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Regardless of where we live in the world, in some way the evangelistic movement that Jesus Christ started and the apostle grew has affected your life. There are some 2.4 billion “Christians” out of a worldwide population of about 7.8 billion people. There are over 41,000 different denominations, all believing differently, and all claiming to be “Christian.” Warning, as if you did not know, not everyone who has maintained that they serve Christ has proclaimed the true message of God’s Word. Not all who claim to be evangelizers have been inspired with the same missionary zeal that was characteristic of the first-century disciples of Christ.
Sure, the churches have an estimated 430,000 full-time missionaries at work in the world today. The question that everyone is hesitant to ask is, just how many are true evangelizers? The Christian evangelism that Jesus started and the apostle grew was not meant to be a form of spiritual power used to influence countries through diplomacy or military force, where preachers have worked as representatives toward colonizing numerous countries. (See James 4:4.) Moreover, true Christian evangelism would not promote so-called liberation Theology and seek radical changes in the political and social systems. Moreover, Jesus would never condone these Bible-thumping preachers who mourn, cry, lament, and weep their version of “prosperity theology” on television and the internet. (John 17:16; Matthew 6:24) We must then ask, what is an evangelizer?
we look to the original languages of Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament to see that an evangelizer is a proclaimer of glad tidings or good news. What good news though? It is the good news that Jesus Christ brought and the apostles expounded on, that is, salvation, and the coming righteous rule of Jesus Christ, and of peace that can be found now and is coming. For example,
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!”
Moreover, at the birth of Jesus Christ, the angel announced to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) Thus, the good news focuses on Jesus Christ.
Some 30 years later, Jesus entered the synagogue in the city of Nazareth on the Sabbath day and stood up to read.
Luke 4:17-21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. And 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 release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
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.”
Luke 8:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God.
Jesus compared his evangelizing work to a harvest and said,
Matthew 9:36-38 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and thrown away, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”
We find an interesting fact in the book by Alan Richardson, A Theological Word Book of the Bible: “In the NT preaching has nothing to do with the delivery of sermons to the converted, which is what it usually means to-day, but always concerns the proclamation of the ‘good tidings of God’ to the non-Christian world.” Therefore, all Christians are evangelists of the Great Commission and they are to be evangelizers, and their evangelizing should not only be speaking to fellow believers.
But what is the point of our modern-day evangelism? Jesus foretold for our day that “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) And Jesus commanded that those of the first-century but also his future followers as well to be “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) We are to proclaim the word primarily to unbelievers, teaching them, so as to make disciples.’ – Matthew 28:19-20.
Thus, the core of today’s message for the Christian Evangelizer is the good news of God’s Kingdom in the hands of his Son and appointed Ruler, Jesus Christ, the Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) And it includes, of course, all that Jesus said and taught, but also all the biblical truths that we find from genesis 1 to Revelation 22. True evangelizers of today faithfully and accurately share God’s word.
In the first century Jesus founded Christianity, the apostle grew it to such an extent that in a mere 100 years they went from 120 disciples at Pentecost to one million Christians, in a world that only had 150 million people. Today we have a harvest field of 7.8 billion. The apostle John foretold that in the latter part of the last days that evangelizers would once more reap a great harvest. (Revelation 14:15-16) Christian Publishing House has been working tirelessly at this harvest work. It has been slow coming because we are inundated in a world of liberal to moderate Christianity, and as a conservative ministry, we have to not only find the unbeliever, persuade him of the truth, but we have to make every attempt to return those who have stumbled off of the path of salvation back into the fold of conservative Christianity.
A Deeper Dive Into Evangelism
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 Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? 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 that 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. It can also be earnestly contending for the faith and saving one from losing their faith, as they have begun to doubt. Moreover, it can involve rebuking those who contradict the truth. It is being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks the Christian evangelist for a reason for the hope that is in him or her. – Jude 1.3, 21-23; 1 Pet 3.15; Acts 17:2-3; Titus 1:9.
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: 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), as was true of 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 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, 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 seed, which was initially rejected, so he was left in a good way because the planter did not try to force the truth down his throat. However, later he faces something in life that moves him to reconsider those seeds and another Christian waters what had already been planted by the first Christian. This evangelism can be carried out in all of the methods that are available: informal, house-to-house, street, phone, 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 all are aware of the other aspects, in case they are called on to carry out that phase. 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 if 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 take on part-time or full-time evangelism within the congregation, which would and should be cultivated.
 The Greek verb for “bring good news,” or “evangelize,” (eu·ag·ge·liʹzo·mai) came to stand for the Hebrew word rendered ‘bring good news’ (bis·sarʹ) in Isaiah 52:7. The verb bis·sarʹ here means “to herald Yahweh’s universal victory over the world and his kingly rule” and the dawn of a new age, states The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. – Compare Nahum 1:15.
 Or “Your God Reigns!”
 Or a roll
 Or roll
 Or the gospel
 Or roll
 Throw: (Gr. rhiptō) The sense of rhiptō here in this context of Matthew 9:36 is to be thrown away, that is, to be rejected, making one feel dejected (sad or depressed) a sense of helplessness.
 Or in the whole world
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