Romans 12:21 says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Evangelism in the 21st Century, and particularly during COVID-19, is “doing good.” In a world that promotes hatred, bigotry and greed, evangelism presents people with an alternative—a better way to do life.
Our mission is to counter the “fake news” about God with the truth! To show our community and world what He is really like.
When God revealed Himself to Moses, He only showed him His backside because that was all Moses could bear. Seeing God’s face would have been too much.
So God said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen” (Exodus 33:19-23, NLT).
Author and teacher, Bob Deffinbaugh, says, “Generally, we tend to think of the backside of anything as its worst side. A person from the back woods is viewed as ignorant and poorly educated. The person who brings up the rear is the loser. The devil, we are told, gets the hindmost. And yet Moses is said to see the ‘backside’ of God.”
If the backside of God is goodness and mercy, we can only imagine the glory that is yet to be revealed when we see His face?
Evangelism is about showing the world God’s “backside,” with the promise that we will one day see His face!
Now here’s the kicker, Jesus wants us to be God’s backside. He wants us to reflect God’s goodness to those around us.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:13-16, NLT).
Ellen White said, “If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tender-hearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one.” –Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 9, p. 189
It is not enough for Seventh-day Adventists to be known as “the people of the book.” That’s only part of the equation. Until we understand the other part—which is treating people well, our mission cannot be successful.
Our mission is to make disciples of as many as possible so they can become followers of Jesus! What does this mean? Jesus said:
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NLT).
We should not assume that people inherently know how to treat each other well. We must intentionally model and share what it looks like to be lovers of people.
Evangelism is teaching people how to love people! When we teach people how to be kind and compassionate, we are teaching them to be evangelists.
“Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts” (AA, p. 12).
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Rich DuBose is Director of Pacific Union Conference Church Support Services.
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