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Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist. All true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel and the more profound message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information to grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart to be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics.
What do we mean by obligated? What do we mean by evangelism?
EVANGELISM: An evangelist is a proclaimer of the Gospel or good news and all biblical truths. There are levels of evangelism, which is pictured in first-century Christianity. All Christians evangelized in the first century, but a select few fit the role of a full-time evangelist (Ephesians 4:8, 11-12), as was true of Philip and Timothy.
Both Philip and Timothy are specifically mentioned as evangelizers. (Ac 21:8; 2 Tim. 4:5) Philip was a full-time evangelist after Pentecost, who was sent to the city of Samaria, having great success. An angel even directed Philip to an Ethiopian Eunuch to share the good news about Christ with him. Because of the Eunuch’s already having knowledge of God by way of the Old Testament, Philip was able to help him understand that the Hebrew Scriptures pointed to Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. In the end, Philip baptized the Eunuch. After that, the Spirit again sent Philip on a mission to Azotus and all the cities on the way to Caesarea. (Ac 8:5, 12, 14, 26-40) Paul evangelized in many lands, setting up one congregation after another. (2 Cor. 10:13-16) Timothy was an evangelizer or missionary, and Paul placed special importance on evangelizing when he gave his parting encouragement to Timothy. – 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Timothy 1:3.
The office of apostle and evangelist seem to overlap in some areas but could be distinguished in that apostles traveled and set up congregations, which took evangelizing skills, and developed the congregations after they were established. The evangelists were more of a missionary, being stationed in certain areas to grow and develop congregations. The fast growth of early Christianity was accomplished because all Christians were obligated to carry out some level of evangelism.
OBLIGATED: In the broadest sense of the term for evangelizer, all Christians must play some role as an evangelist.
- Basic Evangelism is planting seeds of truth and watering any seeds that have been planted. [In the basic sense of this word (euaggelistes), this would involve all Christians.] In some cases, it may be that one Christian planted the seed, which was initially rejected, so he was left in a good way because the planter did not try to force the truth down his throat. However, later he faces something in life that moves him to reconsider those seeds and another Christian then waters what had already been planted by the first Christian. This evangelism can be carried out in all available methods: informal, house-to-house, street, phone, internet, and the like. The amount of time invested in the evangelism work is up to each Christian to decide for themselves.
- Making Disciples is having any role in the process of getting an unbeliever from his unbelief state to the point of accepting Christ as his personal Savior and being baptized. Once the unbeliever has become a believer, he is still developed until he has become spiritually strong. Any Christian could potentially carry this one person through all of the developmental stages. On the other hand, it may be that several Christians may have to play some part in the process. It is like a person specializing in a specific aspect of a job, but all know the other elements if they are called on to carry out that phase. Again, each Christian must decide for themselves what role they are to have and how much of a part but should be prepared to fill any position if needed.
- Part-Time or Full-Time Evangelist sees this as their calling and chooses to be very involved as an evangelist in their local church and community. They may work part-time to supplement their work as an evangelist. They may be married with children, but they realize their gift is in the field of evangelism. If it were the wife, the husband would work toward supporting her work as an evangelist and vice-versa. If it were a single person, he or she would supplement their work by being employed part-time, but also the church would also help. This person is well trained in every aspect of bringing one to Christ.
- Congregation Evangelists should be incredibly involved in evangelizing their communities and helping the church members play their role at the basic levels of evangelism. There is nothing to say that one congregation could not have many within, who take on part-time or full-time evangelism within the congregation, which would and should be cultivated.
THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, and overturning false beliefs to make disciples commanded by Christ. – Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8
Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, they could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians are determined to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
Within the heart of each true Christian is the desire to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt 22:37) If this is the case, we too would be patient, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.’ (2 Pet 3:9) For the faithful Christian, “for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.” (Lu 6:45) The apostle Paul helps see the importance of the work that lies ahead,
Romans 10:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how will they hear without someone to preach?
How can you improve your effectiveness as Christian teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST: The Great Teacher. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST: The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all his teaching methods when you share the Word of God with others.
When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” [Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8] Within the congregation, Scripturally qualified men are to serve as “shepherds and teachers” to build up the body of Christ (congregation). (Eph. 4:11-13) While women cannot hold the position of a pastor in the church, they can work together with men in spreading the good news. (Phil. 4:2-3; Ac 18:26) All of us are urged to encourage fellow believers, and we can heed that admonition by using the Bible to build up others. (1 Thess. 5:11)
All Christians can share in saving some fellow brothers or sisters who may have begun to doubt. (Jude 1:3, 22-23) All of us are obligated to defend the truth. (1 Pet. 3:15) What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits! How can you improve your effectiveness as a teacher? Essentially, it is by imitating THE TEACHER, the Apostle Paul. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE TEACHER, the Apostle Paul, will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.