Christian Essentials, Evangelism & Apologetics

What does the Bible teach about… evangelism?

“19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19-20 NASB)

“44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47 NASB)

“but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASB)

“14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS !”” (Romans 10:14-15 NASB)

“2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4 NASB)

These are some of the many Scriptures that instruct us on evangelism.  What does the word evangelism mean?  Evangelism is a theological word which means “to preach the gospel message”. The gospel message is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath, God come in the flesh, Savior, King, Lord, and that He came to give His life for mankind so that whosoever puts their trust in Him will have eternal life. Evangelism is preaching that message to people so that they will come to know Jesus and be saved from the sin that separates them from God.  This responsibility is given to Christians, those who are followers of Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures above teach us what true evangelism is:

  1. According to Matthew 28:19-20 Christians are to go and make disciples of all nations.  This was not a suggestion but a command!  Making disciples means discussing what Jesus taught, going through the Scriptures, and establishing relationships.  This takes work, it takes time, and it is done through verbal communication.
  2. According to Luke 24:44-47 Jesus is the Christ, and this was the message that the disciples were to go and preach to all nations.  They were to go and share that Jesus was the Savior, that Jesus died and rose again according to the Scriptures, and that true forgiveness was found in Him.  Through their evangelism the world has heard the message of Jesus, both then and now.  The message of Jesus is to be shared, seen and lived, and through the message of Jesus people will be saved from sin.  That is what evangelism is all about!
  3. According to Acts 1:8 those who are witnesses of Jesus are to go to all the world sharing His message.  One of the great things about missionaries today is that they are going all over the world.  A problem is being overlooked in many places today, that is, evangelism within our own areas.  Many people want to go outside of where they live and neglect the mission field in their homes, neighborhoods, work environment, etc.  True evangelism is sharing Jesus where-ever we are at.
  4. According to Romans 10:14-15: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?”  These are good questions Paul raises.  I do not believe Paul meant that people will only hear or learn about Jesus by evangelism.  The reason that I say that is because God is God and His message can be revealed to us by angel, His Spirit, Jesus, and His Word.  The point that Paul is making is, faith comes by hearing, meaning that it is through the gospel message being revealed that a person can be saved.  Evangelism is very important, and the reason for the early Church exploding with converts was the outreach ministry through the first followers of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:22-47, Acts 10:34-48, 1 Corinthians 9:19-27, 2 Timothy 3:10-17, 2 Peter 1:16-21, 1 John 1:1-4, 1 John 5:13, Jude 3)
  5. According to 2 Timothy 4:2-4 Paul gives insights on evangelism.  This was written to a young man named Timothy but surely applies to Christians.  Paul states we are to preach the Word, this is a command not a suggestion!  Paul states that we are to be ready in season and out of season when sharing the faith.  This means that we are to know what we believe and be prepared on how to respond to people.  Many people today are lazy, having a couch-potato attitude which is wrong.  Many non-Christians go daily knocking on people’s doors and going from place to place sharing what they believe. What can we learn from them? How many of us do what non-Christians do everyday?  And when a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon comes to your home, do you send them away without evangelizing them with the good news of Jesus Christ?  Do you contend for the faith?  These questions are not for new Christians but those who are mature in the faith.  New Christians are to be witnesses for Jesus, but it is very important for new converts to be discipled and grounded in the faith before encountering non-Christian Cults such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.

The Bible teaches that evangelism is sharing the message of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world in need of a Savior.  A statement by the late Dr. Walter Martin, who was a Christian apologist for the faith said the following:  “Are we willing to do for the truth what the Cults do for a lie?”  Are you truly following the Lord Jesus Christ?  Are you obeying what Jesus taught and the Apostles?  Is evangelism a part of your life?  These are questions you need to answer yourselves.  If have any comments or questions please let us know.

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