By the dawn of the twentieth century, the Gospel of Jesus had made its way into every formal nation on Earth, with a smattering of “sub-nations” that have not heard about Jesus. Jesus commanded his disciples to preach the Gospel to every nation and said that the End would be near once every nation had heard; this means that we are in “End Times” by “Biblical” definition from that specific teaching of Jesus. This “Gospel” is the message that the one and only Son of God had died on a Roman Cross to atone for all humanity’s sins, otherwise punishable in the afterlife and thus a curse in this lifetime. “Nations” is Greek for “peoples” or “ethnic groups”; “evangelism” is the Greek verb for “telling Gospel”.
In the New Testament, “missions” focused on introducing the message of Jesus to people for the first time, then maintaining correspondence, distance discipleship, and cooperation. This correspondence comprises much of the New Testament—letters written to the very first Christians, organized collectively by city.
“Missions” today is much different since most of the “introduction” phase has already been completed. This has many ramifications, among them is the need to teach Christians about deeper things of God beyond the basic news that Jesus atoned our sin. Miracles, healing, and prophetic experiences show us more about God’s love; they are part of understanding God’s Word in its fullness. The New Testament teaches us to progress and grow in God this way.
Another ramification is that most people we encounter in our day-to-day lives have already heard about Jesus—they need “clarification” about who Jesus is. One of the best ways is through miracles; miracles are difficult to debate.
But, from the beginning, “evangelism” was never a quest to persuade people, but a quest to find them. Once shown the real Jesus, people only reject him because they want to. Evangelism about Jesus isn’t a sales pitch; it’s a message to which people respond and inasmuch identify themselves as already having their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. If spreading the message of Jesus is about “finding” rather than “selling”, it should be easier to do and easier to accept.