Rabbit trails. I’ve never actually seen one, but we all know ‘em. I want to encourage you to watch out for ‘em when you are evangelizing. Don’t forget that evangelism is about the evangel. Remember what is of first importance (1 Cor. 15:3–4 ) when you are telling someone about the good news of Jesus. Ask yourself, “Am I actually telling people about Jesus?”
In evangelism, we’ll often talk about a variety of topics (suffering, faith, truth, etc.), but don’t forget that you are ultimately there to proclaim Christ. Always bring it back to Jesus.
When I’m evangelizing, there are five truths I want to communicate about Jesus.
Jesus is God and man (John 1:1 ). He’s 100% God, eternal, very God of very God. And he’s also totally man—real body, blood, totally human—and totally sinless. You can also share with them about Jesus’s love, kindness, his compassion, etc.
Jesus died in our place, for our sins, on the cross that we might be reconciled to God, forgiven of all of our sins, and given eternal life (John 3:16 , Gal. 3:13 , 2 Cor. 5:21 ). Tell them about the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus is alive and well. He rose again from the dead, not as some ghost or hologram, but his brain stem kicked back on, and his blood re-coursed through his veins. Jesus is.
Jesus said he is the only way. This is one of the most unpopular elements of the gospel, but isn’t this one of the major reasons why we evangelize? Jesus said there is no other way to the Father but by him (John 14:6 ). Many are willing to say that Jesus is a great teacher, and this is what he taught. There is no other way than Jesus.
Since it’s true that Jesus is the only way, Jesus is wonderfully inviting all people to repent, to turn, and believe in him for salvation (Matt. 11:28 ). In evangelism, Jesus is inviting people to place their faith, hope, and trust in him. We aren’t the only ones inviting people to believe. Jesus is too.
In salvation, Jesus gives us gifts of eternal life, freedom from sin, forgiveness, new life, a secured future, the Holy Spirit to help us, and fellowship with other Christians, and a relationship with God himself (Romans 8 has deep well of gifts to explore).
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but I hope it’s enough to give you some guideposts as you share the hope of glory.