By Heath Jarrett
The following is a summary of points from our series on evangelism. May the Lord shape us by our message, equip us in gospel-sharing ministry, give us confidence in his saving power, and increase our compassion for the lost.
II Kings 5 – The Evangelist's Poise— The evangelist is prepared and poised to react with confidence in God and compassion for neighbors, even enemies, in difficult circumstances.
- God uses ordinary people to advance his kingdom.
- We must believe what God will do through his people even when we haven't seen it before (like the slave girl).
- God's people have to speak up for evangelism to progress.
- God's people must show concern for the welfare of others, even enemies.
- Christian character shines in adversity. We cannot allow circumstances or political conflict to override compassion.
- Our ears must be tuned to the Word of God. What does he actually say?
- Know that man's problem is more than physical. Man's problem is sin and its consequence is death.
- Know that man cannot heal himself. Money and prestige do not afford lasting comfort or healing.
- Recognize that God heals people physically and spiritually while they are still sinners with wrong motives, ignoring God.
- There is a very stern warning to those who are associated with the church but who are completely missing Christ. You can appear to be a believer but have a heart far from God.
I Thessalonians 1 – The Evangelist's Power— Evangelism's power is in the gospel, the Spirit, the transformed life.
Know our message — Understand the Bible's redemption story from cover to cover, focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Share your testimony — Your conversion story is news that should be shared widely.
Get training — To be effective in evangelism, we must be equipped. This requires commitment, consistency, and time.
Live out holiness — People are watching and talking about you. There must be integrity between your message and your life.
Follow a model — Learn from godly people in the context of everyday life. Imitate them as they imitate Christ.
Become an Example — Pass on the heritage. Don't just follow, become an example to others.
Accept suffering — The value of Christ makes suffering for him worth it.
Give thanks repeatedly — Prayer fuels evangelism. Remember the work of God in other regions and repeatedly thank Him for what he is doing.
Good news travels quickly. Our message is good news and people like to share good news.
Acts 26 – The Evangelist's Persuasion—Evangelists know and respect their audience, desire their salvation, and seek to persuade them with personal testimony that matches the Bible's gospel story line.
Opportunity — God provides many opportunities for us to witness to him, often with high stakes. Paul is more focused on the welfare of his hearers and the glory of Christ than his own defense.
Testimony — Our testimonies are opportunities to highlight the grace of God in the salvation of sinners.
Politics — We cannot discriminate who we share Christ with based on politics.
Respect — Respect for our audience is key to gaining a hearing for the gospel.
Questions — Ask questions to get to know our audience and to connect with them from an informed position.
Persuasion — God's sovereignty does not excuse us from making clear, passionate, persuasive appeals to their souls.