Why Do We Share the Good News of Jesus?

There is a lot of pressure among believers to share Jesus with unbelievers. One good reason is that we feel the importance of telling people about him so they can know peace, love, and eternal life. Another is that the New Testament tells us to share the message of Jesus.

There are also some bad reasons to share Jesus:

  • Because our church leaders and church culture pressure us
  • In order to grow our church
  • To save people from hell
Sharing the Good News of Jesus

credit: CarolinaJG via morguefile

All these are poor reasons. Many will object that saving people from hell is a good thing and we will discuss this in a moment, but let me suggest that these reasons create a numbers mentality: reach as many as we can so we can convert as many as we can.

This makes sharing the good news a numbers game and, as we discussed earlier, this simply makes us salesmen. We all become Jesus salesmen, and since people do not like salesmen we end up alienating them from Jesus. Sure, a certain number will buy what we are selling, but only because we burn through the ‘prospects’.

What about Hell?

Let us return to why ‘saving people from hell’ is not a good reason for sharing Jesus. I realize that I will lose some of my readers here, but let me say that the threat of torture in an eternal burning hell is a false threat. Jesus did not teach such a thing, and neither does the Bible. No one is going to burn in hell.

A detailed biblical demonstration of my statement requires more space than is available here, but for those interested I refer you to several blog posts in which I cover this, beginning with What about Hell?

Learning that we have been mistaken about the terrible concept of a vengeful God and eternal torment in hell should be a welcome relief. If our traditional idea of hell were true, it would indeed be motivation to save as many as we can, as quickly as we can, no matter if we alienated the rest further from God and Jesus.

In college, I belonged to a personal evangelism club that organized witnessing ‘invasions’ to save people from hell. One of our songs was:

Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.

Another was:

Souls are crying, men are dying,
Won’t you lead them to the cross.
Go and find them, help to win them
Win the lost at any cost.

The imagery is that people are dying and going to hell every minute and we must save as many as we can. We have no time to waste on relationships; we must get them to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ right now!

Fortunately, this is not true.

Then Why Do We Share the Good News of Jesus?

The purpose of sharing the good news of Jesus is not to save them from hell but to tell them about the love of the Father, about freedom from fear and alienation, and about peace and eternal life. Many are burdened with pain, fear, guilt, and a multitude of troubles.

We can offer them the invitation of Jesus written in Matthew chapter 11,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

The best way to do this is through relationships. In relationships, we can better determine when people are ready for the good news of Jesus. Often, they will ask us themselves. Next time we will discuss sharing Jesus in relationships.

Your observations and comments are welcome below.
If you enjoyed this or found it helpful, please sign up for updates in the column to the right (email, RSS, Facebook, or Twitter) so that you don’t miss future posts. Also consider sharing this post using the buttons below. Have a great day! ~Tim
This entry was posted in Jesus, the Good News, the invitation, witnessing. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Why Do We Share the Good News of Jesus?

  1. Marc says:

    Good advise Tim. I would attribute the concept of eternal torment to Satan and his minions, given the evil fruit it has born against the really good news of the Gospel..

    Like

    • Many people do, Marc, but I am not sure the Bible even clearly teaches that. The few references that suggest this are based on the Book of Enoch, which is not even considered a canonical book. I do appreciate your comments!

      Like

  2. I am curious about your inclusion of Eternal Life, especially if you don’t believe in hell. If part of the reason of sharing the good news with people is to show them the way to eternal life, then does that mean that some will not have eternal life? If there is no hell will all people go to live with God in heaven after they die? If there is no eternal judgment then why bother helping people to find eternal life if all obtain it anyway? David

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    • A very good question, David. I would not say that sharing the good news is to show people the WAY to eternal life; rather it is to tell them ABOUT eternal life, along with the other good news that Jesus brings, such as peace, reconciliation from alienation, and the love of the Father. Otherwise, they would not know about these things and enjoy them in this life.

      However, I would not say that everyone is going to ‘heaven’ either. There may be those who finally reject eternal life so, since they will not be forced, they will not have eternal life. Instead, they will expire.

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      • So how would someone “reject” eternal life? What are the requirements necessary to obtain “eternal life”? Also, it still begs the question, why bother telling them in the first place? If they just expire then they will know no difference either way. Maybe that is even better, to die with no future life, either good or bad. What is so good about eternal life that, if I were to expire and not know that I missed it, I would want to accept it and not reject it?

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        • Lana Hope says:

          why? because they are not necessarily experiencing salvation. Because people live trapped in fear, death, and pain, and many are totally unaware of Christ’s deep love altogether. Because Christ is the hope to the hopeless and peace to the restless. This has nothing to do with hell or heaven. That all will work out in the end. But what about today? This doesnt mean that God is a magical wand and takes away all pain, but the truth of the gospel alone can transform our hearts. As one who works with the abused, I can tell you that if God doesn’t exist, then I have no hope. Again, this has nothing to do with trying to rescue people from hell.

          To the original post, yes, we need to share the good news. We need to proclaim that we have been reconciled to God.

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        • These are thoughtful questions, David. As to your first question on how someone would reject eternal life, I address this in the post ‘Who Would Reject the Father and What Becomes of Them’: https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/who-would-reject-the-father/.

          Regarding your second question, I will defer to Lana Hope’s response here on this page. I think she expresses it well.

          Thank you for your comments David; I always enjoy interacting with mature thinkers like you.

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  3. Pingback: Sharing Jesus through Relationship | Jesus Without Baggage

  4. david charles says:

    what are some ways of sharing the good news and with preaching praying public

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      David, I think the best way to share the good news is through relationship. When we have a relationship with people it will become evident to them that there is something about us even if we don’t harp on it. Eventually, they will ask questions when they are ready.

      I share the good news by writing, and there are others ways to share. I don’t see anything wrong with sharing the good news to the public so long as we don’t try to have a captive audience or badger or judge them. Those who are interested will follow up if they choose; those who do not are not ready. We should never attack anyone with the ‘good news’.

      Is this what you had in mind with your question?

      Like

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