Four Factors in Evangelism (Part 1)

Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples after His resurrection, before returning to His Father in heaven, was to go and make more disciples, “teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded,” (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18).

With this same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell others the Good News and make disciples for His kingdom. This is His Great Commission.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."      Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”                     Luke 19:10

Leslie Flynn, author of 19 Gifts of the Spirit, defines evangelism as the following:

The gift of proclaiming the Good News of salvation effectively so that people respond to the claims of Christ in conversion and in discipleship.”

Four Factors in Evangelism
  1. Proclamation . . . . In addition to Christian witness through works, evangelism requires words: explanation of how a sinner becomes right with God; Christ’s historical, redemptive death and resurrection. The gift communicates the gospel with power so people are brought into the experience of salvation with knowledge of spiritual life and death. Hearers may or may not be emotionally moved, but the intellect must not be bypassed. How we proclaim is extremely important. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
  2. Good News . . . . The word gospel comes from the Greek words, well and announcement, which means “good announcement” or “Good News”.
  3. Effectively Resulting in Conversion . . . . Campus Crusade for Christ defines witnessing success as: “sharing Christ in the power of the Spirit and leaving the results to Him.” Only God can bring spiritual understanding and conversion. There will not be a response every time we witness, but the hearer should understand that a decision must be made: Accept or reject Christ.
  4. Discipleship . . . . Dedicated evangelists and organizations have systematic follow-up plans to help new converts grow in their faith and connect with the local church.

Evangelism is not reserved just for the pastor or professional. Campus Crusade estimates it takes 1,000 laymen and six pastors one year to win one convert to Christ. Philip, the only person called an evangelist in the Bible, was a deacon. And interestingly, the early church grew in numbers by a lay movement (Acts 8).

Teaching and Evangelism are Closely Related

Evangelism is referred to teaching several places in Acts. Hearers wanted to know much about Jesus before putting their faith in Him, (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich.). Church historians observe that evangelistic surges throughout the centuries result from sound theological advances.

Even if we do not possess the gift of evangelism, we are told to do the work of an evangelist (Mark 1:17). Some people are more effective in personal evangelism. Others may be most effective in group evangelism—such as Billy Graham—or cross cultural evangelism.

What is your experience with evangelism? Have you shared the Good News with anyone lately? Who shared the Good News with you? How has that impacted you?

*Next few posts: The message and methods in evangelism . . . . Have a great week!

 

Today’s Word

May I share a word with you?

2172adef80a8eff0ca79505baf80107f

The Apostle John continued:

Through Him all things were made . . . . In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”  – vs. 3-4

John’s use of the Word in Hebrew Scripture is linked with Genesis 1. God created by speaking the universe into orderly existence. Hebrew thought also associated Word as the source of God’s message through His prophets (Hosea 1:2) and God’s law—His standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11).

The philosopher Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.) used the Greek thought of Word/logos as the divine logic, “an ordering principle for the universe.

John used the Word to describe Jesus as God–a guy he knew and loved, but at the same time was Creator of the universe who perfectly revealed God the Father’s character and holiness.

The educated Greek reader would have understood John’s summary as Christ being the truth; not only the guiding principle of the universe, but also of every person’s soul. Thus, by the person of Christ—the Logos—one may attain harmony with God and His creation.

d7d3995b05b645cf989fd2dfb563c399

 When Christ became human He became:

  1. the perfect teacher who showed us how we should think (Philippians 2:5-11)
  2. the perfect example who showed us not only how to live, but also enables us to do so (1 Peter 2:21)
  3. the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s requirements for the removal of our sin (Colossians 1:15-23)

Jesus is not only our Creator and Sustainer, but He also holds our universe together (Colossians 1:15-17). If we try to live apart from Him, the purpose for which God made us will be void.

To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God–children not born of natural descent. . . but born of God.”  – John. 1:12-13, NIV

Anyone who welcomes Jesus Christ as Lord of their life is reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Just as being born physically makes you alive and places you in your parents’ family, being born of God makes you spiritually alive and places you as His child (John 3:1-6).

By trusting and receiving Christ, the Holy Spirit will dwell in you (Romans 8:9-10; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 13:5). God won’t force Himself on anyone, but He will breathe new life into the surrendered soul. He will also rearrange attitudes, desires, and motives.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you asked Christ to make you a new person? It’s not too late. This new life is available to all who place their confidence in Jesus Christ, ask for His forgiveness, and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:8-10).