*WHAT IS EVANGELISM?*
The English word, “evangelism,” comes from the Greek word ”EUAGGELLION”: “good news”, it appears 77 times in the New Testament. ”EU” means good and ”aggellion” means message, it comes from ”aggelos” which means messenger. In English, the word ”gospel” comes from ”good spell” (”good word”).
In the verb form, ”EUAGGELIZO”, it means “to announce good news” or ”to evangelize”, it apears 55 times in the New Testament. At times this word is translated amplified as ”to preach good news” but technically ”to evangelize” is a literal and correct translation.
Here are some verses: Mat11:5, Luk1:19, 20:1; Acts5:42; 8:4,12,25,35,40; 10:36, 11:20, 13:32, 14:7; Rom1:15; 1Cor1:17; 2Cor10:16; Gal1:8-16; Eph2:17; 3:8; 1Th3:6; Heb4:2; 1Pet1:25,4:6; Rev10:7, 14:6 (this last verse says an angel will evangelize with a loud voice from heaven all over the world at some point after the rapture of the church).
*”KERUSSO”* from Greek means ”to preach”, to announce, to proclaim, to herald (as a public crier, as the habit was 2000 years ago, one sent by authorities to spread a message); it appears 61 times in the New Testament; some verses: Mat3:1, 4:17,23; 10:7; Mark1:4,14,38; Luke3:3, 8:39, 24:47; Acts8:5, 9:20; 20:25; Rom2:21; 10:8; 10:15; 1Cor1:23; 2Cor1:19; Gal2:2; Phil1:15; Col1:23; 1Thes2:9; 1Tim3:16; 2Tim4:2; 1Pet3:19; Rev5:2
*”KATAGGELLO”* means ”to proclaim down/unto”, it appears 17 times in the New Testament; some verses: Acts4:2, 13:5, 16:17; Rom1:8; 1Cor2:1; Phil1:16-18; Col1:28; 2Tim4:2; 1Pet3:19; Rev5:2.
”EUAGGELISTES” means ”evangelist” and the word is used three times in the New Testament: Acts21:8, where Philip is called ”evangelist”, Eph.4:11 in the list of spiritual gifts and 2Tim4:5 where the apostle Paul encourages Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. Certain men have a special gift of evangelism, but all Christians are called to witness for Jesus.
EVANGELISM is the announcement, proclamation, and/or preaching of the gospel (1Cor15:1-4), the good news of and about Jesus Christ. Therefore, the gospel is a communicated message – communicated in verbal (Luke7:22, Rom10:14-17) and/or written (Luke1:1-4) form.
Evangelism, the communication of the gospel message, includes a A WARNING, AN EXPLANATION AND A CALL:
—*WARNING* people about sin and the consequences of sin (Jn16:8, Acts24:25, Rev20:11-15). –*EXPLANATION* of God’s remedy for sin—the gospel (Acts 8:29-35, Rom3:21-26, 2 Cor.5:21)
—*CALL* to repent (”metanoia” means ”to change your thinking”, to turn from sin and to turn toward God; you can’t turn from sin without turning to God) and believe the gospel by faith (Mark1:15, Luke13:1-5, Acts17:29-31, Rom1:17, Rom10:9-13).
*There can be defined in 4 points or principles in evangelism:*
1. God loves you: Jn3:16
2. Man is sinful and thus separated from the holy God: Rom3:23; As much as the Gospel is a good news, it involves some bad news: we are sinners and God hates sin.
3. Jesus Christ is the only provision for our sin: Rom5:8, Jn14:6;
4. We must put our trust in Christ in order to receive the free gift of salvation: Jn1:12, Rom6:23, Eph2:8-9
*WHO SENDS THE EVANGELIST? JESUS!*
”Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING THEM … And I (JESUS) am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matt28:19,20
”You shall be WITNESSES UNTO ME…” Acts1:8
1Pet3:15: ”…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and BE READY ALWAYS TO GIVE AN ANSWER to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and respect”.
Eph6:15: ”your FEET shod with the PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL of peace”
2Cor5:18-21: ”And all things are of God, who hath RECONCILED us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION…” 2Cor5:20 ”Now then we are AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Mark1:16-18 ”…I will make you FISHERS OF MEN…”
Mat10:40 ”THE ONE WHO RECEIVES YOU, RECEIVES ME…”
If you want to trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, say the following words to God; saying these words will not save you, but trusting in Christ will; God is looking at your heart, not lips; this prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation: “God, I know that I have sinned against you and deserve punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”
*WHAT EVANGELISM IS NOT:*
*1. Evangelism is NOT DENOMINATIONAL RENEWAL*, reconstruction or even de-construction. Sometimes these are necessary to advance the cause of evangelism, but they are not evangelism. Denominations and ecclesiastical structures need occasional, healthy renewal but that is not evangelism. Many times newly planted churches are based on transfers from other churches. You can’t stop someone saved already from joining your church but you should aim at evangelizing the lost.
*2. Evangelism is NOT INVITING PEOPLE TO CHURCH OR TO AN EVANGELISTIC EVENT.* Inviting people to events is important, but it’s not evangelism – it is pre-evangelism. Many churches do not teach their people to evangelize, but they only invite people to a stadium for an evangelistic event. Some people would never go to an evangelistic event, but they might listen to their Christian co-worker or neighbor sharing the Gospel, seeing their changed (although not perfect) life.
*3. Evangelism is not IMPOSING OUR WILL OR BELIEFS on another person.* We make no apologies for attempting to persuasively make the case for Christianity. But in the end, only God can change the human heart. We dont force others to believe like us, as jihadi Muslims do.
*4. Evangelism is NOT PERSONAL TESTIMONY.* A personal testimony does not save a sinner. The gospel does. It’s quite right to support a gospel presentation with what the gospel has done in one’s life. Yet, we must never confuse the gospel itself with a personal testimony.
*5. Evangelism is NOT SOCIAL WORK OR POLITICAL involvement.* There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking social justice, feeding the homeless, clothing the naked, and addressing institutional-political injustices. However, social justice, food in a hungry belly, and a jacket on the back of a homeless man does not prepare that soul for eternity. Good deeds compliment or help the gospel enterprise; they do not replace it.
*6. Evangelism is NOT DOING APOLOGETICS TO WIN AN ARGUMENT.* Apologetics is a necessary part of the Christian mission. Apologetics can help answer questions and remove intellectual objections, but only the gospel of Jesus Christ can change the heart.
*7. Evangelism is NOT THE RESULTS of evangelism.* It is very easy to get caught up in NUMBERS in the church business. And numbers are important. Even Jesus told three successive stories involving numbers in Luke 15 – one lost sheep, one lost coin, and two lost sons. But souls are not notches in our belt or numbers on our denominational charts. ”One” represents a precious soul for whom Christ died. This means that we are to communicate the gospel REGARDLESS OF THE RESULTS – God alone takes care of the results. You are called to be faithful in spreading the Good News and to leave the results to God. If none answer positively, continue.
*8. Evangelism is NOT CHURCH PLANTING* Church planting is biblical and necessary. Many church plants succeed at a higher rate of growth than already established churches. But it’s not because of the magical words – church plant. The reason church plants grow fast for a season is because the believers of that new church have been reminded of the basics of one person sharing the good news with another person.
*9. Evangelism is not FRIENDSHIP EVANGELISM* some believe that in order to evangelize someone you need first to befriend them, gain their trust and only then evangelize them. However, one might die before you gain their trust… Evangelize them first, befriend them without compromising with their life-style and add your life testimony to your words. Read verses: 2Cor6:14-17, Eph5:11, Jam4:4.
…see part 2