The rallying cry of the Church of God (Seventh Day) United States and Canada is “Focus on Jesus and follow His plan.” But what is His plan? What does it entail? At least the following:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, ESV throughout).
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 39).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).
“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” (Matthew 28:19, 20).
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
All these expressions of Christ’s plan for His followers fall into the categories of evangelism and discipleship. We are to share the good news concerning Jesus, and when someone receives Jesus as Lord, we are to teach that person to focus on Jesus and follow His plan.
Many Christians seem somewhat afraid of the e word (evangelism), but that fear may be caused by a misunderstanding of what evangelism should be. It is not trying to convince others that they are wrong and we are right. A Bible-waving Christian in an old Charles Schultz comic exclaims, “I take my religion seriously. I get into arguments almost every day!”
Jesus did not tell His disciples, “You will be My debaters” but “You will be My witnesses.” A witness simply tells what was seen, heard, and experienced. A witness for Jesus simply tells what has been learned and experienced concerning Him, and not only with words. Evangelism is how we live, not just what we say.
Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). That’s a great place to start. Focus on Jesus and follow His plan!
— Loren Stacy