Why Don’t We Evangelize?

As I prepare this week to go down to preach at the Missions Conference at Columbia Presbyterian Church (the first church I pastored out of seminary, so we’re really looking forward to being reunited with the brothers and sisters there again), I’ve had occasion again to think about why so many (including myself) so often fail to engage in personal evangelism of any sort. Here are a handful of reasons that may or may not apply to you:

  1. Some Christians are spiritual isolationists or protectionists, and don’t want unbelievers around – they’re barely in the world, they fear the world.
  2. Some Christians are ingrown and like Jonah could care less about the world.
  3. Some Christians are rank with worldliness, like Demas; they’re so of the world – they sinfully love the world – that they have nothing to call the world toward.
  4. Some Christians are so focused on orthodoxy that they ignore orthopraxy.
  5. Some Christians could care less about orthodoxy and so if they have orthopraxy it too easily loses its gospel, Biblical moorings – they don’t really think people are going to hell apart from Christ, so their“missions” ends up looking no different than AmeriCorps or Rotary Club.
  6. Some Christians are enslaved to the fear of man or apathy.
  7. Some Christians don’t think they have that gift and so it’s not their responsibility.

Each of these could be expanded on. Each one is ultimately inexcusable – yet forgivable through the blood of Christ. And the more we see our sins forgiven by the blood of Christ, the more we ought to be motivated and moved to talk about the forgiveness of sins with others. I love the words of John Holt Rice at the 1831 Presbyterian Church General Assembly: “the Presbyterian Church in the United States is a missionary society, and every member of the church is a life member of the same, and bound in maintenance of his Christian character to do all in his power for the accomplishment of that object.” No matter what church of the Lord Jesus Christ you attend, this statement is true. May the Lord give us boldness, open doors, and grace to gather in His harvest.

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