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Evangelism Rests on What You Possess

“Joy attracts joy.”

This is a popular saying that encompasses all world religions, but it’s true. When peace and joy is evident in a person’s life, they are set apart from the world. They are enviable traits that can cause people to inquire about their source.

How is joy and peace different for a redeemed soul that trusts in Christ’s promises?

It all depends on the object of their trust.

World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy are not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled. It comes from a source outside of themselves.

Jesus tells us that when we “remain in Him” that we are connected to Him. He uses a tree to give us a word-picture for us to grasp this truth. When we remain attached to the tree of Christ, we will bear fruits of the Spirit.

In today’s world, perhaps Jesus may have used a plug and an outlet to teach the same truth to his disciples. When believers remain plugged into Christ, they will produce light. Fruit and light are not something believers can produce on their own, but give evidence that Christ dwells in them.

The spiritual fruits of hope and joy are natural outpourings of the Word that lives in our hearts and minds. It becomes an important component of what successful evangelists do.

“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?”

1 Thessalonians 2:19

Active evangelists fix their eyes on the end game. They maintain a 30,000 foot view on what really matters. Trusting in Christ breeds a heart of anticipation that centers on what is to come rather than be distracted by the present.

Other world religions and secular thought pursue peace and hope on earth as if it is attainable on their own. The object of their faith is based on how closely they follow the teachings of Jesus or other philosophies. Happiness in this life reflects their obedience and gives evidence that they are reaching their human potential.

A biblical Christian has a far different perspective. Joy and peace is only received from Christ through his Word and sacraments. It is future-directed yet presently owned. It rests on what a believer possesses. True joy comes from trusting God’s promises that we have already been declared perfect and righteous. Citizenship in heaven is guaranteed. True peace comes from knowing that we will be avoiding the eternal alternative – hell.

Faith rests on an object outside of themselves that possesses an iron-clad guarantee.

It’s like going to the Super Bowl.

Many people will say, “I hope that someday I can go to the Super Bowl.” It’s wishful thinking until they spend thousands of dollars to purchase a ticket for the game. What a difference it makes when a person can say, “I can’t wait to go to the Super Bowl!”

What separates wishful thinking from reality?

A ticket!

Believers in Christ – those who trust in God’s promises — look forward to the day when they go to heaven because of what the Redeemer has already done for them. Faith possesses what has already been purchased for us on the cross.

“You may be surprised to learn that to be a successful evangelist is not all about implementing good ideas, initiating a program, or learning witnessing techniques. It is about the power of the Word that resides in an evangelist that utilizes spiritual gifts from God, clarifies their identity in Christ, and remains in His presence. The Lord provides opportunities for us to give reasons for the hope we have in Christ. Our life in Christ gives credibility to gain an audience and the boldness to verbally profess his Name.”

Praise and Proclaim

An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world.

True joy and peace reflect the assurance and confidence that believers have in Christ – a trust that they have the ticket for heaven.

True joy and peace also provide believers with a ticket to gain an audience. They can be confident that while people observe their lives in Christ, they will be curious to know its source.

It’s time to provide that gospel message.

Words to remember:

An Evangelist’s Peace comes from their identity in Christ that washes away the guilt of sin.
An Evangelist’s Joy reflects the gospel light that attracts unbelievers.

Peace + Joy = praise and proclaim.

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