Week 47 – Evangelism: A Caveman Could Do It
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
In the “Great Commission” Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make more disciples:
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always …’” (Matthew 28:18-19)
Although church statistics report many decisions for Christ, there are too few disciples (Luke 14:25-35;John 8:31-32, 15:16; Acts 11:26). The Greek word for disciple means a learner, a pupil, one taught or trained by use and practice. This word is used some 250 times in the Bible and almost always refers to those who follow Jesus. Just for comparison, the word “Christian” is used three times.
Disciple-making is the Lord’s pattern to win the world for Him. Dr. Robert E. Coleman wrote, “The great commission of Christ given to His church summed it up in the command to make disciples of every creature. The word here indicated that the disciples were to go out into the world and win others who would come to be what they themselves were – disciples of Christ” (The Master Plan of Evangelism).
The early church saw unprecedented growth as the Lord added to their number daily. Jesus foretold this growth, as they were obedient to fulfill the Great Commission through the empowering of His Spirit: “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8; Luke 11:28) As we show concern and share our faith with others, they often respond by wanting to know more about the gospel.
Responding to the call to evangelism is not as difficult as one may think. According to Luke 10:1-9, Jesus spoke strategic instruction to His disciples that can be applied by all, even those who do not have the gift of the evangelist.
“Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:1-9)
|Pray||Pray that we can labor (Matthew 9:35-38; Luke 10:2)|
|Bless||Speak life to those you are with (Luke 10:5)|
|Eat||Eat with them (Luke 10:7)|
|Minister / Share the Gospel||Pray and add value to them (Luke 10:9) and declare the kingdom (Luke 10:9)|
Oddly enough, evangelism in the New Testament is as simple as going into the home of a friend, having a meal, speaking (blessing) words of life, praying for their needs, and sharing the good news. Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Paul reminded Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist to fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
Evangelism begins with a heart for God and a love for your neighbor
Consider the motto of Moravian missionary movement: “To win for the Lamb that was slain the reward of His sufferings.” You do not need to be a published theologian to tell others about what God has done in your life. Just tell them your story. Without hearing, they cannot believe:
“How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher.” (Romans 10:14) Often, a simple gospel presentation about the basic truth of the gospel (sin, repentance, salvation) will plant seeds or convict, along with the Holy Spirit, of the need for salvation. For example, “the Roman Road,” presents passages from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans to show how one can get right with God.
- Romans 3:23 – all have sinned
- Romans 6:23 – all must die
- Romans 5:8 – Christ died for us that we might live
- Romans 10:9-10 – we must receive him by faith
In presenting the gospel, we may be concerned that our friend responds to God. We may also need to confront or say some difficult things. Sometimes it takes effort and thoughtfulness to be convincing (2 Corinthians 5:11). In all things however, we must have a spirit of “gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15)
There are many different ways to evangelize. Remember Jesus said we are like fishermen. Fishermen use different strategies for different fish. While the pure message of the gospel does not change, the methods do. Here are just a few examples:
- One-to-one sharing with those who are open to the gospel
- Friendship evangelism which is gradual and waits on the open door
- Open-air preaching
- Mercy ministries where good deeds open hearts to hear the message
- Multi-media outreaches where we invite people to events
- Creative arts and outreaches which show the beauty of God
- Healing ministries where the power of God is demonstrated
- Bible studies where lost people are invited to explore scripture
- Church services where the gospel is preached
- The God Test (http://www.thegodtest.org/)
God showed us in His Word that our preaching can bear amazing fruit. Christ died to save sinners: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) Through prayer and preaching the world can be changed by the power of the gospel.
Examples of Extraordinary Results from Evangelism
3,000 saved in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41)
Multitudes saved (Acts 5:14)
Whole cities impacted (Acts 8:6, 13:44)
The known world was evangelized (Acts 17:6; Colossians 1:6)
All nations and people groups reached for the Lord (Colossians 1:6)
- What is the Great Commission?
- What is the Lord’s pattern to win the world to Him? Name some methods of evangelism.
- How were you evangelized? Can you “go and do likewise”?