“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. Last week I did a post on “The Divine Intervention Show”, a take-off on the show “Intervention” about drug and alcohol addicts that are facing death if they don’t get help from intervention specialists to overcome their addictions. The Divine Intervention Show, on the other hand, would be about people facing spiritual death if they don’t get help from divine intervention specialists filled with God’s Holy Spirit, leading them to give their lives to Jesus.
Now I’m back to the seven-post series about evangelism questions to try to shed a bright light on some very important specifics to introduce Jesus to unsaved family members, friends, and others. My first post is entitled, “Evangelism Question 1: Bible Examples.” I want us to look at key Bible, or scriptural examples of what evangelism is all about.
First, let’s define evangelism:
- The Cambridge Dictionary defines evangelism as “the activity of persuading people to become Christians, often by traveling around and telling people about your beliefs”. A pertinent Bible verse explaining evangelism is found in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Therefore since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people.” This Bible verse doesn’t use the exact word evangelism, but it clearly defines it by using the phrase, “persuade people”.
- The Cambridge Dictionary defines an evangelist as “a person who tries to persuade people to become Christians, often by traveling around and organizing religious meetings”. So, evangelism is “the ACTIVITY of persuading people” . . . and an evangelist is “the PERSON who tries to persuade people to become Christians.
- Ephesians 4:11 talks about the ministries of Jesus, including using the specific term “evangelist”. Here it is: “And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” Paul specifically used the term “evangelist”.
- “Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” I know that quote isn’t directly taken from the Bible . . . but isn’t it the very essence of evangelism . . . “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread?”
Please, please recognize the power we have as Christians when we are filled with the Holy Spirit as were the disciples in Acts! I realize that a couple places in Acts have examples of people speaking in tongues . . . and there are groups of people that emphasize speaking in tongues as being the catalyst by which all Holy Spirit power is manifested. But the filling and power of the Holy Spirit doesn’t come exclusively to those who speak in tongues. Let’s look at tongues just a little bit to clarify:
- Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:4: “The person who speaks in another tongue builds himself up.” So, tongues are generally to build a person up in his or her personal faith.
- Paul then wrote in verse 39, “do not forbid speaking in other tongues.”
- BUT, Paul wrote in verse 19 about public church gatherings, “I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others, than ten thousand words in another tongue.”
- So, I think it’s safe to say that tongues can serve a purpose, just like many other Bible-based practices. Tongues can never, however, be the foundation piece that we stand on to be able to do evangelism.
- First, the Holy Spirit’s power comes inside us immediately when we confess and turn from our sins, and do as Paul wrote in Romans10:9, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- Second, the Holy Spirit’s power comes to each of us after we commit our lives to Christ, and each of us is now a “temple” of God, filled with His Holy Spirit.
- In 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul states emphatically to Christians, “Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in You?” God’s temple isn’t just the one in Jerusalem built by Solomon. And it’s definitely not the church structures where Christians meet. God’s temple is you and I, individually and collectively, where God’s great Holy Spirit power now resides.