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Indiscriminate Evangelism

by | Oct 21, 2016 | Missions Articles

With whom should Christians share the Gospel? A better rhetorical question is, With whom shouldn’t we share the Gospel? As far as God is concerned, His worshipers have permission to share it as often as they want and with whomever they want. Yet many followers of Jesus who decide to practice evangelism become apprehensive regarding this matter. They believe the only appropriate method of outreach is to converse with people highlighted by the Holy Spirit. Scripture suggests otherwise.

Jesus told many parables designed to communicate that his disciples should indiscriminately invite people to follow him. He compared the establishment of his kingdom to a wedding feast in which a king told his servants to welcome everyone — a metaphor for mass evangelism. At the end of the parable, the king said, “Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.”1 He told another similar parable about a (presumably) wealthy man holding a banquet. The man dispatched his servants to tell people about the event, saying “Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Both stories illustrate how freely Jesus wants us to share the Gospel.The Apostle Paul understood the Lord’s desire that everyone hear the message of salvation. When he traveled to Athens, he proclaimed Christ ”in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.”3 He wasn’t at all worried that he wasn’t talking to “the right person.”

Ever since Jesus gave the “great commission,” there has only been one person who was “forbidden” from sharing the Gospel with someone he wanted to explain the message to. That person was the Apostle Paul, who had a deeply held passion to reach his fellow Jews, but was being directed by God to reach Gentiles instead. In that case, God’s directive was a matter of strategy and calling. When Paul went to the Gentiles (as in Athens) he explained the hope of redemption to anyone and everyone who would listen. 

Christians should feel free to proclaim the Gospel with boldness and abandon. If Jesus wants one of his followers to speak to particular people (or not speak to someone) he has his ways of making that clear. As a general principle, we are at liberty — and encouraged — to spread the message of Christ far and widely. 

1. Matthew 22:9
2. Luke 14:23
3. Acts 17:17

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