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One of the most comforting doctrines of Scripture is that of universal justification. This teaching assures us that because of Jesus’ life, sacrificial death, and resurrection, all people of all time have been declared not guilty of their sins. However, in order for the full benefits of this declaration to be realized, each individual needs to embrace, by faith, the fact that this applies to him as well.

In a similar sense, on the day of His ascension, the Lord Jesus gave the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Too many people think of this as pastors, teachers, missionaries, or “the church” doing the work of spreading the Gospel. But the Lord means for this mission work to be personal. A great blessing of being a justified Christian is that we now have the ability to partner with the Holy Spirit to advance the Lord’s work in our personal relationships as well as collectively with the church.

Personal evangelism should, like all of a Christian’s endeavors, begin with prayer. Pray that you might have a missionary’s love for the Lord and His Word. Pray the Lord to give you a missionary’s heart for the lost. Pray for a missionary’s eyes to see any and all that come your way as souls needing to be reached with the Good News of Christ.


We begin with prayer. Preparation is a good next step. “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV) Study your Scriptures, ask questions of your pastor, join in discussions in Bible Class—all of these will help to sharpen your focus on the message. People lose interest and confidence when someone is speaking about something he knows little about. However, when someone speaks with confidence, from a heart that sets Christ apart as our Lord and clearly defends our hope from His Word, it can go a long way to pique the interest of others, and the Holy Spirit is always with us to assist our witness.

We can now take our next step into personal evangelism with no fear. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) So we are to be fearless when presenting the Gospel, because we know it is His will, He will be with us, and He has already promised us success. We are not to be concerned with consequences of speaking the Gospel, nor is it our job to convert anyone. We are to speak the truth and then get out of God’s way. He has promised us success in that His Word will not return to Him empty, but it will accomplish the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11).

We’ve prayed, prepared, and stepped out with no fear; now let’s meet people where they are. When Paul met with Jews, he could begin with the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Messiah in Christ. When he spoke to the heathen, he began with the Creator God Who has provided a plan for the forgiveness of sins. We too will meet people of various backgrounds and understanding. We should take care not to argue about religion, but rather focus on the simple message of sin, grace, and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Sanctification, or growth in one’s personal faith, will come with further study of the Word.

We too are products of someone’s evangelism. Whether our parents, a friend, or another; someone brought you to the truths of Christ, and the Holy Spirit made you His. May the Lord give each of us the heart of a missionary, so that we may see the masses of lost humanity around us and then speak—speak the Gospel of Christ, with gentleness and love.

David W. Bernthal is a retired teacher. He lives in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.