The Joy of Evangelism 1 Peter 1:8,9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The joy of evangelism is actually seeing souls get saved. It takes a lot of persistent seed sowing and prayer – it takes a sincere desire and burden to see lost people saved – it takes consistency in your life; a real, unmistakable testimony of your own salvation – it takes the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the words of God in your life – it takes the power of the Spirit of God working in and through you – it takes submission to the will of God in your life – it takes an assurance that God can and will use you to minister the gospel to the lost. But the work is worth the joy of evangelism. The joy of evangelism is seen when:
The Sinner Rejoices – 1 Pet 1:8-9
Look at these cases – Acts 3 leaping and praising God – 1 Thes 1:5-7 the joy the Thessalonians had even in the midst of affliction – just consider your own salvation – are you sad that you got saved?
A woman went to her doctor complaining of being tired, anxious and depressed. She said that other doctors had already prescribed Anafranil, Dormicum and Prozac. But she confessed that none of these had done a thing for her. The doctor said, “Well I have good news. I have just the pill for you.” She said, “Great; what’s it called.” He said, “It’s called the GOS-pill.” And with that he proceeded to lead her to the Lord. Indeed you see the joy of evangelism.
Heaven Rejoices – Lk 15:7, 10
The angels ministered to Jesus when he was being tempted in the wilderness [Matt 4:11]. The angels were ready to stop the soldiers from crucifying Jesus [Matt 26:53]. But the Lord did not call on them. Now, they rejoice when a soul gets saved. We see the angelic chorus of praise in Revelation 4:9-11 and Rev 5:11-14 – don’t you want to add to that joy – sports figures delight in pleasing and entertaining the crowd – see them wave their hands to the crowd for momentum – the louder the better – that’s the way it is for us up in heaven – and when we see those souls in heaven, what satisfaction!! You see heaven’s joy of evangelism.
Jesus Rejoices – Heb 12:2
He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He had to endure the cross and he despised the shame. It was a heavy price to pay, but on the other side of that was the joy of seeing sinners get saved. We bring him that joy every time we help to bring another soul to Jesus – and remember it is not us but Jesus working through us that brings salvation.
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus is not just up there in heaven waiting to bring down judgment on the head of every person who messes up – Ezek 33:11 As I live saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live – he’d rather see you get saved, that’s where his joy is – Zeph 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Compare this to the joy of the prodigal son’s father when he came home. Can’t you see Jesus’ joy of evangelism in this?
The Soul Winner Rejoices – 1 Thes 2:19-20
It must be that most Christians don’t believe these words of Paul. They are as true as the promises of God in the Bible – perhaps it has something to do with pain and pleasure – in the negative sense sinners don’t want to quit sin until the pain of their sin is greater than the pleasure that they derive from it – in the positive sense Christians don’t want to experience the joy of leading a soul to Christ because of the pain they experience first in trying to lead a soul to Christ – they don’t like the inconvenience, the labor, the tears [Ps 126:5] and the reproach they may bear.
As a matter of fact, the joy that comes from leading one soul to Christ is often the joy that causes another to get saved – a woman was coming to church and confessed to her pastor that she had lost the joy of her salvation and that she was in distress and despair because her husband was lost and she saw no hope for his salvation since he was such a skeptic. She prayed earnestly for her joy to return and in short order, the Lord gave her an abundance of joy. She was bright and cheery around the house and did everything possible that would make her husband happier and her home more pleasant. A few days later, her pastor came to call on her husband. As he spoke with him about salvation, the man confessed that he had been thinking seriously about getting saved. His wife had entered the room about that time unable to restrain the tears of joy. The husband said, “My wife has had more power over me in the last few days than everything else. She has professed to be a Christian for years, but she has never enjoyed her salvation. And I thought, if that’s all there is to salvation, I don’t want it. But lately she has acted like an angel and has a joy unlike anything I have ever seen. Her happy face melts my heart so that I cannot withstand the attraction of her salvation. It is just what I want and need.”
Conclusion: It is important to remember that the Lord wants to use us to tell others about him. Contrast the satisfaction of knowing that a loved one or friend is in heaven to the sinking feeling of sadness of not knowing for sure where they are. A missionary witnessing to a heathen sinner received this reply to his witness. “If I believed what you say you believe about heaven and hell and the gift of eternal life, I would crawl on my hands and knees over broken glass if I had to in order to tell sinners how to be saved.” That was from a lost man. What’s your excuse?