The love of Christ is what motivates us to preach the Gospel (2 Corinthians 5:14). He died for us while we were yet sinners—His love compels us. Jesus purchased us by His precious blood, and we belong to His family. We see the world through the compassionate heart and eyes of Jesus. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments—and one of His commandments is to share the Gospel.
If we do not share the Gospel, people will die in their sins without hearing the Good News of Jesus. There is no other way of salvation except through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). The Gospel is the power of God to transform lives (Romans 1:16). We also know that the time is short which creates an urgency to preach the Gospel. Jesus commanded us to go and preach the Good News (Mark 16:15).
When we preach the Gospel, we must expect results—transformation and repentance (Acts 2:37-38; 18:8); miracles and wonders (Mark 16:15-18); persecution and imprisonment (Acts 16:20-24); even death (Acts 7:54-60). Regardless of the results, the Lord Jesus is always with the preacher (Acts 18:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:16-17).
As disciples, we are the living epistles, the Gospel in human form to affect the world.
In preaching, we proclaim or communicate the Good News of Jesus, but in witnessing, we tell what we have experienced as disciples of Jesus. Our personal life, therefore, is very important. Every disciple is called to declare the goodness of the one who called us out from darkness into light. We need to reflect the character of the Lord Jesus through our life. As disciples, we are the living epistles, the Gospel in human form to affect the world.
Motivated by Compassion
The core of the Bible’s message is God’s heart of compassion for all human beings. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, everyone became a slave to sin and to the enemy of our souls, the devil. The whole of humanity had lost relationship with God, resulting in eternal death for all mankind. Satan ruled over all human beings as a taskmaster. But God saw the helplessness of man and had compassion on him. He loved man and planned a way of salvation for all of humanity.
Jesus’ example challenges us to forsake our own desires and to act compassionately towards others, particularly those in need or distress. Jesus moved with compassion towards those in need (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 6:34; 8:2; Luke 15:20). Those who walk with the Lord should have compassion on those who are in physical, spiritual, and emotional need (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-13; Philippians 2:1-2; 1 Peter 3:8). In our compassion, we fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).
Reflection questions: When was the last time I truly grieved over a lost soul? Am I moved by compassion to the point of sacrificial involvement in bringing others to Christ?
The Authority We Are Given
The supremacy of the Lord Jesus is mentioned in Matthew 20:18: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on Earth.” It is the declaration of the greatest winner. We who go out to fulfill this commission should be convinced of the power and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:9-11). We, His Church, have received this power (Ephesians 1:18-21); we have to exercise this power and authority in fulfilling this mission (Acts 13:6-12). We travel, preach, teach, and fulfill all of the commands of Jesus with this authority. We are authorized to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Luke 8:1).
Seeing as God sees and responding as Jesus would requires growth in our spiritual journey. We can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ. He promised to be with us when we go out to preach the Gospel and make disciples. He also promised to send us the Holy Spirit to empower us to make us effective witness for Him.
Evangelism should characterize the lifestyle of every disciple of Jesus. Compassion toward all human beings is our calling and enables us to see the lost through the eyes of Jesus, to lead them to Him.
This is the 7th post of a 9-part series that explores “Discipling in the way of Jesus”, a focus on Global Disciples’ 9 Essential Components of Discipleship Training. The series summarizes the core teaching of our discipleship-mission training that is taught to program directors chosen by local clusters of churches around the world.
Check out our last post on The Kingdom and the Church or stay tuned for our next post on World Mission!