Here Are Some Don’ts Regarding Evangelism
Don’t wait for the gift of evangelism.
I have never claimed to have the spiritual gift of evangelism. The reason is not that I want to hide behind this as an excuse for not evangelizing. It is because there are no texts that identify evangelism as a spiritual gift (see).
Do a concordance study. Be sure to look at the original language (see). Neglecting to view the original language usage of terms in Scripture has caused great confusion in the church down through the centuries. God has now given the Body of Christ tools to overcome the confusion and to correct the errors that have been and still are being taught.
The truth is, every believer has, not the gift of evangelism, but the obligation to evangelize. But what does it mean to evangelize?
Don’t wait for the evangelists to do the work of evangelism.
Because of The Americanization of the Gospel, (see), the church has the false notion that evangelists are specially gift individuals who go around preaching to the lost. There are, to be sure, some individuals, such as Billy Graham, Louis Palau, and others whom God has used in mighty ways to bring individuals to Christ.
On several occasions, I heard it said that Billy Graham wished he spent more time one-to-one as his friend, Dawson Trotman founder of the Navigators, did. I cannot immediately verify from memory if this is correct. However, it is documented that Dr. Graham did ask Dawson Trotman to assist in establishing a follow-up strategy for his campaigns.[i]
The Biblical Concept of Evangelism
The term, evangelist, occurs only three times in the New Testament.[ii] In only one is an individual described as an evangelist. The other two refer to the work being performed. The root meaning, euaggelizo, is translated, preach, declare. There you go. That lets anyone not called to preach off the hook. Right? But don’t be too quick. It does not.
Think of what the term means. It means to share the gospel, i.e., the good news. Don’t you want to tell the good news of your salvation to others and encourage them in their walk with the Lord?
But what is the good news? In the context of 2 Timothy 4:5, the focus is on the need for the Word of God to be presented to believers who are turning away from sound doctrine to teachers who only tickle the ears. Again read The Americanization of the Gospel (see). Paul is expecting to be martyred soon. Timothy needs to keep on keeping on.
To Whom Do We Tell the Good News?
This gives the correct perspective on evangelism in our day. It is more for the church than the world. There is no doubt the church today is losing its influence in a dying world. Like the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, especially Sardis, it needs to wake up.[iii]
In my article, Are You a Paraklete? (see). I emphasize that we all are called to be encouragers. Isn’t this what Paul said was part of doing the work of an evangelist? The term, exhort, in 2 Tim 4:2 is parakaleo from which comes parakletos or paraklete. We are all to be parakletes. The work we are to do is to encourage.
The best and only resource we have is God’s Word. Anything else will be man’s doctrine or mere emotionalism. Only when God’s people turn to God’s Word and let it become the perfect law of liberty, The Royal Law, that is able to save the soul, will God’s people be truly encouraged and edified (see).
The commission God has given me in preparing this website is not to establish some kind of legacy for Doctor Jerry Back. My commission is to use my gifts to challenge you to get into the word for yourselves and then to pass the Word along so as to challenge others.
In the articles I present going forward, I will be showing you how you can do the work of an evangelist right from your own computer. There has never been a time in the history of the church when there has been a greater opportunity to do the work of an evangelist, i.e., you.
[ii] Acts 21:8; Eph 4:11; 2 Tim 4:5.
[iii] Rev. 3:1-6.