In a few millennia, man has incredibly transformed his environment. However, his heart and his needs have remained the same. That is why our world needs authentic believers who witness the gospel and live it.

The four evangelists are unanimous: before letting his disciples ascend into heaven, Christ gave them the order to take the good news to all the inhabitants of the world.

A few years later, the apostle Paul, arguably the greatest evangelist of all time, wrote, "I am proud of the gospel: it is the power of God by which he saves all who believe."

One might think that the progress of science, the conquest of space, the prodigious development of the means of communication, the emancipation of many peoples have made the message to be transmitted obsolete. 

After all, children used to play hopscotch, cowboys, and pawns, while today we find them glued to the television screen or frantically manipulating an electronic game. One can conclude that, in the same way, the world no longer has the same needs as in the first century.

But as society progresses, on the one hand, the vision of an idyllic world that progress foreshadowed is challenged. Our planet now faces problems previously unknown or underestimated: global warming, nuclear weapons proliferation, overpopulation.

It is no exaggeration to say that a certain pessimism is shared by world leaders and ordinary citizens alike. The future of our civilization seems increasingly uncertain. Religious people are sometimes accused of generating a disposition toward melancholy, catastrophism, and of exploiting this darkness. 

But let's remember that it is our reference writers and philosophers who point to this impression of doom, despair, and inconsistency in today's world. Just read Nausea, by Jean-Paul Sartre, or listen to Karl Jung when he asks: "Who today is absolutely sure that he is not neurotic? The examples could be multiplied.

Let's be clear: Man today needs good news just as much as before. Looking closely, nothing has really changed in 20 centuries.

What exactly is evangelism?

For most people, the word "evangelize" means nothing or arouses distrust. Many think of some sectarian movement seeking to enlist, enslave, or exploit. They are suspicious. To benefit from a more just light, we must take the historical spiral in the opposite direction and return to the origins, to the time of Christ.

On the day Jesus introduced his ministry, he defined it in these terms:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Yes, he has chosen me to bring the Good News to the poor. He sent me to announce to the prisoners: You are free! and to the blind: You will see clearly again! He sent me to free those who cannot defend themselves.

And what he said is what he did. His whole life testifies to that.

After he left the earth, we are told that his disciples never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus. It is a message of healing, forgiveness and deliverance that they proclaimed. By listening to them, thousands of lives have been transformed. "You will be my witnesses," he had told them shortly before. The evangelist is, therefore, first of all, someone who bears witness.

Witnesses to what?

The Bible records that the first apostles testify that "Christ went about doing good." In their message, they added that they witnessed his death on the cross and that they saw him alive, resurrected several days later. They all testified that those who believe in him obtain forgiveness of sins and receive a new life, thus becoming children of God.

This is how some Galilean fishermen left Palestine around the year 33 with this message that they proclaimed freely. Often harassed by civil and religious authorities, and despite their poverty and summary education, they are at the origin of hundreds of Christian communities scattered throughout Syria, in Asia Minor, in Corinth, Alexandria and Rome, in Greece and in the western Roman colonies.

Since then, millions of men of all languages, from all countries and from different social backgrounds have received the message and passed it on. They constitute a multitude of communities scattered all over the earth and form the people of God. This has survived civilizations and changed the face of this world.

Certainly society has evolved since the first century, but the individual retains the same fears and aspirations. The inner emptiness, the absence of purpose in life, the thirst for peace, the feeling of abandonment and loneliness, the fear of death, and the need for forgiveness are all reasons why Christ's message of free love is always current.

Yes, in his love for his creature, God sent his Son to meet the needs of men, inviting them to turn to him to be saved, healed.