuberant worship.
And then I look down to hell, and what if I see my family members – our parents, our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our friends with whom we spend much time eating, drinking and playing games together – suffering in eternal torment where the worm does not die, their fire is not quenched?
My heart was broken before the Lord and the sense of urgency of evangelism was rekindled in me in a fresh way.
This prayer is a song I learnt as a boy in Sunday School. This is a prayer that I sing often.
“Lead me to some soul today,
O teach me, Lord, just what to say;
Friends of mine are lost in sin,
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care,
And few there are who pray;
Melt my heart and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.”
We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Download the PDF version of today’s devotional here.