Does fear hold you back from sharing your faith with others? Discover the 3 main causes of fear of evangelism – and how to overcome your fear once and for all!
“Every disciple is called to be a disciple maker.”
I remember David Platt quoting in one of his sermons this deeply-held belief of a group of people named the Moravians.
It completely changed the way I view mission and evangelism.
It might be a new perspective for you, too.
You might think that it’s only pastors who have a responsibility to share the gospel with people. Or missionaries. That it’s their job, not yours!
But, are you a disciple? A follower of Christ? Then these words are to you:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(1 Peter 2:9-10)
You have been chosen to “proclaim the excellencies of Him” who called you “out of darkness into His marvelous light”.
You have been redeemed, you have received mercy, and you have met the Truth.
It is your duty – and indeed, your privilege – to share the Way, the Truth and the Life – Jesus – with everyone you meet.
But most of the time (or maybe even all the time), fear holds you back…
PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE
Think of some really exciting news you had (maybe when you got engaged, or when you found out you were pregnant, or when something happened that just delighted you).
Do you remember how you felt like you might just burst to have to keep it quiet much longer? You just had to share it! You just had to tell people!
How much more should you feel like this about the fact that you’ve had your sins forgiven?
About the fact that you’ve been restored to a right relationship with the Creator of the universe?
That you’ve been given eternal life; that you’ve been rescued from sin, death, and despair?
All around you, there are people who don’t know Jesus.
They’re still in their sins. They haven’t been forgiven. They’re heading for hell.
They need “the knowledge of the truth” (see 1 Timothy 2:4) so they can turn to Jesus and receive mercy.
You have that knowledge. Why do you keep it quiet?
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Please understand: I’m not saying any of this to condemn you, scold you or judge you – I know I don’t take every opportunity that I should to share the gospel with people.
I’m saying it as a reminder that there are people all around you who need to hear the truth.
How will they hear it if you don’t tell them?
For “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Scripture is clear – you need to tell people about Jesus. So, why don’t you?
1. FEAR OF MESSING UP
- “I don’t know what to say.”
- “What if they ask questions I don’t know how to answer?”
…sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…
(1 Peter 3:15)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15)
2. FEAR OF REJECTION
- “I don’t want to be excluded.”
- “What if I lose my relationship with them?”
Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
3. FEAR OF PERSECUTION
- “I’m not good with handling insults.”
- “What if I’m beaten up, or killed for my faith?”
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Basically, all three fears can be summed up simply: Fear of Man.
All three fears exist when you worry about what other people might think of you for talking about Jesus.
You don’t want people to think you’re crazy, foolish, odd, annoying, judgmental or offensive.
But there’s actually one fear that ought to outweigh all three fears. One that can successfully shrink their looming shadows back to mere fleeting specks.
THE FEAR OF GOD
To some, this phrase may be misunderstood.
Please let me clarify: you are not to fear God as a prisoner would fear a tyrannous jailor, or as a child would fear an abusive parent.
You are to fear (or, revere and respect) Him as a citizen would ‘fear’ a king or a ruler (though obviously, much, much more than one would fear a mere man).
There ought to be a recognition of and respect for God’s authority and holiness that leads to reverence.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.
(1 Samuel 12:24)
There are times, though, when a dread-filled fear is the right response.
If you are willfully disobeying Him, if you have not called out to Him for forgiveness and mercy, or if you claim you do not even believe in Him, then there is due cause to have a heart-racing fear of His authority and holiness.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men…
(2 Corinthians 5:11)
You have been commissioned by the holy, authoritative, living God to go and tell people the good news: that He has paid the debt of their sin, and because of this, they can be forgiven and adopted as His sons and daughters, instead of perishing forever in fire and darkness.
You know people all around you are heading for hell.
You know that there is an escape route: there is a Way out of sin, death, and turmoil; there is a Way to be forgiven, to know the Truth and to be given Life eternal.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Why not tell the next person you see the best news you’ve ever had to tell: Jesus is alive and is ready to set them free!
>>> LIVING IT OUT >>>
That the Lord will help you overcome any fear you have of sharing the gospel.
These passages about the fear of the Lord:
Psalm 31:19 /// Psalm 112:1 /// Proverbs 10:27 /// Proverbs 19:23 /// Psalm 103:11 /// Malachi 4:2
You’ve been entrusted with the best news anyone could ever have to tell: there is hope, there is atonement, and it’s in Jesus.
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