BIBLE STUDY - EVANGELISM
"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Timothy 2:3-5
Biblically, evangelism is simply telling the evangel - clearly articulating the gospel of Jesus Christ and the claim that the gospel puts on people to repent and believe.
"Evangelism is not a making of proselytes; it is not persuading people to make a decision; it is not proving that God exists, or making a good case for the truth of Christianity; it is not inviting someone to a meeting; it is not exposing the contemporary dilemma, or arousing interest in Christianity; it is not wearing a badge saying "Jesus Saves!" Some of these things are right and good in their place, but none of them should be confused with evangelism. To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what he has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."
(John Cheesman, The Grace of God in the Gospel [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1972], 119)
Believe it or not, some of our motives for evangelizing are often selfish.
Some churches are more concerned with not having to close their doors a final time than they are with loving God by participating in His plan of redeeming others.
Some individuals are more concerned with being right, or winning an argument, or appearing intelligent to others, than they are with obeying God and loving the lost.
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel (1Cor 9:16). Paul is motivated by the compulsion of the Spirit.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matt 28:18-20). We're commanded to do evangelism by making disciples. The command in itself, therefore, is designed to elicit obedience.
When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things (Mark 6:34).
Jesus' love and compassion for the lost motivate Him to teach, not just to meet felt needs by working a miracle.
Jesus' teaching is motivated by love and compassion, not a desire to win an argument or appear intelligent.
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Matt 9:36).
Jesus' love and compassion for people motivates him to pray for more workers to reap the harvest.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15).
Love for God is the only sufficient motive for evangelism. Self-love will give way to self-centeredness; love for the lost will fail with those whom we cannot love, and when difficulties seem insurmountable. Only a deep love for God will keep us following His way, declaring his gospel, when human resources fail
(John Cheesman, The Grace of God in the Gospel [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1972], 122).
Love for God will result in a desire to obey His commands and promote His glory by gathering more worshippers and making more disciples. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation (1Peter 2:12).
Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. What is your heart full of? What do you spend your words on?
Christ's command to go and make disciples of all nations seems to be given to all His disciples, not just the first twelve (Matt 28:18-20).
Look up Acts 8:1-4; 11:19-21. Who is scattered and who stays in Jerusalem? Who preaches?
Look up 1Pet 1:1-2; 3:15. Who is Peter writing to? What does he tell them to do?
Look up Rom 1:14-15. Is this simply a descriptive passage about Paul's desires as an apostle? Do they apply to us today?
According to Acts 6:5, Philip was a deacon, which was a position not of spiritual oversight and leadership, but of service in the physical and financial matters of the church. Yet in Acts 8:5-6, 25-40, we see Philip engaged in cross-cultural evangelism.
Apparently, evangelism in the early church was not left to the apostles or "super-Christians". Everyone did evangelism, and there was an eagerness in their spirits for it.
One important aspect of evangelism is the way Christians live in loving community with one another. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).The command to love applies to all Christians, and one intended effect of that command is evangelistic witness.
God Will Use You!
God has made you His Ambassador of Jesus Christ. As ambassador, every believer has the assignment to preach, declare, and speak forth the message of reconciliation, wherever you go. It is not just to be done in Church, or the job of preachers and spiritual leaders.
It is every believer's job, to let others know that God loves them and has a very special gift for them. 2Co 5:18 and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
To reconcile means to bring back that which was lost! You are God's mouth and hands and feet in the earth and He wants to use you!
Some people feel, they can not share their faith effectively unless they have a lot of Biblical knowledge or have been to Church evangelism course.
It is quite the contrary! Sharing the Gospel, should be a natural extension of your walk with the Lord. It is like when you have found something wonderful, you want to tell someone about it.
Also, when sharing your faith, don't use religious terms, non-believers won't understand, like deliverance, sanctification, redeemed. I have found that the more I share my faith in a non-religious casual manner, the easier it flows and the more receptive others are.
We have to step back an allow God to do the work. We can not make anyone do anything. It is the Spirit of God who convicts the hearts of men and makes them aware of their need for God. A friend of mine had been witnessing to a man for several years, to not avail.
Recently he became very sick with some unknown illness. He later told my friend that as he lay on his bed, he saw the ceiling open and then a bright light. He told the Lord, please God not now.
The man recovered and when relaying his experience to my friend he declared, I know there is a God! So when you find family and friend, resistant to the Gospel, know that you have planted the seed and God will bring the harvest.
You may be at a bus stop or in line at store and as you begin to chat with the person, they may begin to pour their whole life out to you. Knock, Knock, this is an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
On your job you will have many opportunities to minister to your co-workers. I call this relationship Evangelism, because you have more time to really get to know people, go out to lunch, talk about their family, etc. Believe me; once you have told someone you are a Christian, they will be watching you. It is better to live you life in a manner that other will glorify God, than to spurt or a million scriptures. We are to be living epistles, and an open book that anyone can read and see Christ.
You may try to share the Gospel to someone who it totally opposed to hearing it. Do not get offended, but respect how they feel. It is just not their time. Continue to pray that the Lord will soften their heart and draw them by His Spirit. At another time, God will send someone to speak to them again.
If the person is ready to receive the Lord you will sense it. You will see a change in their expression, you may see tears in their eyes, I have had people ask me right out, "How do I receive the Lord.
"First pray for the person for God to make Himself real to them, etc. Pray as you are being lead. Then lead them in a prayer of Salvation. Although there is no set prayer to receive the Lord in order to cover all the bases many use the sinner's prayer or prayer of Salvation, to prayer with someone to receive the Lord.___________________________________________________________________________________________________
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