The Lord sees evangelism is part of who we are and who we become as we grow in Him.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30
According to Strong’s Dictionary (Definition of wise) (H2450):
1. skillful (in technical work)
2. wise (in administration)
3. shrewd, crafty, cunning, wily, subtle
4. earned, shrewd (class of men)
The above scripture gives us insight into reaching the lost and why it is wise to reach others for Jesus.
Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord have been called to be fruitful. Many times we translate fruitfulness in cultural terms and make it sound like a worldly success. However, the Bible tells us a different story about fruitfulness.
The above scripture tells us that our fruitfulness is a tree of life. The first mention of the tree of life is in Genesis 2. God placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden (See Genesis 2:9). When Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God rejected them and sent them out of the garden. As a result, they did not have the opportunity to partake of the tree of life once they fell into sin. But when Jesus came, he restored our relationship to the Father, and we gained eternal life. He declared Himself as the way, the truth, and the life …(See John 14:6).
When we receive Christ, we have the privilege of eating from the tree of life and gaining eternal life! As we remain in this vine, we also become reproducers of what has been deposited in us, and we become life-givers to those that eat from the fruit of our lives in Christ. So our fruitfulness is others enjoying the tree of life that we are connected to and gaining a revelation of the goodness and the mercy of God. When we remain the vine, we are able to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit that draws others closer to Jesus and they want to know him. The above scripture tells us that this is wisdom!
The above definitions give us two different understandings of the word “wise” as it relates to the topic of evangelism. The first definition is about being skillful. Reaching others for Christ requires skill. It is not easy to close the gap between someone who has lived their entire lives in the world and a Christian who has been walking with the Lord for years. We can’t expect them to have an understanding of our lives and lifestyle, but we should have an understanding of their lives and lifestyle based on our past. We don’t want to forget where Jesus found us and the miry pits that He drew us from. This brings humility and compassion in relating to others who are not in Christ.
The next definition of wisdom is about being a prudent and learned person. Many times when we think about wisdom we look at it as personal wisdom that impacts our lives and our relationship with the Lord. That is the most important part of wisdom. However, this scripture reminds us that it is wisdom for us to reach the lost.
As Christians learn to manage their affairs Biblically, they should also think about the importance of reaching the lost in their communities. When a person comes to salvation, we are also impacting our neighborhoods by helping them become healthier and more peaceful.
On the other hand, if Christians are just happy about living their lives well and staying connected with other Christians, the world and their communities continue to get darker. They can complain about how dark and wicked the world is getting but then many even draw closer to their church friends and stay away from the world. One day we wake up and can’t recognize the world we are living in. By then, we may have lost the right to speak about spiritual matters because the same people who were not reached are the new policymakers and voters who influence the establishment of ungodly rules in all spheres of society.
Let’s ask the Lord to give us a heart for those who are lost in the world and to make us skillful and prudent in reaching the lost.