#037 Do You Have The Gift of Evangelism?

Simply put, Evangelism is giving the gospel to an individual or a group of people; with the hope they will get saved. This includes witnessing, passing out tracts, open air preaching, etc. As with many Bible subjects there are opposing views on how this should be done, who should do it, or whether it should be done at all. What does the Bible actually say?


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S H O W     N O T E S

Do You Have the Gift of Evangelism?

Many of God’s people today are intrigued with the subject of Spiritual Gifts.  Often, they are interested in discovering their spiritual gifts, and I suppose that is a natural thing.

To be sure spiritual gifts are Scriptural.  They are however, often misunderstood and misinterpreted.  In Lesson #27, Steve did a good job in helping you to sort through the improper application of spiritual gifts, and if you have an interest in the subject, I recommend you listen to Lesson 27, “Fruits, Gifts, Signs”.

In regard to the subject at hand, today we want to examine the question, “Do You Have the Gift of Evangelism”.  Before delving into the question, let’s be sure you understand what I’m talking about.

Def. “evangelism” – Webster’s 1828 “The promulgation of the gospel.”

“promulgate” – Webster’s 1828 “To publish; to make known by open declaration…”

Webster immediately associates evangelism with the gospel.  In fact, the word “evangelize” comes from the Greek word for gospel.  That is a linguistic fact, not a textual argument one way or the other.

Simply put, Evangelism is giving the gospel to an individual or a group of people; with the hope they will get saved.

This includes witnessing, passing out tracts, open air preaching, etc.

As with many Bible subjects there are opposing views on how this should be done, who should do it, or whether it should be done at all.

  • Some believe it should only be done when the unsaved person brings up the subject.  These people subscribe to what’s called Lifestyle Evangelism.
  • Some people believe it shouldn’t be done at all because it’s offensive and people don’t want to hear it.
  • Some believe it’s only the preacher, pastor, missionary or evangelist’s job to witness.
  • Some believe evangelism is exclusively the work of those who have been gifted to do so by God.

Let’s look at each of these positions.

1.) Lifestyle evangelism  You just live the Christian life in front of people and wait for them to be impressed by the difference in your life and ask you about it.

A.) If that were the only way to evangelize, we would NEVER reach the world with the gospel!  For rarely does it happen this way.  It may happen, but people that get saved that way are by and large the exception and NOT the rule.

B) You CAN’T live the Christian life without witnessing!  In Psalms 71:15 the Psalmist said, “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.”

2) It shouldn’t be done at all  In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

3) We will answer the last two positions together.  They were,

It’s only the preacher, pastor, missionary or evangelist’s job     to witness; and, Evangelism is exclusively the work of those     who have been gifted to do so by God. 

This brings us to the essence of our title question.  Do You Have the Gift of Evangelism?

The implications of the question are:

a) If you do have the gift, you should evangelize, &

b) If you don’t have the gift of evangelism, you should leave evangelizing to others who are gifted in that area.

To answer the question we should first note one very important thing.

I. In all of the Bible references to spiritual gifts Evangelism is NEVER listed as one of the gifts.

Check it for yourself.  Read I Cor. 12:4-11 & I Cor. 12:28 & I Cor. 12:29-30.

I will enclose some additional comments on Eph. 4 in the show notes.*(See * at the end of the notes.)

II. If Evangelism was a gift, it would still be available to all that desire it.

I Cor. 14:1 tells us to “desire spiritual gifts”I Cor. 12:31 tells us to “covet earnestly the best gifts”.  If there were such a thing as the gift of evangelism, it would certainly be one of the best gifts, being able to give people the gospel so they can be saved from hell.

Now, again, this point is just hypothetical for it’s clear that evangelism is not a spiritual gift in the listing of the spiritual gifts in the Bible.

III You do NOT need a “Gift of Evangelism” because you have a Command of Evangelism.  As a matter of fact, you have several!

We have already considered Acts 1:8. How about Mark 16:15?

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

II Corinthians 5:17-20  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. {18} And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; {19} To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. {20} Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

IV It is, in fact, the responsibility of every Christian to witness!

  • Acts 8:1,4-5, 12, 25, 35, 40 – These verses show that it’s the job of every Christian to witness, not just the leaders of the church.
  • Eph. 6:10-15
  • Song 7:1a  “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter!”

Isaiah 52:7  “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

Romans 10:15  “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

  • Revelation 22:16-17  “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. {17} And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Are you part of the bride?  Are you reaching out to a lost and dying world and saying “Come. And… take the water of life freely”?

John 7:37 notes “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

How ‘bout you; are you following His example?

The apostle Paul said, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” Philippians 3:17

Here is his example in Romans 1:15-16

“So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. {16} For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Friends, DON’T be ashamed of Jesus and the gospel.

“Stand up stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross!

Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss!”

Let me give you 3 main reasons for witnessing:

1. For God

a.) Because He commands us to witness.  We have looked at a number of those commands.  This is reason enough to witness. He is God, we are His people, what He says goes!

b.) Because of our love and appreciation for what God has done for us. (II Cor. 5:14-15, 18-20).

2. For Others

a.) The Lost – When it came time for someone to fight Goliath, David said, “Is there not a cause?” He knew there was!  He didn’t worry about the fact that nobody else was doing it, he just got up and did what needed to be done!  One of the great causes for witnessing is that the majority of people on this earth are headed for hell and someone needs to tell them how to get saved! (Matt. 7:13-14) There are many ways to go to hell and only one way to go to heaven (Prov. 16:25; John 14:6).  People are constantly being pulled by the world like water draining into a sewer with no grate; and when they finally go down the drain they wind up in a devil’s hell.  Somebody needs to tell them before it’s too late!  (John 9:4)

b.) The Saved – By witnessing to the lost, you can also be an encouragement to the saved.  In your witnessing, you may encounter a saved person and be able to lead them to the assurance of their salvation and/or to a closer walk with the Lord.  They may not be attending a church and you can invite them to yours.

Additionally it often encourages other Christians in your church and in public, when they see someone else witnessing.  This may embolden them to be a witness also.

3. For Ourselves

a.) Witnessing stirs up the Holy Spirit inside the Christian for the Spirit desires to exalt Jesus (John 16:13-14).  When you get filled with the Spirit you get all the benefits of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

b.) As we said before, witnessing is also part of the Christian’s armour (Eph. 6:15).  It helps keep you protected from the adversary.  If you do not witness you do not have on the whole armour of God and you are more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.

Let me also say that every Christian has the capacity or ability to witness… They just need to turn it loose!

A. Give Your Testimony – If you don’t know how to tell them anything else, you can always tell them how you got saved.  Paul did this more than once in the book of Acts (Acts 22:1-16; 26:1-18).

B. You Can Bring Them to Someone Else Who Can Lead Them to the Lord – The woman at the well did this (John 4:28-30).

C. You Can Pass Out Gospel Tracts

In the parable of the sower the sower sowed the word of God (Mark 4:14).  In Isaiah 55:11 God promises that He will use His word to accomplish His purpose.  The word of God has the power to save the soul (James 1:21), and many people have been saved by reading gospel tracts and then calling upon the Lord for salvation.

D. Learn to Present the Plan of Salvation – Ultimately, you should learn how to be able to lead someone to the Lord yourself.  If you don’t do this, you will miss opportunities to help somebody get saved; and someone that you could have led to the Lord may instead never get saved and go to hell.

Learn the main points of the plan of salvation and at least one corresponding Scripture reference for each point.  For example:

1. ALL OF US ARE SINNERS – Rom. 3:23

2. GOD REQUIRES A PRICE BE PAID FOR SIN-Rom. 6:23

3. JESUS PAID THAT PRICE FOR US – Rom. 5:8

4. YOU MUST PERSONALLY REPENT & RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOUR – Acts 20:21; John 1:12

5. WOULD YOU LIKE TO ASK JESUS TO SAVE YOU? –

Rev. 3:20; Rom. 10:13

This will help you keep things in order in your mind so you will know what you are trying to establish with each point, and then, where to go next.  When you witness, explain each point clearly.  As you get comfortable with this, you will be able to add more Scriptures to support any given point.

*Try to go out witnessing with someone who knows how to lead a person to the Lord and learn from them.

The Opportunities for Witnessing

The opportunities and places for witnessing are as vast as the world and its population.  If you will pray and look for opportunities to witness, you will find them.  You can witness to relatives, friends, neighbors, workmates or classmates.   You can go up to someone you’ve never met before, engage them in a conversation and begin to witness.

A good way to turn a conversation to witnessing is by A.) passing out a tract; or B.) asking the person a simple question that can go something like this, “If you were to die today, are you 100 percent sure you would go to heaven?” If he is not, ask him if he’d like to know he was going to heaven?  If he would, ask him if you could take a moment and tell him.  If he says yes, go to it! Even if the person says no, you still might be able to keep the conversation going and get some witnessing done.  Even if you can’t get someone saved right there on the spot, you can plant a seed that might bring forth fruit at a later time (I Cor. 3:6).

In addition to witnessing whenever the opportunity arises, it was the practice of the early church to go out in an organized fashion.  Jesus sent out His disciples by twos providing us with a good example for organized witnessing (Mark 6:7 with Luke 9:1-2).  The apostle Paul in Acts 20:20 set another example for us when he declared he witnessed “publickly, and from house to house”.  One has only to look at the next verse (Acts 20:21) to find out what Paul was telling them on these occasions.

5. Continue Witnessing

Paul declares in Acts 26:22-23 that he continued witnessing.  In this day & age when many are criticizing Christians for witnessing for their Saviour, and many Christians are joining right in with their criticism and failing to be a witness themselves, let us not be discouraged, but let us “Stand up, stand up for Jesus!” Jesus said “A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel” (Matt. 5:14-16).  No let’s continue witnessing.  When we get to heaven we’ll be glad we did!  (Galatians 6:9)

II Timothy 1:7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Matthew 4:19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

How far have you followed the Lord?

——————————————-

*In Ephesians 4:8 we read, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”

Three verses later  in Eph. 4:11 it says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”

While those listed in v.11 may well be considered gifts to the church; in this context it was not directly for the evangelizing of the lost but according to Eph. 4:12 “For the perfecting of the saints…”

Eph. 4:12 said in whole “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

That is, the reason God gave evangelists, pastors and teachers was for the perfecting of the saints.

The saints were in turn to engage in the work of the ministry, which would in turn result in the body edifying itself.  Watch it 

Eph. 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

*That’s the perfecting of the saints.*

Eph. 4:15a “But speaking the truth in love,”

*That’s the work of the ministry.*

Eph. 4:15b-16 “…may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

*That’s the edifying of the body of Christ.*


2 Responses to “#037 Do You Have The Gift of Evangelism?”

  1. Art Pollard Says:

    Awww, now you jest left off from preachin’ an’ done gone to meddlin’!
    Thank you saints for the rebuke to get busy & not be weary in well doing.

    I look forward to these broadcasts via itunes and thank you all VERY much for your valuable time & effort in lifting up “the standard”. I, for one am very appreciative.
    As they say in gran’ma’s church; “The peace of The Lord be with you!”

    Keep on keepin’ on!
    Heb.10:37

  2. darling uzoma Says:

    will really love to get updates and get new teachings from you as the little i read strengthened me and has added to my teaching others. thanks a lot.

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