#12 ~ Evangelism

Harnessing the Power of the Tongue

For the Glory of God

Key Verses:  Proverbs 18:21, Psalm 141:3, Psalm 19:14

Lesson #12 ~ Evangelism

So here we are, at the end.  Or is it the beginning for you?  When I finished teaching this series on controlling the tongue, I realized how much distance I had to go.  All the lying, gossip, complaining had to be left behind before I could aspire to the higher calling of the tongue, praising, preaching, and now, evangelizing.  I hope you have spiritually grown by considering the content of what I taught orally, but also wrote here and put on my blog.

Again, as in other lessons, this one could have easily been 2 or 3 lessons if I took more time and expounded passages like I Thessalonians 1:6-10 or Hebrews 10:23-31.  Feel free to customize this to the needs in your congregation.

I.  What is Evangelism?

                A.  Definition.  Evangelism comes from a transliteration of a Greek work which means good message.**

                B.  Evangelist is an office ~ Ephesians 4:11 (cannot find it as a spiritual gift)  Note:  This surprised me not being able to find the spiritual gift of evangelism.  My conclusion is that (instead of what I had previously assumed) it is not something for a few gifted people in the congregation to do, but the job of every Christian.

                C.  Philip the Evangelist ~ Acts 21:8, 8:4-8, 35.

                D.  Commands for Timothy ~ II Timothy 4:1-5.  It’s something we do.

                                1.  Preach the word (kerusso logos), be ready at all times

                                2.  Do the work of an evangelist (literally – make employment as evangelist), watching in all circumstances.

                E.  Always be ready ~ I Peter 3:15.  Sanctify the LORD in your hearts, be ready to give that answer.  We should prepare ourselves beforehand by making Christ holy in our hearts and being ready to give an answer for our faith.  If we are not ready to speak about our faith in Christ, have we truly sanctified the LORD in our hearts?  Note:  I just read this question again, ouch.

II.  How does evangelism (the preaching of the gospel) work?

                A.  The perpetual motion of the gospel ~ Romans 10:14-17.  There is a progression to the preaching of the gospel.  #1-  The person is saved.  #2-  The person that God saved is sent.  #3-  The sent person preaches the gospel (proclaims the good news.)  #4-  Another person hears.  #5-  The other person believes.  #6-  The other person calls on the name of the LORD.  #7-  The other person is saved.  #8- The other person is sent.

                B.  The nature of progressive revelation.  Isaiah 52:7 ~ What is the good news in this passage?  Compare with Psalm 96:10.

  • The message is progressive.  Isaiah 52:7 ~ The LORD reigns.
  • Matthew 3:1-3 ~ Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Prepare the way of the LORD.
  • Matthew 4:17, 23 ~ Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  The gospel is in the company of miracles and the calling of the disciples.
  • Matthew 10:7 ~ The 12 disciples are proclaiming and staying in the homes of individuals.
  • Luke 10:9-11 ~ The 70 are proclaiming and healing.
  • Matthew 28:18-20 ~ Commonly called the Great Commission.  Jesus sends forth His disciples and will not call them back until the end of the age, see Matthew 13:29, 24:3, 13-14, 29-31.
  • I Corinthians 15:1-4 ~ Now that Jesus has died for our sins and was raised from the dead, we include this when we preach the gospel.  This does not mean it is a different gospel.  It is the same gospel, that God reigns, see I Corinthians 15:24-28.  The way in which God will reign has been revealed through the LORD Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, and His resurrection, see Romans 1:3-5.
  • Acts 28:30-31 ~ At the end of Paul’s life, he still preached the kingdom of God and it included everything about Jesus Christ.  There are not two different gospels.  Note:  Sorry dispensationalists.  It just doesn’t work.  One gospel with different bits of information at different points in the unfolding of His revelation.

III.  Always from a position of weakness.

                A.  Sheep among wolves ~ Matthew 10:16-22

                B.  In the midst of persecution ~ Mark 13:9-13

                C.  You are going to sound like you are stupid ~ I Corinthians 1:17-30  Note:  I’m still laughing about this one.

IV.  Results of Evangelism

                A.  The results when people believe ~ I Thessalonians 1:6-10

                                1.  A new following.  We always follow something.  After the Thessalonians believed, they followed Paul & company, and more importantly, they followed Jesus.

                                2.  New afflictions.  Everyone has some amount of trouble in their lives.  The Thessalonians were now afflicted with the same afflictions that other Christians had, those of following Jesus Christ.

                                3.  New examples.  We all exemplify something.  We might be an example of someone who is self-centered, a drunk, a glutton, a gossip, etc.  Now they became examples of those that believe.

                                4.  A new message.  We all have something to talk about.  We talk about what excites us.  Hobbies, children, grandchildren, activities, our jobs.  The Thessalonians started talking about their faith.

                                5.  New activities.  They had served idols.  Now they served the living God.

                                6.  New expectations.  Everyone lives in anticipation of something.  “I’m really looking forward to…”  Complete the sentence that you have probably said to someone.  The Thessalonians were now looking forward to the coming of their Savior, Jesus Christ.

                B.  The results when people don’t believe ~ Hebrews 10:23-31

                                1.  Not mixed with faith, Hebrews 4:2.

                                2.  They fall back (waver).  True believers will not fall back or fall away, Hebrews 6:6.

                                3.  They stop assembling together as Christians.  This can happen in a number of ways.  Someone can stop coming to church altogether.  Or someone can come to church but not be part of what the assembly is supposed to do (confess sins one to another, sing with gratefulness in your heart, encourage other Christians, be accountable to other Christians, share your faith, giving, etc.).

                                4.  Sinning willfully.  Continuing in sin, something that has been pointed out, but the person persists in sin rather than repent, see also II Peter 2:20-22.

                                5.  Treating the sacrifice of Christ as if it is something common.

                C.  The Aroma as we evangelize ~ II Corinthians 2:14-17.  It is the same aroma.  To believers it smells sweet, but to unbelievers it stinks to high heaven.

V.  The Presentation

                A.  Humbly at no charge ~ I Corinthians 9:16-18

                B.  Gentle like a mother, loving like a father ~ I Thessalonians 2:1-12

                C.  With a life that matches the gospel message ~ Philippians 1:27-30.  This should be the creed of anyone who practices evangelism.

**Eu means good (euphemism = good sound, eulogy = good word) and angel means messenger.  When someone would evangelize (euaggelizo) , they were good messaging.  When someone would preach (kerusso) the evangelion (euaggelion), they were proclaiming the good news.  Here are some examples of kerusso evangelion: Matthew 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, 26:13.  Here are some examples of evangelize where the word for preach does not appear in the original Greek: Matthew 11:5, Luke 4:18, Luke 7:22, Luke 9:6, Luke 16:16, Luke 20:1.  We don’t have a word that means to good message someone, so the word evangelize is a transliteration.  It doesn’t mean to convert someone.  It simply means to give them the good news.  Gospel is an English word that means good news, but we never use it as a verb.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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