Personal Evangelism Part VI: Motivation
William C. Sexton
The last concept to be presented in this series of articles is the most important. All the learning will not help us if we do not GO! We have endeavored to make us conscious of some of the things necessary to be successful in the actual practice of soul winning. However, unless we are moved to go we shall win no one to Christ and be lost ourselves! Psychologically, we condition ourselves by "studying to do personal work." While we are studying, we are not going; when we stop studying the sense of urgency to "go" subsides. Therefore, we condition ourselves against getting involved! We must break down that wall of hindrance, refuel our motors, and release the brakes and accelerate across that barrier line into the field of opportunity.
There are three forces that should provide us with the fuel to move us, as the Bible teaches we should be moved, in doing personal evangelism. The first force is from above., God wants us to win others to Christ our Savior. He tells us through the apostles, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations .... Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20). Timothy was told by Paul, "The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). So, it is our duty, as well as our privilege, to teach others to become Christians and to grow and develop into teachers themselves (Heb. 5:11-14). Being conscious of the fact that God wants us to be engaged in the activity should supply us with the "get-up-and-go" to move us.
The second force that should move us is from within. Having experienced the peace, joy and satisfaction and excitement of being saved, should create within us a desire to move others. We should desire to share .with others (Rom. 1:14-18; 1 Tim. 1:12-16). Paul felt that he was obligated to tell the story of Jesus' salvation by grace to the people in Rome and all over the world, regardless of their nationality, social standing, educational background, etc. "All" to him were the object of God's love and grace, and he was appreciative of his opportunity to declare the message to them. If we are any less desirous of sharing with others, and feel that it is a "burden," then I am somewhat concerned about our heart's condition. I am afraid that if we had a spiritual "check-up" by the great Physician, He might declare that out heart "is not right in the sight of God" (Acts 8:21).
A third force that should move us is around us. Seeing man in his sins madly rushing to destruction should arouse our compassion for him (Matt. 9:36-38). The "love" that moved God to send His Son to die for us (Jn. 3:16) and the love of Jesus for us (Rom. 5:8), should trigger that mechanism within us to release that energy to move us, to activate us in this direction! If we have seen the "power" of godliness (2 Tim. 3:5) at work in our lives transforming our lives into the "image of his Son" (Rom. 8:29),, then we ought to be longing for such a change and be willing to make whatever amount of contribution to this end possible. The Master is our "example" (1 Pet. 2:21) and He was not satisfied without making the supreme sacrifice in order that man could be saved; what right do we have to call ourselves His disciples and not be interested in the same thing He was concerned with (cf. Phil. 2:5)? We should be moved by just noticing the activities which we are engaged in which are not only not profitable, but are in fact destructive. These people could be changed from a destructive behavior to a beneficial behavior.
I make the following appeal: Let us go forth together-with faith in our hearts that God's plan is effective! In addition to faith in God's plan, we need to have faith in man to listen, if we approach him correctly-honestly cordially, confidently yet in humility. We need to know that a person' has the right to refuse us an entrance into his home, if he so desires. Also, may we remember that he has probably been approached by people who were more interested in his money than in his spiritual condition. He can thus rightly suspect our aim as being something less than totally for his good; we must be operating on the basis that we are going to get something in return from him for his co-operation. However, may we be what we say we are, and may we demonstrate that unselfishness which characterized our Lord. We must operate on the correct idea-you can not make a person obey the Lord; he must obey of his own free will. Also, we need to be conscious of the same principle in our lives; no one can make us do personal evangelism. However, if we have that inner-drive, no one can keep us from doing it (Phil. 3:13-14). Everybody has some trouble getting started. But the idea of waiting is perhaps the most common excuse for not doing it. In reality this waiting is destructive to the soul-yours and the prospect's. They are out there. So, beloved, get started!
Truth Magazine XIX: 38, p. 594