This is a review of Rico Tice’s Honest Evangelism
There are a lot of books on evangelism and most tend to focus on an ‘easy route’ and don’t tell us how hard it will be in reality to be an evangelist. However Tice does go into this topic and tells of his honest opinion of what being an evangelist is like to him. His opening line ‘I find evangelism hard’ filled me with encouragement and I hadn’t even read the book yet! Not a lot of books would say this yet Tice informs of the struggles he has faced throughout his life being a Christian such as mocking, bullying and states that we are ‘sheep among wolves’, but even though this is the case, we should not make it an excuse to not go out and evangelise!
He talks of the ‘painline’ that we have to cross in order to reach others and defines reasons as to why we maybe wouldn’t want to cross it such as, it may sever relationships with people and we don’t want to deal with that. We simply want to stay on the comfortable side of the line. We don’t want to be hurt or discouraged so we simply don’t cross it.
Although the first part of the book talks of the negatives of evangelism in our world now, Tice goes on to discuss the more encouraging and positive side of the work. He talks of how people aren’t successful in helping people become Christians and we blame it on that we maybe get things wrong or we think we aren’t good enough at it. But that’s not our job. It’s God’s job. It is God who opens the eyes of the unsaved when we bring His word to them. We’re just passing on the amazing message of God’s love to others and we don’t have the power to save, only God does.
That really encouraged me to remember that we are not perfect as Christians and we don’t have to be either! We can only spread the message and after that, it’s in God’s very capable hands! Being an evangelist is not to convert, it is to witness, and successful witnessing is someone hearing about Christ! Tice reminds us that ALL people were made in God’s image and we should celebrate them and that we are all sinners and we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3v23), so it’s our job to witness to those who are still lost!
Towards the end of the book he explains how to go about evangelising to other people in the correct way, but there is one vital point he makes and emphasises in this section. BE YOURSELF! This book reminded me that not one person on this earth is the same and God blessed us with certain skills, so why do we not use them to glorify God? What’s our excuse not to?
We should also flee from individualism however as we were made to work together as Philippians 1v27 says ‘Stand firm in the one spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel’. We are to be an individual torchlight in the world but each church is to be the lighthouse. We have to find the equal balance between individualism and being yourself as well as working together.
I really encourage everyone to read this book as it is a true and honest depiction of the work of an evangelist and how yes, it is hard, but so rewarding and it encourages and reminds us to know we don’t need to do God’s job for Him, so we’ve no need to worry about that! Anyone can evangelise! We just have to look at the 12 disciples to see that. They were all so different and they weren’t the greatest at it either, but they were certainly ready to go for it as they knew that God was with them. He says of the many trials he faces in this work but talks of the indescribable joy he gets in the end when he sees a lost person becoming found in Christ and finishes with a burdening question…
Are you available?
“For the scripture saith, ‘Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed’”. Romans 10v11