Motives for evangelism

Whatever we endeavour to do, we do it not merely because of an inclination but more importantly because of a strong motivation that drive the will to act.

In the solemn and urgent work of evangelism the Scripture delineates the proper and sound motives for the Christian worker. The basic ones are as follows:

1. Our own reception of the Gospel makes us responsible to give freely what we have received freely. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, then his salvation surely is applicable to others also, who are sinners just as we are. The apostle Paul and Adoniram Judson exemplify this motive.

2. Another motive is the compassion that the Lord of the harvest implants in our hearts. His commandment addressed to us, "Lift up your eyes, for the fields are already white unto harvest," will make us see the untold millions still untold, still under the thraldom of Satan, under the iron yoke of idolatry and in the bondage of sin. William Carey and David Livingstone give us a fair idea of what it means to be compassionate towards the lost.

3. The strong desire to be faithful to the Great Commission (sometimes described as the 11th commandment) also acts as a motive. Christ is to be obeyed and honoured; his Name must be sounded throughout the earth. People must be taught to observe his orders.

David Brainerd (among the forgotten North American Indians) and George Whitefield traveled far and wide in their faithfulness as stewards of Christ, being entrusted with the Gospel.

4. Finally a profound sense of Christ's love. As Paul expressed himself: "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead...And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation..." 2 Corinthians 5:14,18.

C.T.Studd had this sense of Christ's love; he said: "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, there is no sacrifice great enough for me to do for Him." Also John Calvin, who, in realization of Christ's love, employed this motto for himself: "Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere."