We all know that engaging in evangelism is difficult and often it may seem unrewarding. Perhaps we have tried repeatedly to engage with people and they have shown no interest in what we have to say (although that is not to say that they have not heard and understood what we said). One thing I do know is that a reason why I am writing this is because some individuals persevered in evangelising me whenever they had the opportunity. If they had responded to my apparent lack of interest by assuming they were not getting through to me, they would have made a big mistake. So they persevered, and from heaven now they can see the outcome of their efforts.
Evangelism is a bit like treasure hunting. I read an article the other day about a treasure hunter who found ancient coins in a field. He did not know beforehand that the coins were there, so his hunting was not based on having prior information about what was in the field. Instead, he engaged in the search because he loved the prospect of finding hidden treasures and was willing to make an effort to find it.
As Christians, we know that somewhere out there in the dark world there is treasure waiting to be found by each of us. This treasure is not buried out of sight. Instead it may be walking before our eyes, living in our streets, working in our places of employment, sitting in our favourite cafes, sharing our interests and hobbies, travelling with us on the bus. It could be anywhere and everywhere. The problem is that we cannot tell if what we see is going to turn out to be treasure.
The man who found the coins did so by using a special scanner. It could penetrate where his eyes could not. We have a scanner that will reveal whether or not we have found treasure and that scanner is the gospel. It is amazing how the gospel can get inside a person and disturb them into reality without us knowing that it is happening. Sooner or later, the gospel will reveal whether or not we have found treasure.
When the man found the coins I don’t think it was his first attempt in that field. Instead, he had made repeated efforts because he knew that if he found it he would be pleased. I think he also liked handling the scanner, so even if he did not find treasure he still enjoyed the search. If some had spoken to him as he walked along the field searching, they would have sensed he was a happy man.
In evangelism, it is not only the results that should bring joy to us. Telling the story of Jesus in itself should fill us with joy because when speaking to others about him we are reminding ourselves about what he has done for us. Speaking about the possibility of forgiveness as we share the gospel reminds us that we have been forgiven. Explaining about the prospect of heaven as we share the gospel reminds us that we are going there. These are forms of spiritual treasure also. So while we may not find hidden treasure all the time, we can receive rich, personal benefits from speaking about Jesus whenever we do so.
Telling others about Jesus always requires an intense satisfaction with Jesus. Telling others about Jesus inevitably brings increasing satisfaction with Jesus. Telling others about Jesus eventually results in lost people discovering that Jesus satisfies, which brings further satisfaction to those who told them. Surely, all that is great treasure to have and to find, and to have and to find repeatedly. Lord, make us rich with this kind of treasure!