Thoughts on Evangelism

Thoughts on Evangelism I. The minister of Jesus Christ is to do the work of an evangelist. 2TI 4:5. A. Evangelist: gen. One who preaches the gospel. B. The deacon Philip was also an evangelist. ACT 6:5 c/w ACT 21:8. 1. Philip travelled to Samaria and bore witness of Christ. ACT 8:4-6. 2. Believers were baptized. ACT 8:12. 3. Baptism is a ministerial function, not a diaconal function. MAT 28:19-20. 4. NOTE: Evangelism looks to convert and baptize, and therefore “church” men. C. Like other teaching offices, evangelists were given for the perfecting of saints and the edifying of the body of Christ. EPH 4:11-12. 1. Understanding this order for teaching offices clarifies what God intends to accomplish with evangelism. 2. Evangelism is for the benefit of God's people, to make lost sheep into found sheep and obedient sheep. 3. The unconditional election unto eternal life and the work of grace in the soul must precede the believing reception of the evangelist's message. JOH 1:12-13 c/w ACT 13:48; 1CO 1:18. 4. Paul labored for the benefit of God's elect that they might obtain a temporal salvation from sin, ignorance and darkness. 2TI 2:10 c/w ACT 26:18. 5. The gospel makes known what God HAS done for us by His will, purpose and grace and so brings life and immortality TO LIGHT. 2TI 1:9-10. 6. The publishing of God's saving work in Christ is also the publishing of the sovereign Messianic government to which men must answer. ISA 52:7; 9:6-7 c/w ACT 2:29-36; 17:30-31. D. Church members, while not being ordained ministers/evangelists, play an important role in the spread of the gospel to the unconverted by witnessing. ACT 18:26; 1TH 1:8. II. Christ commissioned His disciples to evangelize the nations. MAT 28:18-20; LUK 24:47; ACT 1:8. A. For a season, the N.T. church understood this to mean that the gospel should go to the Jews who were dispersed throughout the nations. ACT 11:15-19. 1. For centuries, the gospel had been only to the Jewish nation. PSA 147:19-20. 2. But God had intended all along to justify the heathen by faith and call out from the Gentile nations a people for His name: believers. GAL 3:8-9; ACT 15:14-17; ROM 15:10 c/w DEU 32:43. 3. In due time, therefore, the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles. ACT 14:27. B. The commission's order was amplified in MAR 16:15-16. 1. They were to go into all the world. 2. They were to preach the gospel to every creature. C. These Jewish representatives of Messiah's kingdom did it! 1. They went forth, and preached everywhere. MAR 16:20. 2. Israel's gospel went into all the earth and their words unto the ends of the world. ROM 10:18. 3. The truth of the gospel was in all the world. COL 1:6. 4. It was preached to every creature under heaven. COL 1:23. 5. It was made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. ROM 16:26. 6. Whatever Jesus Christ intended His disciples to accomplish by His instructions in D. E. that commission was evidently accomplished! The ordered work of evangelizing the nations was to be confirmed by miraculous signs and wonders. MAR 16:17-18. 1. Therefore, to conclude that the evangelizing of the nations as intended in Christ's commission to the disciples is still binding upon the church, then the sign-gifts must still be in effect also. 2. The sign-gifts were temporary and co-extensive with apostolic labors. MIC 7:15 c/w ACT 7:36. 3. If the sign-gifts are not in effect, then neither is the apostolic mandate to evangelize the nations. The commission to evangelize the nations may be summed up as being the apostles' duty to spread the once uniquely Jewish gospel to the nations to prepare them for the turnover of the kingdom from Israel to the Gentiles. MAT 21:43 c/w LUK 21:24. III. Christ's commission is, though, the authority for the work of the gospel unto the end of the world. MAT 28:20. A. Ordained ministers are authorized by God to preach the gospel by virtue of a succession of authority from the apostles who received it from Christ. TIT 1:5. B. In the course of their ministry, they are to do the work of an evangelist. 2TI 4:5. C. The Scriptural pattern for evangelistic outreach is that God directs His preachers to where He has prepared a way for His gospel. 1. Philip had a mandate for going to Samaria. ACT 1:8 c/w ACT 8:5-6. 2. Philip was directly instructed to go to Gaza. ACT 8:26. 3. Peter was directed to Cornelius' house. ACT 10:19-20. 4. Paul was plainly told to preach to the heathen and that he should bear witness at Rome. GAL 1:15-16; ACT 19:21; 23:11. 5. Paul assuredly gathered that God wanted him to preach Macedonia because God had revealed to him a need for the gospel there. ACT 16:9-10. 6. By contrast, Paul had previously tried to go into regions where God was not yet wanting him to go. ACT 16:6-7. 7. We are to pray for doors of utterance to be opened (COL 4:3) which presupposes that all doors are not automatically open. REV 3:7. D. Labors conducted at God's direction are blessed; those done at the impulse of man are not. JOH 21:6; GEN 16:1-4 c/w GAL 4:29; PSA 127:1.

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