What is the reason that not many Christians share their faith with the lost?
When Jesus was about to return to heaven and be seated at the right hand of the Father, Jesus told His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20), and in the Book of Acts, before His ascension, He again told them that they “will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The structure of the sentence in Matthew 28 is that of an imperative command, so here is the King of kings commanding His disciples, to go into all the world and make disciples of others so they can repeat the process, so why are there so few witnesses for Christ? The church began as a very small mustard seed, but it began to grow due, thanks in large part to persecution (Act 8:1-2), and since that time it has continued to grow at incredible rates around the world. Jesus promised His disciples the power, and He gave them the authority, but Jesus’ disciples weren’t limited to those twelve, because there’s no respect to sex or skin color in making disciples of others (Gal 3:28). Well before the Great Commission, Jesus had sent out “the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:1-2). Once again, Jesus provided the power and authority they would need to proclaim the kingdom of God. And He sent them with no provisions, forcing them to rely on God (Luke 9:3), so for the disciples, there was no option or plan B. Neither is there for us.
A Great Harvest, Few Laborers
In Luke 10:2 Jesus tells the disciples that the harvest seems greater than the number of laborers, which is why He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Has it changed much today? Are there still few laborers entering into the harvest of souls? It would appear so. When was the last time someone you don’t know shared the gospel with you? When was the last time you shared Christ with a family member, co-worker, friend, or even a stranger? How often do you hear of someone you know sharing Christ and them coming to saving faith? Jesus has already told us that the harvest is bigger than the number of laborers available (Matt 9:37), and Jesus will not accept our excuse if we say, “’There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest” (John 4:35). We can utterly trust Jesus, Who is the Head of the Church, and His saying, “‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:37-38), means that when He sends us, someone may have already sown the seed of God’s Word. Either way, their salvation doesn’t depend on the arm of flesh or the will of man (John 1:3), thankfully! If it did, no one would be saved. Clearly, we must pray for more laborers to enter into the harvest but not forget to enter it ourselves.
The Great Omission
When someone once asked me, “How’s the Outreach going?” I ask them, “Why don’t you join me and find out?” I think I scared him off, but in the church I attended many years ago, there was an 8 week training program being offered on Sunday nights on how to share Christ. The first night we had to move the meeting to the fellowship hall or dining hall because so many showed up. The next week about half that number showed up. Then, at the halfway point, there were only 3 of us left, and the next week, only the pastor and I were left. The pastor later left that church, and when I got called into the ministry, I thought that this church was going to die since it had no interest in going into all the world. You know…evangelize or fossilize. In fact, most in that church wouldn’t even go next door, so why do so few witness for Christ? Some who are believers may not witness for Christ because they are not obeying Christ, and they feel like hypocrites. Others are living in sin and think, “Who do I think I am to tell someone else about Christ?” And then there are those who doubt their own salvation. One day they feel saved and the next day they feel lost, so how can a person who believes they can lose their own salvation witness to someone about being saved? Do they say, “Brother or sister, you can be saved today by repenting and trusting in Christ. Then, you’ll have eternal life…well, unless you lose it, but you can be saved today, but I’m not sure you’ll be saved tomorrow?” How strong of a witness is that!? You wouldn’t have convinced me years ago. Telling someone they can be saved, but then be lost again, destroys the power that is the gospel of salvation to save (Rom 1:16; 1st Cor 1:18).
We may not be able to go into all the world, but we can go next door, but today, we’re just not as passionate as we used to be as the church. Consider this; about half of all church leadership ministries have zero ministries outside of the four walls of the church; about 63% of deacons and elders have never once led anyone to Christ; 95% of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ in their lives (although we know it is God alone Who saves, but He uses us as a means to do so); and less than 2% are involved in evangelism in their church.  That is a tragic assessment (or indictment?) of the church today, and it seems that it’s either the fear of man or the apathy toward the lost. Its small wonder that Jesus tells us we must “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). Are you part of the answer to that prayer request? Will you be part of and obey the Great Commission, or like the majority, be part of the silent majority and their “great omission?”
1. Street Level Evangelism, Where is the Space for the Local Evangelist,” by Michael Parrott, Acts Evangelism, Spokane, WA, 1993, pp.9-11.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is host of Spiritual Fitness and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.