By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
What isn’t evangelism?
We need to know what evangelism is. Perhaps telling what it isn’t will help us know what it is. Evangelism is not converting others to our political views. It is not convincing others to join our our local church. It is not arguing for the supposed superiority of our denomination. It is not telling someone to quit drinking alcoholic beverages, to quit smoking tobacco (or something else), to quit gambling, to quit using profanity, or to quit some other bad habit.
What is evangelism?
Evangelism is making known to others the good news that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross in our place in order to pay the penalty of our sins. It involves telling them that the Lord was raised again from the dead. It involves telling them that he offers full and free forgiveness of sins to anyone who will believe on him as Savior and Lord. It involves telling them that no one can merit salvation by being good. It involves telling that this life is the only opportunity they have to be saved, and that death ends all further opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ. It involves telling them that if they die without having first believed in him, they will spend eternity in a horrible place called hell.
Evangelism in the Book Of Acts
The points just made can be verified by carefully reading the New Testament’s Book Of Acts. That book is a record of the evangelistic efforts of the Christians of the first century A. D. It can be verified, also, by reading other parts of the New Testament. But the Book Of Acts is key to the subject because it is a record of the theology behind evangelism worked out in the lives of others. In other words, it tells us of Christians being evangelistic.
Consider a few examples. We read in Acts 8 that Philip the evangelist had opportunity to evangelize people in a certain location, and it says in verse 5 that he “preached Christ unto them.” Later in Acts 8, we read that Philip had opportunity to evangelize one man.We are told that in doing so he “preached unto him Jesus.” One more example: We read in Acts 16 that a man asked two Christians (Paul and Silas) what he needed to do to be saved. Their answer was simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved……”
Pastors should be evangelistic
Even though pastors might not be gifted to be evangelists, they should be evangelistic. They can and should make the Gospel known through their sermons and Bible studies. They can and should at those times give non-Christians an opportunity to act on the Gospel message by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, And those persons should be given opportunity to make it known at once that they have accepted him as their Savior.
Pastors can and and should try and reach others with the Gospel outside of the church services. This can be done in a variety of ways and settings. But it can and should be done. Pastors should challenge their congregations to be involved in reaching others with the Gospel, and should set an example of doing so themselves.
Christians in general should be evangelistic.
Evangelism is not just the privilege and responsibility of pastors and evangelists. Every Christian should make effort to win others to faith in Jesus Christ. This can be done in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples: by speaking to others about salvation, by giving away Gospel tracts, by inviting non-Christians to church services and home Bible studies, at which they can hear the Gospel.
Living a good Christian life is not enough
Every Christian should seek to live a good Christian life, and with God’s help we can do so. But non-Christians need more than good examples to follow. They need the Gospel message to believe. A good example can prepare the way for non-Christians to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But we must not stop with a good example. We must give them the Gospel message.
Perhaps you are not a Christian
Perhaps you are not a Christian, but want to learn more about becoming one. If so, please click on the following link. It will tell you what you need to know. http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.htm