Boldness in Evangelism
When we reach out to others, because we know God's love for them, fear can be overcome readily. When we are going out primarily to speak to people about Christ's love it sometimes seems more fearful, so then, how do we overcome fear?
Boldness in Evangelism
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man is a snare/trap.
FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real: Things appear worse in expectations than in reality.
Our minds are good at conjuring up worse case scenarios. Fear appears to be the official emotion of the 21th century life.
It is a binding thing that takes on many different shapes and guises.
Aspects of Fear
- physical danger - Almost always asking the question, "What if?" (What if a rotweiler attacks me when I visit that house?) Part of the answer is to keep your eyes open so that you can see what is happening. There is grace for martyrdom but quite simply, God doesn't give us dying grace on non-dying days.
- We fear for God's reputation. We might get it wrong and misrepresent him.
- Fear for the person we are witnessing to. What if they reject my message to them? If so we are probably convinced that ignorance is less culpable than rejection.
- Fear for our own self-esteem.
- Mockery - We say we are willing to be a fool for Christ but one day God may be willing to cash the chips in.
- Fear of failure. - Consumed with fear. Some have never failed because they only ever played to their strengths. It is based on pride.
- Fear of rejection. - Especially from people we look up to in society and particularly from family members.
Fear will stop us from being actively involved in evangelism. But, God can and will come through. The grace to succeed only only comes through when we step out; never before.
Is there any biblical hope that it can be dealt with?
- Boldness (the opposite of fear) is not a feeling but a choice.
- Joshua 1:9: "Be strong and courageous...." God commands Joshua and God's commands are always addressed to the will and not the emotions.
- E.g. the command to love. It is a choice to obey and not primarily a feeling.
- Must then make a choice to overcome the fear.
- Must start by making the commitment to overcome; "I will not run away, I will stand."
- Boldness is acquired by praise and prayer.
- Ephesians 6:19 Paul asks for prayer that he might "fearlessly proclaim the gospel." He says; "Pray or I'll bottle out. There is grace to cover fear.
- Psalm 34:4, Psalm 108:8 David sought God and he delivered him from all his fears. If there is a habit of fear there needs to become a habit of praise and prayer. As we praise God gets bigger and the enemy gets smaller. Praise is a two-edged sword.
- Boldness comes through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 4:31 God gave an extra anointing. They didn't get it all at conversion --- obviously. So call on God for that anointing.
- A righteous life is a a key to boldness.
- Proverbs 28:1 The righteous are as bold as lions.
- Fear is based in sin. The cultivation of sin leads to fear.
- The more righteous life style, the more committed to pleasing God. If we are in sin we are afraid to evict the enemy.
- Sin reduces the ability to:
- make choices
- develop the habit of praising God
- call on God
God loves me totally. His love holds and feeds us. This leads to self-esteem and self acceptance.
Paul had a problem. 2 Tim 1:6 --- 7 Timothy wasn't fulfilling his potential. He was timid and let his gift die down. "God did not give us a spirit of fear...." What stops us fanning into flame the gifts God has given us? What covers, hides etc. This comes from the enemy. As we call out to God to fan the flame he will give us a spirit of love, self-control, power and not fear. We are equipped with all we need.
Philemon 6 --- Who goes on for God? Who, that we knew years ago, have gone on with God? Those who share their faith. It leads to greater understanding which leads to further sharing of faith leading to.... Failure to share ones faith leads to the opposite spiral. Share leads to learning leads to more sharing.... Don't let fear rule Survival is the issue, not world evangelisation. It is a weed that needs to be rooted out in order to produce 30, 60 or 100-fold. God's plan for us is fruitfulness. Deal with it.