In a time when Israel was fraught with political instability and
mired in moral bankruptcy, the Lord called the prophet Isaiah
to speak His message to the people. But rather than simply telling
Isaiah what his message would be, God showed him. God called Isaiah
to ministry by causing him to experience the drama of redemption
in real time. The prophet saw a terrifying and majestic vision of the
sovereignty and holiness of God—the heavenly temple filled with
smoke, and its foundations shook at the voice of flaming angels who
continuously proclaimed God to be, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” And in the
light of such holiness, Isaiah saw himself to be hopelessly sinful.
He pronounced a curse upon himself and confessed “I am a man of
unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
And at just that moment, Isaiah experienced the atoning grace of God,
as one of the angels touched his unclean lips with the burning coal and
purified him from his sin.
What was Isaiah’s response to his experience of the gospel? “Here am
I. Send me!” (v. 8). Isaiah was delightfully compelled to the ministry
of preaching the Lord’s message as he had been commissioned. The
awesome revelation of God’s holiness, the miserable condition of
his own sin, and the astounding display of grace in atonement and
forgiveness had made him ready to proclaim.
While we haven’t received the kind of heavenly vision that Isaiah saw,
we have been saved by the very gospel of God’s grace that Isaiah
experienced on that day of his calling. And, like Isaiah, we too have
been commissioned by the Lord Jesus to “go into all the world and
preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). This commission is at the heart of
our desire to strengthen, equip, and encourage the members of our
church family in the ministry of personal evangelism. In addition to
the resources available at the Local Outreach table on GraceWalk each
week, we pursue that goal through a class called “Grace Evangelism.”
Grace Evangelism is an eight-week, interactive training course that
equips believers to proclaim the gospel clearly, understandably, and
faithfully. Each lesson is designed to help students think through the
vital components and implications of a God-centered message, while
also providing practical applications and guidance regarding actual,
“boots on the ground” evangelism. Our faithful instructors will teach
you how to start and end a gospel conversation, what to say when
presenting the gospel, and how to respond when rejected. The class
also includes guidelines for evangelizing children, as well as practical
pointers for moving from evangelism to discipleship with those who
respond positively to the gospel.
Our hope is that each member of our church family would be ready,
equipped, and committed to taking the opportunities the Lord gives us
for telling others the wonderful news of forgiveness of sins through
Christ. If you believe Grace Evangelism can help you do that, and you
desire to grow in your knowledge of the gospel and what it means to
evangelize, I encourage you to take the next class, scheduled to begin
in September. If you are interested in signing up, or you just have some
questions, please visit the Local Outreach table on GraceWalk after
either morning service.
Have we, like Isaiah, been confronted with the fearful reality of
God’s holiness against our sin? Have we been adequately affected
by the hopelessness of our condition before a holy God? And have
we tasted the sweetness of His matchless grace, which cleanses our
sin and clothes us with righteousness? Then we must be delightfully
compelled to go. After all, who else will proclaim the excellencies
of the Holy God who forgives sins, if not those who are actually
beneficiaries of that amazing grace? The gospel is ours to proclaim.
And it is my prayer that Grace Evangelism will be a valuable tool in
equipping us to follow this Great Commission.