The Christian Evangelist
Before delving into our article on Conversational Evangelism, let us take a moment to listen to one of the world’s leading authorities on Spiritual disciplines for our Christian life by Donald S. Whitney, who covers our obligation to evangelize very well,
Most of those reading this book will not need convincing that evangelism is expected of every Christian. All Christians are not expected to use the same methods of evangelism, but all Christians are expected to evangelize.
Before we go further, let’s define our terms. What is evangelism? If we want to define it thoroughly, we could say that evangelism is to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to sinful people, in order that they may come to put their trust in God through Him, to receive Him as their Savior, and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of His Church. If we want to define it simply, we could say that New Testament evangelism is communicating the gospel. Anyone who faithfully relates the essential elements of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ is evangelizing. This is true whether your words are spoken, written, or recorded, and whether they are delivered to one person or to a crowd.
Why is evangelism expected of us? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself has commanded us to witness. Consider His authority in the following:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28: 19-20).
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’” (Mark 16: 15).
“And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24: 47).
“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you’” (John 20: 21).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).
These commands weren’t given to the apostles only. For example, the apostles never came to this nation. For the command of Jesus to be fulfilled and for America to hear about Christ, the gospel had to come here by other Christians. And the apostles will never come to your home, your neighborhood, or to the place where you work. For the Great Commission to be fulfilled there, for Christ to have a witness in that “remote part” of the earth, a Christian like you must discipline yourself to do it.
Some Christians believe that evangelism is a gift and the responsibility of only those with that gift. They appeal to Ephesians 4:11 for support: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.” While it is true that God gifts some for ministry as evangelists, He calls all believers to be His witnesses and provides them with both the power to witness and a powerful message. Every evangelist is called to be a witness, but only a few witnesses are called to the vocational ministry of an evangelist. Just as each Christian, regardless of spiritual gift or ministry, is to love others, so each believer is to evangelize whether or not his or her gift is that of evangelist.
Think of our responsibility for personal evangelism from the perspective of 1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” Many Christians who are familiar with this part of the verse don’t have a clue how the rest of it goes. It goes on to say that these privileges are yours, Christian, “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” We normally think of this verse as establishing the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. But it is equally appropriate to say that it also exhorts us to a kind of prophet hood of all believers. God expects each of us to “declare the praises” of Jesus Christ.
While this author agrees with Whitney’s every word in the above, I would emphasize that we are to evangelize, so as to make disciples, which is more involved that simply sharing the Gospel. Paul summarizes the most basic elements of the gospel message, that is, the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of the resurrected Christ. (1 Cor. 18:1-8) Therefore, the Gospel explained in detail or simply stated as Paul has put it, will not be enough to convert many unbelievers to the faith. Therefore, it is best to understand our responsibility as evangelist, in the sense of being able to proclaim or explain our Christian teachings both offensively and defensively: to (1) defend God’s Word, (2) defend the faith, (3) pull some who doubt back from the fire, and (4) most importantly, to help the lost find salvation.
All Christians are to be Evangelizers
We live in the world today where Genesis 6:5 and 8:21 is magnified a thousand fold.
Genesis 6:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Imperfect humans are mentally bent toward evil, meaning that they lean toward wickedness.
Genesis 8:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 And when Jehovah smelled the pleasing aroma, and Jehovah said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living thing as I have done.
Who teaches their children to lie? Who teaches their children to steal? Who teaches their children to be stingy? No normal parent would teach their child to do such things, but they will pick them up naturally if they are not taught to do otherwise. Imperfect humans still have the conscience that God gave Adam and Eve, and even in its imperfect state, it will help us to determine what is good and what is bad. However, if it is ignored, it will grow callused, meaning that it will have no feelings when it should be prompting us to avoid wrongdoing. On the other hand, if it is fed the Word of God, our conscience can enable us to avoid sin, to control our mental bent toward evil. This is just one facet of the good news that we are to share with all the nations, in all of the inhabited earth.
Matthew 24:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
With much of what people see today, one wonders what the Goods News could be. We have Iran, a terrorist nation that seeks to use nuclear weapons against Israel and the United States and is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. We have Al Qaeda, radical Islam, who is seeking to establish Shariah Law in all the inhabited earth, which they are doing through torture and acts of terrorism. We have an even more extreme form of Islam, ISIS. They are slaughtering and raping little children by the thousands as the United States under President Obama does very little. We have North Korea, a communist nation, which has its people starving to death while the leaders live a life of luxury. We have Russia, who seeks to establish its former self, i.e., the Soviet Union. We have mass murders, serial killers, rapists, child molesters, and the list could go on infinitely.
Isaiah 52:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God has become king!”
Nahum 1:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him
who brings good news,
who publishes peace!
Keep your feasts, O Judah;
fulfill your vows,
for never again shall the worthless pass through you;
he is cut off completely.
Romans 10:14-15 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? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”
Christianity today, has sadly, fallen away from the evangelism that they had been assigned, the preaching and teaching of the good news, the making of disciples. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20) The first-century Christians were very zealous when it came to sharing the good news and biblical truths with others. In fact, the new believers were taught the basics of the faith, before they were baptized. Once they were baptized they were immediately involved in spreading these same biblical truths to others. This is why just ninety years after the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ; there were more than a million Christians spread all throughout the then known world of the Roman Empire. Christians today, should have this same zeal because Jesus gave only one command that was to be carried out after his departure, the making of disciples.
The good news is that this current evil age that we live in is not all that we have to look forward to, as all have the opportunity of gaining eternal life. Yes, the path of salvation is open to all. Therefore, Christians today should be in the work of being used by God to help as many as possible to find the path of salvation, before Christ’s second coming. Some might argue that God already knows the ones who are his; therefore, they will find the truth themselves. Yes, he foreknows those that will accept the truth or find the truth because he can see ahead. What God has is a foreknowledge of people’s free will. However, his foreknowledge does not determine what humans will do, but rather what humans freely choose to do that determines God’s foreknowledge. It is better to understand it that God knows in advance what choice people will freely make. It is the free decisions of human beings that determine what foreknowledge God has of them, as opposed to the reverse. Foreknowledge is to know all that is going to happen based on the free-willed decisions of humans. Foreordination is God interjecting himself, to bring about a desired outcome. God foreknows all that he foreordains but God does not foreordain all that he foreknows. To know something and to bring about something are entirely different. Therefore, what he sees in the future is his people taking the good news of the kingdom to the inhabited earth before the end can come, so the right-hearted ones can trust in Jesus and receive everlasting life.
John 3:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone trusting in him will not be destroyed but have eternal life.
John 3:36 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
36 The one trusting in the Son has eternal life, but the one who disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Revelation 21:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and he will dwell among them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be among them, 4 and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
An evangelizer is a proclaimer of the gospel or good news, i.e., a messenger of good. The Greek euaggelistes (evangelizer) is closely related to the word euaggelion, “good news” or “gospel.”
All Christians are commissioned to be evangelizers. It should be understood the word is used in a special way at Ephesians 4:8, 11-12, where Paul describes “the gifts to men” that Christ gave to the congregation when he ascended on high. “And he gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers … It is the observation of this author that this is applying to the narrow sense of evangelizers who serve as missionaries.
However, in a broader sense of the word, all Christians are to be evangelizers. The only way that we are going to accomplish the Great Commission and the statement made by Jesus is if all are working toward that goal, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) We have had missionaries since the days of Paul, and especially the last couple of centuries, and yet Christianity is not getting the work done. In fact, while the US and UK were the primary ones sending out the most missionaries, they are now receiving missionaries themselves from the very countries they had been sent missionaries to long ago.
Christians are under obligation to herald, or proclaim the Word of God and make disciples. The pastor and all Christians should view the sharing of God’s Word, to win people to the faith, as full-time, all the time because faith involves all of life. We need always to be ready and alert in our faith, so as to participate willingly in proclaiming God’s Word, whether it is convenient or not. If a police officer and a firefighter are on duty 24/7, to save lives, should we expect less of a Christian, who is saving souls? This is not to say that all Christians are to give up their lives, their ministries they were called to (e.g., preaching, teaching, etc.) and become a full-time evangelist. Rather, it simply means that all Christians are capable of evangelizing when the opportunity presents itself (i.e., informal), and give of themselves a few hours a month in an official church evangelism program (phone, street, houses-to-house, the internet, and the like). Otherwise, they are very much involved in church life, family life, and the ministry they were called to do.
What do we mean by obligated and what we mean by evangelism are at the heart of the matter and are indeed related to each other?
EVANGELISM: Again, an evangelist is a proclaimer of the gospel or good news, as well as 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), like 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. Thereafter, the Spirit again sent Philip on a mission, this time 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 distinct 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, but also developed the congregations after they were established. The full-time evangelists were more of a missionary, being stationed in certain areas to grow and develop congregations. In addition, if we look at all of the apostles and the evangelists, plus Paul’s more than one hundred traveling companions, and it seems very unlikely that they could have had Christianity at over one million by the 125 C.E. This 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 are obligated to 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 seeds, which were initially rejected, so he was left in a good way because the planter did not try to force the truth down his throat. However, some time later he faces something in life that moves him to reconsider those seeds and some other Christian waters what had already been planted. This evangelism can be carried out in all of the methods that are available: informal, house-to-house, street, phone, the internet, and the like. What amount of time is 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 Savior and being baptized. Once the unbeliever has become a believer, he is still developed until he has become strong. Any Christian could potentially carry this one person through all of the developmental stages. On the other hand, it may be that several have some part. It is like a person that specializes in a certain aspect of a job but is aware of all the other aspects, in case he is called on to carry out that aspect. Again, each Christian must decide for themselves what role they are to have, and how much of a role, but should be prepared to fill any role needed.
Part-Time or Full-Time Evangelist is one who 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 help as well. This person is well trained in every aspect of bringing one to Christ.
Congregation Evangelists should be very 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 church could not have many within, who have the calling of an evangelist, which would and should be cultivated.
Jesus Set the Example
Christians today should be seeking to walk in the steps of their exemplar, Jesus Christ. Yes, we have been called, so that we might follow in Jesus’ steps.
1 Peter 2:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
Luke 4:17-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
A survey of the Gospels indicates that Jesus’ publishing program–via his traveling throughout Galilee and Judea and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom–was extensive and effective. Thousands and thousands of people heard the word from Jesus himself. In ancient times, the method of oral publication was far more effective than written publication. Books were expensive to make, and many people did not read. Most relied on oral proclamation and aural reception to receive messages. Indeed, most education was based upon oral delivery and aural reception/memorization to transmit texts. Thus, Jesus taught his disciples orally, and they committed his teachings to memory. When it came time, several years later, for the disciples to put these teachings into writing, they were aided by the Holy Spirit, who would remind the disciples of all that Jesus had taught them (John 14:26). Jesus’ disciples, commissioned by him, continued the same publishing work after Jesus’ death and resurrection. This publishing is known as the kerygma (Greek for “proclamation”). The word kerygma is taken straight from a well-known practice in ancient times. A king publicized his decrees throughout his empire by means of a kerux (a town crier or herald). This person, who often served as a close confidant of the king, would travel throughout the realm, announcing to the people whatever the king wished to make known. In English, we known him as a herald. Each New Testament disciple considered himself or herself to be like the kerux—a herald and publisher of the Good News.
Yes, Jesus was an evangelizer, and he trained hundreds of evangelizers throughout his three and half years of ministry. “He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom.” (Matthew 4:23) Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:37-38) The apostles set up Christian congregations, with every Christian following the footsteps of Christ, to be an evangelizer.
Please Support the Bible Translation Work for the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
There is nothing, wrong with helping our neighbor deal with the social ills of the world, or taking some time to support a political candidate that we hope will implement laws that will allow for the greater work of evangelizing. However, Christianity on some levels has become a social institution, working night and day to save the world of humankind that is alienated from God, which has diverted them from the lifesaving work of being an evangelist. While we are citizens of this world, and of the country that we live in, our true Kingdom is the Kingdom of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Below we will quote the Holman Illustrate Bible Dictionary at length, to understand and appreciate what the Kingdom of God is.
In the NT, the fullest revelation of God’s divine rule is in the person of Jesus Christ. His birth was heralded as the birth of a king (Luke 1:32–33). The ministry of John the Baptist prepared for the coming of God’s kingdom (Matt. 3:2). The crucifixion was perceived as the death of a king (Mark 15:26–32).
Jesus preached that God’s kingdom was at hand (Matt. 11:12). His miracles, preaching, forgiving sins, and resurrection are an in-breaking of God’s sovereign rule in this dark, evil age.
God’s kingdom was manifested in the church. Jesus commissioned the making of disciples on the basis of His kingly authority (Matt. 28:18–20). Peter’s sermon at Pentecost underscored that a descendent of David would occupy David’s throne forever, a promise fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:30–32). Believers are transferred from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God (Col. 1:13).
God’s kingdom may be understood in terms of “reign” or “realm.” Reign conveys the fact that God exerts His divine authority over His subjects/kingdom. Realm suggests location, and God’s realm is universal. God’s reign extends over all things. He is universally sovereign over the nations, humankind, the angels, the dominion of darkness and its inhabitants, and even the cosmos, individual believers, and the church.
In the OT, the kingdom of God encompasses the past, present, and future. The kingdom of God had implications in the theocratic state. The kingdom of God is “already” present but “not yet” fully completed, both a present and future reality. The kingdom was inaugurated in the incarnation, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God’s kingdom blessings are in some measure possessed now. People presently find and enter God’s kingdom. God is now manifesting His authoritative rule in the lives of His people. God’s kingdom, however, awaits its complete realization. His people still endure sufferings and tribulations. When fully consummated, hardships will cease. Kingdom citizens currently dwell alongside inhabitants of the kingdom of darkness. God will eventually dispel all darkness. The final inheritance of the citizens of God’s kingdom is yet to be fully realized. The resurrection body for life in the eschatological kingdom is a blessing awaiting culmination.
God’s kingdom is soteriological in nature, expressed in the redemption of fallen persons. The reign of Christ instituted the destruction of all evil powers hostile to the will of God. Satan, the “god of this age,” along with his demonic horde, seeks to hold the hearts of people captive in darkness. Christ has defeated Satan and the powers of darkness and delivers believers. Although Satan still is active in this present darkness, his ultimate conquest and destruction are assured through Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Sinners enter Christ’s kingdom through regeneration.
Many of Jesus’ parables emphasize the mysterious nature of God’s kingdom. For example, an insignificant mustard seed will grow a tree, as God’s kingdom will grow far beyond its inception (Matt. 13:31–32). The kingdom of God is like seed scattered on the ground. Some seed will fall on good soil, take root, and grow. Other seed, however, will fall on hard, rocky ground and will not grow. Likewise, the kingdom will take root in the hearts of some but will be rejected and unfruitful in others (Matt. 13:3–8). As wheat and tares grow side by side, indistinguishable from each other, so also the sons of the kingdom of God and the sons of the kingdom of darkness grow together in the world until ultimately separated by God (Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43).
Although closely related, the kingdom and the church are distinct. George Eldon Ladd identified four elements in the relationship of the kingdom of God to the church. The kingdom of God creates the church. God’s redemptive rule is manifested over and through the church. The church is a “custodian” of the kingdom. The church also witnesses to God’s divine rule.
The kingdom of God is the work of God, not produced by human ingenuity. God brought it into the world through Jesus Christ, and it presently works through the church. The church preaches the kingdom of God and anticipates the eventual consummation.
The last sentence of our quote says in part, “the church preaches the kingdom of God.” This has not been the case for almost 2,000 years. Today, the church preaches from the pulpit to those that are already Christian, as well as those, who happen into the church.
Romans 10:13-17 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 For “everyone who calls on [through worship and prayer] the name of the Lord will be saved.”
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 are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
10:14b. Faith requires hearing. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? More than anything else, this question is the crux of all missiological activity since the first century. God has ordained that people must hear (or read, or otherwise understand the content of) the word of God in order to be saved. One who knows the gospel must communicate it to one who does not know it.
Yes, missionaries have been sent out throughout the last few centuries, but this is not the first-century way, it is the way of the last few centuries. However, over the last few decades, many trained in missions have come to realize the error of their ways. They have tried to grow the church by going outside of their community, to grow it back to their community. The other alternative was to grow from their community out to the rest of the world. The objective of sinking time, energy and finances into just a select few (missionaries), believing they were going to get the Great Commission accomplished. Of late, we hear much about having missionary churches that evangelize their own community, with their own members.
10:14c. Hearing requires preaching. And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Since no other media except the human voice was of practical value in spreading the gospel in the first century, preaching is Paul’s method of choice. And yet, in the media-rich day in which we minister, has anything replaced preaching as the most effective way to communicate the gospel? We thank God for the printed page, and even for cutting-edge presentations of the gospel circling the globe on the internet. But it is still the human voice that cracks with passion, the human eye that wells with tears of gratitude, and the human frame that shuffles to the podium, bent from a lifetime of service to the gospel, which reaches the needy human heart most readily. Hearing may not require preaching in person today, but it always benefits from it.
This author agrees with the Holman commentary that modern technology is great, but there is but one-way to reach “the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matt. 24:14). Yes, it is the human voice, but not as the Holman Commentary suggests with one man walking to a podium to preach, but for hundreds of millions to take to their communities, trained to preach (herald, proclaim) the message, and to teach what they had been taught “to one who does not know it.” Most will be a part-time evangelist, in that they have the skills to deal with opportunities that present themselves, but also spend a few hours a month being more officially involved with an evangelism church program. A smaller number, those called to be evangelists in the stricter sense of the word, should serve as full-time evangelists within their community.
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist (persuading people to become Christian), while preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they are able to grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith , defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. However, some Christians feel that apologetics is not biblical. They say that our only obligation is to share the basic gospel (Jesus life and ministry, his ransom sacrificial death, his resurrection and ascension) and leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit.
While that may sound like the easy route to take, we must entertain Jesus’ words and take them to heart. He said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21) The key here is that our obligation as slaves of Christ is to do the “will of the Father.” What happens to those who felt like they were doing the “will of the Father” but were not? Jesus said in verse 23, “I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” The apostle John touched on this all-important point as well. He said, “The one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17) Therefore, it might be beneficial to look at the example that Jesus and the apostles set.
Jesus did not just state what the good news of the kingdom and then sit back waiting for the Holy Spirit to do the rest. No, Jesus appealed to the Moses and prophets of old. By doing so, he was using apologetics, i.e., offering a reasonable and sensible basis for accepting him as the long-awaited Messiah. In essence, his offering such evidence would shut down any critics, and give reasons for hope to those with a receptive heart.
Luke 24:25-27 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
25 And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning from Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Jesus is doing apologetics in his sharing the good news. He is using the Hebrew Scriptures, as evidence of what he is saying is so. In other words, he is reasoning from the Scriptures.
John 14:10-11 Updated American Standard Version (RSV)
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves.
Here, again, Jesus is carrying out apologetics, as opposed to just saying, ‘I came to give my life as a ransom for many.’ He is using the miracles as evidence that he is the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus was using evidence to establish something as true. He offered a reasonable and sensible basis for accepting he had come to offer his life as a ransom, defending against objects to the contrary. This is reasoning, explaining, and proving, as he instructs them in the good news of the kingdom, having to overturn their false reasoning that the coming king would be like the one that the Jewish leaders described.
What about the apostles, did they also use apologetics? William Lane Craig says that we need to look at “Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost recorded in the second chapter of Acts. In verse 22, he appeals to Jesus’ miracles. In verses 25–31 he appeals to fulfilled prophecy. In verse 32, he appeals to Christ’s resurrection. By means of these arguments, the apostles sought to show their fellow Jews that Christianity is true.” Then, we have the apostle Paul, who set an example like no other.
Acts 17:1-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
Clearly, when we consider the Gospels, all Jesus said therein comes to about a three to four-hour talk, and he quoted or referred to over 120 Scriptures. Of course, in a three and a half year ministry, Jesus said far more than that, but it gives us insight into how much the Son of God himself depended on Scripture. The apostle Paul is one of the greatest Christian teachers of all time. At a synagogue of the Jews in Thessalonica, “according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.’” – Acts 17:1-3.
What was the result of Paul’s “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving”? The account says, “Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.” – Acts 17:4.
While we can proclaim and teach anything that is within the Scriptures, what should be our primary message? Since we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we might consider his commission. On one occasion, Jesus “departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and they tried to keep him from going away from them. But he said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” – Luke 4:43.
In fact, in reference to the last days, Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14.
Returning to the apostle Paul, we see this was an emphasis in his proclaiming and teaching. Here again, Paul “entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. When Paul was in Rome, “they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers; and he expounded to them, testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning till evening.” For two whole years in Rome, Paul was “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” – Acts 19:8; 28:23, 31.
[Jesus] reminded them in John 20:20 of his crucifixion: “He showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” Then he reminded them again about his peace in verse 21. Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” Jesus proclaimed peace, reminded them of his crucifixion, pronounced peace again, and then told them, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20: 21). With that one command, Jesus announced two thousand years of direction for the church, still in effect for the churches of today, even your church. He proclaimed that we are sent. The church is, and you are individually, God’s missionary to the world. Your church is God’s instrument to reach the world, and it includes reaching your community. We are sent on mission by God. We are to be a missions-centered church by calling, nature, and choice. We are called to be on mission in our community. We have been sent to be on mission in our context, and we must accept that call, that directive to be on mission where God has placed us, not five, not fifty, not five hundred years ago and not thirty miles away, not three hundred miles away, not three thousand miles away. We are exhorted to be on mission where God has placed us now, and our job is to [evangelize] wherever we are.
Yes, the Great Commission was an assignment given to all Christians, which starts right in our own backyard. We can effectively evangelize the world if we do it one community at a time, starting with our community.
Matthew 28:19-20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations … teaching them … I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In the Greek, the words for “all nations” are panta ta ethnē. We get our English word ethnic from the Greek word ethnē. When we hear (or read) Jesus’ command to “go to all nations,” we think countries. But when Jesus spoke those words, there were no countries as we understand them today. The nation-state is an invention of the modern era. In Jesus’ day, there were groups of people, and there were empires. Jesus’ instructions mean that we must go to all the people groups in the world. The Jewish disciples of that day knew that Jesus was speaking about the Gentiles. The gospel was to go beyond the Jewish nation. But they also thought of Phoenicians, Macedonians, Greeks, Romans, and others Jesus did not use the word for empires like the Roman Empire, the Persian, or the Greek. Jesus used the word for peoples, and the Jews knew this meant all the different kinds of Gentiles. It meant to go to all the different kinds of people that existed. This is still God’s plan today. In today’s world, we have to remember that we are still sent … to all different kinds of peoples. The word peoples represents every ethno-linguistic people group around the world, all the different ethnicities present in our cities, and even the different generations that live in our communities.
Who all were involved in the evangelism work of the first-century? The evidence is all too clear that Jesus set the example for the apostles. Jesus had said that they would do a work greater than his, meaning that his ministry would only last three and a half years, while theirs would run for decades. In the end, all Christians were evangelizing their communities, with a select few, taking the message everywhere. By the beginning of the first century, there were over one million Christians. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the speaking in tongues, that is, a foreign language, accomplished this miraculous growth.
Acts 1:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 All these with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Acts 2:1, 4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 When the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled, they were all together in one place. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 “‘And it shall be in the last days, God says,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,*
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams; (See Joel 2:28-29)
* The Greek behind the word “prophecy” here does not carry the meaning of “prediction,” or “foretelling,” (Gr., propheteuo), but literally means “a speaker out [Gr., pro, “before” or “in front of,” and phemi, “say”]” and thus describes a proclaimer, one who proclaims messages of God. That is, namely “to proclaim an inspired revelation, prophesy … Acts 2:17f; John 3:1; 19:6; 21:9; 1 Cor, 11:4f …; 13:9; 14:1, 3–5, 24, 31, 39; Rev. 11:3 …
Therefore, prediction, or foretelling, is not the primary meaning conveyed by the root verbs in the original languages (Heb., nava; Gr., propheteuo). All, who proclaim the Word of God to another are prophesying, i.e., proclaiming the inspired, inerrant Word.
Thus, in the first century, both Christian men and women prophesied the good news of the kingdom, as well as other revealed biblical truths. Moreover, going into the second century, many would have the twenty New Testament books to share as well.
Matthew 24:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
In reading dozens of books on missions and evangelism, I have seen focus on the proclaiming, but the bigger question has not received much attention. An important question that many are not asking is, “What gospel is going to be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth. There are 41,000 different Christian denominations, all of which hold different doctrinal views, some of which even contradictions others, and yes, even salvation doctrines, so, which is to be proclaimed?
Acts 1:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in both Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the extremity of the earth.”
The prophecy of Jesus that the Good News would be “proclaimed throughout the [then known] whole world to all the nations [peoples], and then the end will come,” was applicable to them, and was carried out. The “nations” (Gr., ethnē), means the same as it does at Matthew 28:19, where we are commanded to “make disciples of all nations.” The first-century Christians made disciples of all nations (the peoples), in all of the then known world, before the end came for the natural nation of Israel, as the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 C.E., killing over a million Jews, and taking hundreds of thousands captive. The apostle Paul wrote the Christians in Colossae about ten years earlier, 60 C.E, commenting on the spread of Christianity
Colossians 1:23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
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First-Century Christian Worship and the Truth
The early Christians met in congregations, which for many of them, were private homes, to take in the truth. (Rom. 16:3-5) The book of Hebrews tells us some of what took place at these meetings. They were there, in part, to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24-25) Tertullian of the late second, early third century (c.155–after 220 C.E.), wrote, “We meet to read the books of God … In any case, with those holy words we feed our faith, we lift up our hope, we confirm our confidence.” In order to become a Christian, certain requirements had to be met, as we can see from the Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity,
As before, people who converted to Christianity were baptized. First, however, the new believer would be properly instructed in the beliefs and practices of Christianity. These ‘beginner’ Christians were the ‘catechumens’ (from the Greek meaning ‘oral handing down’, that is, teaching by word of mouth) and the way in which they were instructed developed as time went on. In the First apology, published in the middle of the second century, the Christian writer Justin Martyr (c. 100-165) gives us a valuable insight into how people were admitted into the church in Rome:
As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water.
Thus, there were clear requirements before someone could be baptized, such as education of basic doctrinal beliefs, praying, fasting, and a commitment to live a moral life and an understanding of Christian beliefs. These new believers were discovered by taking the message into the community. Then, they were taught to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. They were then organized into Christian congregations. These same disciples (learners) were trained to make more disciples in the same way, preaching the Good News, and sharing the basic doctrinal beliefs.
Note the introduction in Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians,
2 Corinthians 1:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints [holy ones] who are throughout Achaia:
Clearly, Paul is speaking to all Christians in Corinth and Achaia, not just those taking the lead within the Christian Congregation. All Christians are being addressed, which pertains to the evangelism of biblical truths, as Paul went on to write, “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart … Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God … giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses.”– 2 Corinthians 4:1; 5:18-20; 6:3-4.
A ministry (diakonia) is a service to others on God’s behalf. God had called Paul to be an instrument of reconciliation; his life was devoted to making peace between God and humanity through the preaching of the gospel … Paul’s role in the divine plan of reconciliation led him to a remarkable claim. He and his company were Christ’s ambassadors. “Ambassadors” was a technical political term used in Paul’s day that closely parallels our English word “ambassadors.” An ambassador represented a nation or kingdom in communication with other nations. Paul had in mind his apostolic call to represent the kingdom of Christ to the nations of the earth. Ambassadors held positions of great honor in the ancient world because they represented the authority of the kings on whose behalf they spoke.
This was also true for Paul as the ambassador of Christ. When he spoke the message of reconciliation, it was as though God were making his appeal through him. Rather than speaking directly to the nations of earth, God ordained that human spokespersons would speak for him. As an apostle, Paul had authority to lead and guide the church (2 Cor. 13:3, 10). Yet, this description applies to all who bear the gospel of Christ to others—even to those who do not bear apostolic authority (1 Pet. 4:11). Though we may not present the gospel as perfectly as Paul did, we do speak on God’s behalf when we bring the message of grace to others. But Paul and his company were to be received as mouthpieces of God in the most authoritative sense. (Pratt Jr 2000, pp. 359-60)
There is a reason why Christians are given the role of speaking on God’s behalf. What reason would that be? The world of mankind is “being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” Eph. 4:18) Our ministry of reconciliation is to be a spokesperson on God’s behalf offering a message of grace to those who have receptive hearts. We are giving them an opportunity to “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We speak in behalf of God, so that they may also ‘be declared righteous, obtaining access through Him by faith into this grace in which they stand, and they rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:1-2) Note the introduction in Paul’s counsel to the Christians in Rome,
Romans 1:7-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 to all those who are in Rome as beloved ones of God, called to be holy ones: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ concerning all of you, because your faith is being proclaimed in the whole world.
Clearly, Paul is speaking to all Christians in Rome, not just those taking the lead within the Christian Congregation. All Christians are being addressed, which pertains to the evangelism of biblical truths, as Paul went on to write,
Romans 10:8-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith which we are proclaiming, 9 that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.
The privilege of preaching the word of faith is open to all. In fact, he reinforced his argument by adding,
Romans 10:14-15 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? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”
“The word of faith is not a word in the literal sense, but is a “message”—essentially a condensed summary of the gospel. It is the message that a person must receive in order to become a Christian.” (Boa and Kruidenier 2000, p. 311) All Christians should find joy in the privilege of preaching the word of faith, resulting in salvation for some. While Paul is speaking of himself here, we should want to have that same mental disposition for whatever role we may play in speaking on God’s behalf. Paul wrote, “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.” (1 Cor. 9:16, NASB) May we all have an active Christian ministry as spokesperson on God’s behalf?
At times, people will ask us questions and we may not have an impromptu answer. Someone just asked you, were Adam and Eve not purely allegorical (fictional) persons? How would you respond? If you have no ready answer, research whether Adam and Eve were actual historical people, and then share the answer with at least one friend.
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Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
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Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change.
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Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. 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. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? 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.
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis-Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars …
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Islam is making a significant mark in our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers …
…IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and isdestructive in its very nature . Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively …
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on…
God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which 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, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …
…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, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …
…The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Translation and Textual Criticism
…THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …
…THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. …
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.
Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart. For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 See J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979), pages 37-57.
 Whitney, Donald S. (2012-01-05). Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life with Bonus Content (Pilgrimage Growth Guide) (p. 100-101). Navpress.
 Or in the whole world
 Or “Your God Reigns!”
 Or wicked
 Romans 10:15 : Cited from Isa. 52:7; [Nah. 1:15; Eph. 6:15]
 The grammatical construction of pisteuo “believe” followed by eis “into” plus the accusative causing a different shade of meaning, having faith into Jesus.
 The grammatical construction of pisteuo “believe” followed by eis “into” plus the accusative causing a different shade of meaning, having faith into Jesus.
 Lit he will tabernacle
 Some mss peoples
 One early ms and be their God
 Philip Comfort, Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 2.
 Stan Norman with Gentry Peter, “Kingdom of God,” ed. Chad Brand, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 988–989.
 Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 314.
 Ibid., 314.
 Craig, William Lane (2010-03-01). On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Kindle Locations 175-177). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.
 Or in the whole world
 Putman, David; Ed Stetzer (2006-05-01). Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community (pp. 30-31). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.
 Putman, David; Ed Stetzer (2006-05-01). Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community (p. 34). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition
 Or languages
 Or enable them to speak
 William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 890.
 Or in the whole world
 Christianity had spread from Jerusalem to Rome, Macedonia, Greece, Asia, Bithynia, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Pamphylia, Syria, Cyprus, Crete, Babylon, Persian Gulf, Spain, Italy, Malta, Illyricum, Media, Parthia, Elam Arabia, Cyrene, Libya, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
 Dates of events before the Common Era (Also known as AD) are marked by the abbreviation B.C.E. Dates of events during the Common Era are marked by the abbreviation C.E.
 Thomas C. Oden, Ministry Through Word and Sacrament, Classic Pastoral Care, 59 (New York: Crossroad, 1989).
 Jonathan Hill, Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity, 46 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006).
 Justin Martyr, “The First Apology of Justin”, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleveland Coxe, 183 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885).
 Or because
 Lit into righteousness
 Lit into salvation