Is Evangelism the Means of Contagious Joy?

I believe it is! I would not make it exclusive, but perhaps, preeminently important, as Paul addressed it, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received…” (1 Cor. 15: 3). Many of those people who now live outside of Christ would so deny Him because of the depravity of joy in those who profess to know Him. While many professing Christians sneer at the thought of sharing the Gospel with the lost, it is this means, this sharing of faith in Christ for righteousness and the observance of God working in and through those means in that moment of testimony to bring about regeneration and conversion in a human soul that, then, comes back to us and radiates with in our souls and overflows out from our hearts and tongues a zealous joy in God and in His sovereign kindness.

I am aware of many Christians who vouch that they experience a joyless relationship with Christ, which is a great tragedy and worthy of wonder. Could it be that the Christian who keeps to his or herself, that remains quite smug, irritable, agitated, unhappy, joyless, and complaining, is so depraved of Christian joy because he or she does not share the Christian joy, i.e., the Gospel of Christ for righteousness, eternal life, and reconciliation with God?

By the measure of our withholding the good news, shall we miss out on God’s will, God’s purpose and plan, God’s means of salvation, God’s heart and desire, God’s exaltation as Sovereign Joy, the assurance that God hears our prayers and works by them by which we are made glad and assured that we were in agreement with God’s passion, and the happiness and rejoicing that comes with the salvation of one lost soul – indeed, we join with the host of heaven to praise God and rejoice at the salvation of one – unless we keep silent and hide God’s salvific balm.

How shall we expect an unbeliever to be favorable to our Gospel propagation but by the grace and mercy of God on us and them, when with our lives we give evidence of believing the worst news and not the greatest news? Will we complain incessantly and then speak of Christ? Will we grumble and sigh and then share the good news? Shall we never laugh, never smile, never love and expect the lost to be regenerated at our mention of the law of God which in the moment shines more brightly upon us who know the truth but do not practice it with joy?

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:22-23. This is more than the well-known children’s song! It is the Christian’s daily joy – to rejoice and be glad in the LORD’s day of salvation in Christ!

If this is the case, not only are Christians not sharing the Gospel with words, but we are being a hindrance to the Gospel that we would share by our joylessness. But the joy that testifies is found in the sharing of the Gospel with words.

Perhaps it is because one so seldom shares the Gospel that one has so little evangelical happiness to bear and witness of in the ebb and flow of one’s typical day and conversation. For I find that to pray expectantly that God would come down in your place of work, school, etc. with regenerative power, and then to have the prayer answered when the opportunity to share the Gospel comes, and to have your fear converted to boldness, and to see the miracle of God’s grace working a favorable impression, providing the hope of conversion, and yet more, God sovereignly brings another at that moment to invest in the Gospel discussion, and to find that the two are in the same family and that they actually become earnest for more conversation, and agree to meet again, so that when they leave, my soul desires nothing more but to praise God to Whom salvation belongs and to rejoice with great gladness at the hope of conversion and the awesome mercy and benignity and power of God; and I find myself, then, as it were regenerated again, converted to joy and it transforms my countenance towards all things and everybody to one of contagious and evangelical happiness. And so now my happiness also testifies of God, rather than my banal bitterness.

Dear Christian, do you desire joy, then do not withhold it, that is, the Gospel of joy! The new language of the Christian is Christ-ian, it is the Gospel, and the endeavor is to take all things captive to Christ. If you swallow the Gospel and speak of it not, it will become bitter to you and not sweet. Have you truly tasted and seen that God is good? That the Gospel is great? That the enjoyment of God is the chief end of man? Speak up! For the sake of the name of Christ and the obedience of faith, speak up! And you will find, as I did today, and hope to always find, that to share the Gospel with the lost will go beyond the witness of words to that of a joyful and satisfied life in God. When you share the Gospel, the Spirit of God will lavish you with a joy that transforms your attitude, your day, your life because you will be doing that which is both the source and appropriation of true joy in Him.

Dear Christian, do you yearn for joy and happiness, then share the Gospel with others and observe your God work in it; aim preeminently at the salvation of souls, and when one is saved, the joy of spiritual child-bearing will overwhelm you, and that joy will serve to witness as well to the glory of God. Could the absence of evangelism in your daily practice be the root of your joylessness – Scripture, logic, and experience affirm me in exclaiming, “Yes!” When we share our joy with others, we are made joyful in their joy and in God’s amazing grace. Therefore, speak up, watch God work, and observe the contagious joy of the person set ablaze with daily evangelical prowess and passion.

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