Written by: Cade Pylant
During Spring Break my freshmen year, I went on a mission trip with 6 other BCM students to San Diego. There, we got to work side by side with a collegiate ministry that worked diligently at San Diego State University (SDSU) to reach their campus with the gospel of Jesus Christ. During that week, we shared the gospel with random students on SDSU’s campus for hours a day, at first alongside the other ministry, but then on our own. I loved that week; not just the fun of flying into a new city and getting to see the sights and the coast, but specifically having gospel conversations with strangers on a campus I had never been on before. We came back from that trip determined to bring that heart for the gospel to our own campus.
In all honesty, the first time I shared the gospel at the University of Arkansas was because I knew I should. I grew up in church always hearing about how the great commission is for all Christians and that not sharing the gospel is in direct disobedience to that command. I had been given the opportunity to share the gospel at SDSU and was asked to participate in bringing that back to the University of Arkansas.
But as soon as we got back to campus, new doubts and fears about sharing the gospel began to creep up. I was no longer sharing the gospel with people I could fly 1,500 miles away from. I would see these people in class, in line for Brough, and just walking around on campus. There was a very real and new challenge to sharing the gospel on my campus.
Despite these fears, I continued to share the gospel on the campus with a small group of friends. We would meet in the upstairs of the BCM, pray together, and then walk out on campus and try to share the gospel with anyone we could find to listen. The first couple times, all I could think was I don't want to be here and I don’t want to do this, but because other people expected me to be there, I powered through and continued to show up.
If it wasn’t for God’s grace towards me, sharing the gospel would never have been something more than a spiritual chore. Slowly, but noticeably, God began to give me a passion for evangelism on campus that even I could not explain. His faithfulness was more than abundant as I was even asked to take leadership over the BCM’s evangelism on campus. As I began to lead and teach others how to share the gospel, I still had the same couple reasons on why I should be sharing. It was a command for Christians, I oddly enjoyed it, and other people had asked me to. But those reasons never took evangelism past a spiritual chore into a joy. It was spending time in God’s Word that changed those reasons.
Even as my desire to share the gospel waxed and waned, His faithfulness never did, not even for a moment. God began to grow my own faith through sharing the gospel in ways that I never anticipated. In order for me to learn gospel sharing techniques like the three circles, I had to know what passages of scripture it came from. I found passages like Ephesians 2:1-10 and Romans 5, both of which clearly put the gospel into the same words used by gospel sharing techniques. I had to actually know why I believed the gospel, and in studying that, I learned the gospel even better. It suddenly meant more to me; it moved me to stand in awe of God like I never had before.
God has done incredible things in the heart of the BCM and has allowed me to play a role in helping grow the BCM in evangelism, teaching me so much through the process. God has always been the missionary God. Exploring His Word and having it taught to me has given me the reasons I have today on why I share the gospel on campus. I share the gospel because I owe Christ my all, I am called to love my neighbor, and the sovereign Lord of all creation has invited me to do so.
I share the gospel on campus first and foremost because I owe Christ my all. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, humans had a perfect relationship with Him. However, humans chose their own path over God’s, bringing sin into the world (Romans 5:12). We had no hope to repay the debt of our sin. We were slaves to sin, eternally separated from God for all eternity (Ephesians 2:1-2). But God, being infinitely, wonderfully, and incomprehensibly rich in mercy sent His own son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, the only sacrifice that could make right the debt between us. The one true God, holy holy holy, became sin for us, lived the life we never could, and died the death we deserved.
And praise God that the story does not end there. Three days later, Christ arose from the dead proving once and for all that He is God and His sacrifice is sufficient for all humanity’s sin. Not only that, but He has promised the gift of His very presence inside us. After the work on the cross was finished and man was able once again to be made right with God, the Holy Spirit came down to give us the ability to have a personal relationship with the Almighty. I am only alive because of what God has done for me. I would be dead in my sin like the rest of mankind if He had not given up His life. I share the gospel because I owe Christ my everything.
I share the gospel on campus because I am called to love my neighbor as myself, and I cannot do so without telling them about Christ. God has brought the nations to our doorstep. The University of Arkansas has students from literally all over the world with 120 nations represented at the University. This may be the only time that we have to love our neighbors before they move back across oceans and continents. We have been sent to wherever we are planted, and God has brought people from all over the world to our doorstep.
To keep the truth, that God personally died on the cross from those who do not know Him, is to fail to love them. For me to be okay with my friends, family, classmates, and even random strangers in the Union living another day without knowing the truth that they are dead to sin but can have the free gift of Christ, is for me to be okay with them not having the greatest gift I have ever received. I share the gospel on campus because I am called to love my neighbor, and I cannot do so without sharing the gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ.
I share the gospel because the sovereign Lord of all creation has invited me to do so. The God of all creation and history has chosen to allow broken, sinful people like me to play a massive role in spreading His kingdom. I heard this idea from a speaker at a class called Perspectives I had the opportunity to take this past year. She continued to tell us how much faster it would be if Christ Himself just came down from the sky and shared the gospel with all humanity once and for all. Not only that, but how much more glory the Lord of creation would gain if He would take over our job of sharing what He did on the cross, but He has not. He has chosen to let the church have the job of spreading His word and glory to the nations.
As we share, we tell the greatest story ever, and we pass along the greatest gift that anyone has ever given. As we share the gospel, we ascribe to God the glory that He deserves. There is nothing more important in our lives other than our knowledge and pursuit of the savior, and God has entrusted that knowledge to the church. I share the gospel because the Lord of creation who died on the cross for my sins has invited me to be a part of spreading His Kingdom in an extremely significant way.
I look forward with faithful hope to what God is going to do at the University of Arkansas in the 2020-2021 academic year and am glad to be able to play a part in His kingdom on campus. I invite everybody who knows Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior to join us on campus as we set out to make His name known. The Lord is doing great things in the BCM, and I am so excited to see where He will take us next.