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EvangelismThe Bible teaches that the ministry of evangelism is not just for those who are able to influence large crowds, and persuade them to believe. 2 Corinthians 11:6 says, "I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge." As we learn God's Word, we are being trained for evangelism. Most of us will have neither the ability nor the opportunity to sway large audiences, but God will still bring us opportunities to evangelism. Consider 2 Corinthians 4:13-18:
13 It is written: 'I believed; therefore I have spoken' With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
That's what you're doing as you're teaching every day. You're just speaking what you believe.
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead
will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
The power of Christianity is in the Resurrection.
15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people
may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Do not lose heart, even as your body ages away.
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Remember that our heavenly rewards will far outweigh our earthly troubles.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What is seen is material. What is unseen and eternal, is by faith.
Romans 15:20-22 says:
20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known,
so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written: 'Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.'
We should keep preaching the gospel to those who have never heard it.
Hebrews 12:3 says:
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Do not lose heart because of opposition. The Lord will fight for you. It's His battle, not yours.
Romans 10:13-15 says:
13 for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'
Your feet are beautiful, because of the good news of the gospel you bring.
Paul gives us a good example of evangelism at Mars Hill in Acts 17:16-34:
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
So, too, you and I are greatly distressed to see that our cities are full of idols. In Paul's day, these idols were often explicit graven images, but today our idols are more subtle. We idolize wealth and fame, the epitome of which is probably the popular TV show "American Idol."
17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
This is how we evangelize and preach--day by day, little by little, person by person. We teach whoever God puts in our path. We accept the opportunities that God gives us. We stick to God's program, not our own. Learning Bible doctrine is a lifetime endeavor.
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
Some people are very religious, yet their Gods are unknown and impersonal.
24 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.
Our God is the one true God. The temples he lives in are our own bodies.
25 And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
Wherever you live, it is by no accident that you live there. God has positioned you where He wants you, to influence the people that He has chosen for you to influence.
27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from each one of us. 28 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
We should have our very being in God.
29 Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill.
The Bible says that it is foolish to worship something we create. But to the lost, the gospel is foolish.
30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice
by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.
The power of Christianity is in the Resurrection.
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." 33 At that, Paul left the Council.
34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed.
Do not be disheartened. Some will sneer, but some will want to hear more. A few will believe. God's elect will believe. God be with you as you continue to evangelize and teach.
Owen Weber 2009