Introduction to Evangelism

 
     Evangelism is perhaps the most important subject to be discussed – on planet earth, in heaven above, and I believe it is even being discussed constantly in hell below us.  This subject began in heaven before the creation of the earth.  God knew that mankind would sin, and would therefore need redemption.  God had the plan of redemption in His heart before He even made men.  What an amazing God!  Evangelism is spreading the good news that God made a way for man to be rescued from his sins and enjoy restored fellowship with the One who created him – through Jesus Christ the only begotten Divine Son of God (John 3:16).  Evangelism is about winning souls – the Bible tells us that “he that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30).  Therefore, this subject is going to help us become wise people – to be better soul winners -Amen!  Such an important subject indeed!
What is Evangelism?
     The word “Evangelize” is rooted in the Greek word “euangellion” (evangel) which means “good message” or “good news”.  In English we simply say the “Gospel” – it means the same thing.  “Evangelize” is a transliteration from the Greek of the word “euangelizo”.  The word “evangelize” is not found in the New Testament of  the King James English Bible, but the word “ Ευαγγελιστης” is (Acts 21:8, 2 Tim 4:5, Eph. 4:11).  This word is translated as “evangelist” – an  “evangelist” is a messenger of good news, a preacher of the Gospel, or a good messenger.  Evangelize, therefore, means to announce good news, or bring good tidings, and the word “preach” is almost always associated with it.  The word “preach” is found in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
     The word “preach” is also used by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:14-15 “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.  (15)  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.”   A “preacher” is a herald or a public crier – I think back to the olden days before the invention of the printing press – whenever there was some “news” to be spread – the king would send out a “preacher” or a “herald” to announce the news to the subjects in his realm.  This is essentially what evangelism is – announcing the news from the King of Kings.
     In the Greek New Testament this word “euangelizo” appears about fifty-five times, and is usually translated “preach the Gospel” or “preach the Good news”.  The Oxford dictionary of Current English defines “evangelize” like this: “to preach the gospel, to convert to Christianity” (298).
     The Old Testament was not written in Greek, but we do find in our English Bibles the same word “preach”.  Isaiah the prophet spoke these words from the mouth of the coming Messiah Himself “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek…” (Isaiah 61:1a).  The news that the Messiah was going to bring was good news – we also need to sound like we are announcing Good news, but being refreshing and cheerful when we are speaking of the Gospel.  Whatever we say in our evangelistic endeavors we need to portray it as good news.  The Old Testament also uses the word “preach” in Jonah 3:2 where the Lord told His prophet to go to Nineveh and “preach”.  His preaching was not unlike a modern day evangelistic Crusade – what a response – the whole city turned to God.  He must have had quite an anointing on him.
     Evangelism is clearly associated with “preaching” or “announcing” a good message to those who will hear it.  What is the Good news that should be announced?  That Jesus Christ, the Messiah Son of God, has come in the flesh to die that mankind would have a way to have their sins forgiven and a restored relationship with God.  That is good news!  That is the best news in the world!  I don’t know about you, but when I hear some good news I want to tell someone about that good news.  I heard a man of God bringing forth the Word of the Lord some years back and He was saying “so many people want to be apostles and prophets, and these other ministries BUT I want to hear good news in the earth and I am not hearing it”.   I am praying that by reading this blog you will be stirred up to go out and fulfill the desire of our Lord Jesus Christ and announce this good news to the people in your sphere of influence – and beyond to the nations of the earth.
This is an excerpt from a book I am currently writing – Please Post your Comments or Suggestions.
God Bless
Pastor Justin
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