"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I entitled my post today, "Boldness Overtaking Fear". The post is based on the Dallas Theological Seminary “Evangelism” Session #6. Dr. Barry Jones, the regular instructor, again turned the time over to Dr. Larry Moyer, another seminary instructor whose focus is on evangelism.
One of Dr. Moyer’s main points this session was the fact that we all will have some fear while sharing the gospel message. But the key is to allow boldness overtaking the fear we feel, instead of fear overtaking boldness.
Dr. Moyer said that even he, who is an experienced evangelist, feels fear sometimes when sharing the gospel. He said feeling fear is inevitable, and that if someone claims he or she never has any fear when they are sharing the gospel, they are one of two things:
- “Not being very honest,” or
- “Crude in the way they go about sharing the gospel”, that they don’t care what people think.
He emphasized repeatedly that he doesn’t know how to get away from having any fear. He said several times, “I don’t know . . . I don’t know . . . I don’t know . . . how to get away from having any fear of evangelizing. He said that even the Apostles prayed for boldness to declare the gospel, and that if the apostles had no fear they wouldn’t have felt the need to pray for boldness.
There are four Greek words that are used many times in the Bible that pertain to sharing the gospel boldly. I’m not well versed in Greek, so I won’t list the Greek words. But the definitions of these Greek terms mean for us to do the following when evangelizing:
- Speak boldly.
- Speak openly.
- Speak plainly.
- Speak freely.
- Speak confidently.
Dr. Moyer reemphasized the advice he has to overcome the fear of evangelizing is to allow boldness overtaking fear rather than vice versa. He said there are three fears that are hindrances to sharing the gospel:
- Fear of man (or rejection).
- Shame of the gospel. (Note: Dr. Moyer talked about about Paul’s statement in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel”.)
- Fear of personal risk or injury. Examples might be the following:
- Fear of getting fired.
- Fear of family members taking you out of their will.
- An actual physical attack, like in some countries that are openly anti-Christian.
Dr. Moyer stated also that sometimes we don’t share the gospel because we feel we aren’t good or holy enough because we have occasional sin creep up in our lives. He said, however, that unbelievers aren’t turned off by people that have problems, but they ARE more turned off by people that pretend that they have no problems.
Dr. Moyer emphasized that it’s biblical to pray for the lost, but there's more emphasis in the New Testament to pray for believers having boldness in evangelism. He said emphatically, “GOD IS JUST WAITING FOR HIS CHILDREN TO ASK HIM FOR BOLDNESS!”
Dr. Moyer said that using Paul as an example, we can do the following:
- Develop confidence in our message.
- Develop conviction that we are God’s messengers.
- Develop devout concern for people.
- Develop consistency in our lives.
He said that if we develop these four things we will still experience fear in evangelizing, but the boldness we feel can overtake the fear. He said that we can evangelize “in spite of the fear” we feel.
Dr. Moyer talked about “preconditioning” to think about what might happen while evangelizing. He said, however, that studies show that 92% of what we worry about never happens. He said that it if it takes no more time to think about possible positive outcomes than it does thinking about possible negative ones, we should definitely stick to the positive ones.
Dr. Moyer said the successful outcome of our evangelization efforts are totally up to God, not up to us. This lessens the pressure for us to strive for success in evangelizing. God calls us to just be faithful to share Jesus with people, and let God take care of the outcome.
Dr. Moyer said God doesn’t call us to bring people to Jesus, but to bring Jesus to people! He said that most often it takes a person a number of times hearing the gospel before they turn to trusting and believing in Jesus . . . and that we can feel blessed in the fact that we can take part in that continuum of moving that person “one step closer to the cross”.
In conclusion Dr. Moyer quoted John 6:44 that says, “No man comes to me unless the Father draws him.” He said that verse helps show us it isn’t our responsibility to bring people to Jesus . . . But it is our responsibility to allow boldness overtaking fear to bring Jesus to people.
See you next time,