Evangelism? – Who Me? :: by Jim Torres

Evangelism is a word that scares many Christians more than any other. We all know that Jesus said, “Go ye out into all the world making disciples of all men, teaching them all that I’ve commanded you.”  But we seem to forget that Jesus finished that command with, “And I will be with you.” If that’s the case, then we have nothing to fear. Fear of man is a dangerous trap and it will rob you of one of life’s greatest accomplishments; to help save the soul of a fellow man.

“Who Me?” you ask, with your knees knocking at the thought of talking to a total stranger about the things of God. I used to ask myself, “What’s the worse thing that can happen, death?” Then the Holy Spirit would answer, “Don’t you know you are dead in Christ; you were bought with a price.” Yes, we must die to self. Today I can stand in up after my haircut and share Christ openly with all the customers, not like a fire brand but as a concerned Christian.

Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul and James many times had to use “tough love” (strong language) to get their message across, at times we may have to do the same, especially when we see the final days approaching and of coming judgment. We aren’t playing soft ball now, this is big time hard ball!  Make no mistake about it we are in a fierce spiritual battle in these final days of world history.

It is my understanding that as recently as thirty-five years ago anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category.  Today it is the most common form of mental illness.  I believe it’s because we’ve lost touch with God and the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.  The good news of the gospel is the remedy, by giving people the hope and peace needed in these turbulent times.

This Sunday morning a young man sat in front of me at church, and our pastor asked us at the beginning of the service to form small prayer groups with those seated around us. The eighteen year old man asked for prayer because he was suffering from depression. A physically healthy young man with depression?

He was grasping at straws by being there. God was his last hope. Thank God he came to the one and only place that might be able to help him. Church, however, is all too often the last place a person will look for help. We have to take it to the streets; not like a wild-eyed fanatic, but with a well-informed, spirit-led and loving attitude.

I like to go out on recon missions and scope out the lay of the land, my sword at the ready.  I might see a group of working men taking a lunch break at the corner store, or a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses gathering in a parking lot preparing to do their thing. I’m always prayed up and so I make my approach.  “Gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that  Jesus Christ is coming soon.”

Then I might tell them what they already know; that the world is spinning out of control.  I always include Scripture in my presentation as it is my two-edged sword with which I can take down strongholds and pierce their very souls (as Jesus promised). Lo and behold.  I’ve even had many people thank me after my presentation!

I invariably use this verse on Jehovah’s Witnesses, “There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved,” Then I might add, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father but by me”. No one can resist these truths, and I’ve never had one of them rebuff me.

If you’ve been in the church any length of time you’ve heard of the different techniques in sharing Christ.  However, after forty years of witnessing everywhere I go, I’ve learned that there is no one way to do it. Consider that we humans are all different, with different needs and different world views. Not only that, but we are all in different states of maturity.

That’s why it’s imperative to know and use Scripture which is as sharp and powerful as a two-edged sword, dividing asunder the bone and the marrow. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And so, it is that we must study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of God (using the Word of God to good effect). The new believer can simply tell of his life- altering encounter with Christ, which is the way I began.

Having been on the front lines for over forty years I’ve learned how to suit up for battle with the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of truth, shield of faith, sword of the Spirit, and my feet shod with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, I do as Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish conquistador, said they all did in battle; “I sleep in my armor lest the adversary come upon me during the night”  for our adversary never sleeps, but roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

We seldom hear the verse mentioned where Jesus says, “Only those who throw their lives away for my sake will know what it truly means to live.” I concur.  Shortly after I received Christ my life began to take on new meaning, although I had my ups and downs. Each downer had its silver lining in a lesson learned and of my drawing closer to God. After awhile I began to live by faith and not by sight and learned that God never gives you more than you can endure.

Let us fulfill our calling; we are supposed to be soldiers of the cross.

With love and admonition,

Jim Torres “Towers”