Evangelism how-to

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Rexlion, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Pentecost Sunday is not far off. Now is a good time to begin contemplating the significance of Pentecost in the life of every believer.

    John the Baptist said, "He [Jesus] shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." (Luke 3:16)

    In Acts 1, Jesus' words are recorded, For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence... ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
    Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
    Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
    Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance....
    Act 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
    Act 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
    Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
    Act 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
    Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
    Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
    Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
    Act 2:19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
    Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
    Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
    Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
    Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

    One of the most important reasons Jesus sent the Holy Spirit was to empower His followers to proclaim His death and resurrection. We see in Acts 2 that when the believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit, He lit a fire inside them and they suddenly found within themselves a holy boldness. The Holy Spirit enabled them for this crucial task of service. Why is it crucial? It is crucial because "faith comes through hearing" the message of God concerning His redemptive act of love, and "hearing" this message is impossible without mouths to proclaim it. We are God's mouths on earth. We are God's feet on earth, feet to carry the Gospel to the unreached people (whether the unreached be halfway around the globe or halfway down the block). Without us, there is no communication of the Gospel and (short of miraculous Divine intervention) no one will be saved. Michael Green wrote (in One to One), "How could there be a stronger motivation than this? The whole Triune God whom we worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is deeply concerned with evangelism. If we take our Christianity seriously, how can we hold back?"
     
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    It's worth noting that there is some variation in opinion on what exactly the Baptist was prophesying when he said the Messiah would baptize with the Spirit and with fire. Many interpreters have considered the statement to be describing 2 different things. The fire has often been equated with hell fire.

    The Markan version of this saying (1:7-8) omits the mention of fire. Matthew and Luke both follow the statement with this announcement:
    "and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
     
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    That's a fair point. The Baptist was prophesying, and prophecies can have multiple layers of meaning. He spoke of Jesus baptizing with the Spirit and with fire. We can see the connection between that and the tongues of fire which settled up the believers in the upper room. We can see the connection between that prophecy and the unquenchable lake of fire in which the 'chaff' (unrepentant sinners) will burn forever. We can also see the connection to the fiery boldness which marked the believers on the Day of Pentecost and the days and years following; as it is written in Jeremiah 20:9, Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. A few people even see suggestions of the fires of persecution and affliction, as well as the purifying work of the Holy Spirit in people's lives. God seems to take delight in intricate designs and 'pictures within pictures.'
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There is also the posibility that the fire is not destroying but refining. Mal.3:2-3.
    .
     
  6. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I'm well familiar with the general approach of the 'fire-baptized' faction within Pentecostalism. That is the reason I chose to make a comment. We have lots of lurkers who read here who likely aren't really academics. I thought it was worthwhile to offer another perspective on what the passage under discussion might be about. It's not the type of teaching you will hear on TV unless you get a Catholic channel and it's not the type of thing the top 20 Christian book titles at the local book store are going to tackle.

    I would encourage the reader to revisit the Acts of the Apostles before arriving at a conclusion on this matter. First, there are the words of Christ in Acts 1:4-5:
    Recall that Luke had previously written out the words of the Baptist as, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire" (Luke 3:16). But now he has dropped "and with fire" in his subsequent volume.

    The Pentecost narrative, in chapter 2, uses fire in more than one way. First it is employed as a similitude for this particular descent of the Holy Ghost, which is interesting since the Evangelists typically portray the descent of the Holy Ghost with the figure of a dove - but the OT uses any number of figures. Next should be considered the narrative of the household of Cornelius (ch. 10-11). Here, of particular interest is 11:15-17:
    Here, Luke has copied the format for the quote that he employed in the first chapter. Yet Peter has equated what took place at the household of Cornelius to the Pentecost event.

    This analysis gives us some authorial incongruencies to consider (or does it). Mark omits "and with fire" as does Luke in Acts but the speaker is different (John the Baptist in the Gospel and Jesus himself in Acts). But Jesus used the figure of fire often and in a context of judgment and condemnation. What is a possible solution? John the Baptist is speaking to a mixed audience and indicating that some, the believing, will receive the baptism of the Spirit but others, the unbelieving, a baptism of hell-fire. We must be careful not to continuously read ourselves into every passage of Scripture that seems to have a promise.

    And now I have derailed the thread and we've stopped discussing the present need for personal evangelism. The best way to personally evangelize is to be an openly prayerful decent person.
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    The greatest reason for evangelism is love.

    Mar 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
    Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
    Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
    Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.


    All people will face eternity in one of two places. At the Judgment, they will either enter into God's glory for ever and ever, or they will be consigned to the lake of fire where "there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth" for eternity. God loves each person so deeply, He was willing to die horribly on the cross for that individual. He laid down His mortal life for you, for me, for our neighbor.

    What have we laid down?

    John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
    John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


    As followers of Christ, we are called upon to be His lights upon the world and His salt (both savor and preservative) to the people who do not know Him. What tiny portion of our lives are we willing to lay down for them? Christ's call to "love our neighbor" should impel us to take action. Are we willing to lay down some time to pray for the lost? Are we willing to lay down some money to support the propagation of the Gospel? Are we willing to let the Holy Spirit lead us out of our 'comfort zones' on occasion?

    God's love for the lost is so great, He would be willing to "leave the ninety-nine" and go search for the "one" lost sheep. Do we have reason to think that evangelism is near and dear to His loving heart? Yes. If His Spirit lives in us, how can we not participate in an activity that He loves?
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    One of the greatest keys to evangelism actually has nothing to do with making (potentially uncomfortable?) contact with other human beings. This key is prayer. Prayer should come before, during and after our outward acts of communicating the Gospel.

    Do you desire for the lost to come to Christ? Do you wish you were more effective in reaching them? You have not because you ask not, wrote James.

    Michael Green writes in One to One, "Where do we find the nights of prayer in our Western churches that are commonplace in Africa and Asia? Where do we find the seriousness of purpose that is prepared to go without food for days in order the better to meet with God? It is very rare. Yes, let's be specific Are there people you are praying for daily? People for whom you beseech God with intensity and fasting? That is the first step to seeing them won to Christ."

    Luke 10:1-2 -- After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

    Jesus said these words at a time when the "laborers" were indeed very few (seventy in number). Although it is still relevant to pray for more people to participate in evangelism, it is even more needful these days to pray that each laborer will get out of his cozy, cocooned existence and step out into the field. Some laborers are called to missions in the "10/40 window," but many more of us are called into the harvest field which begins just outside the front door.

    When and where should we prepare for the harvest? Just as a sensible farmer gets dressed indoors for working in the field, a wise Christian prepares with prayer before walking out the door.

    When we pray, what should we be praying for?
    1. Pray that God will show each of His children how He wishes them to participate in the loving activity of reaching the lost.
    2. Pray that the Holy Spirit will work through each of us, anointing our clumsy efforts at obedience and causing them to bear good, lasting fruit. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide people across your path who are ready to hear about the Lord. Pray that He will give you opportunities to speak and the right words to say. Pray that He will anoint your words with His power to help the other person.
    3. Pray for the people you know. Pray for each neighbor, each co-worker, each friend, each relative, each person you meet. Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare their hearts for the sowing of the good seed (the word of God) and will water that seed after it is heard, and that it may take solid root.

    Never hesitate to speak with your friend about God. But more importantly, never hesitate to speak with God about your friend.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Ever wonder how to start a conversation about spiritual things? About man's inherent inclination toward evil and need for a Savior? It's as simple as looking at current events. We all turn on the tv or internet and see the horrible things people are doing. It is quite natural to turn to a friend, co-worker, or relative and say, "Did you hear about the (looting, murder, robbery, embezzlement, dishonesty, whatever is in today's news)? Why are human beings like this?" Or, "Do you think people have a basic flaw or weakness that makes them susceptible to doing such things?"

    As a conversation develops on this subject, it's not difficult to observe that no one is immune to temptation, and we all do wrong things (large or small), but we know one man who never did anything wrong.

    One of the most powerful ways we can witness is to say something like, "When I was younger, I had this problem (anger issue, selfishness, bad habit, you fill in the blank), but then I had an encounter with God and He's been helping me change. I feel like a new person. Have you ever had anything like that happen to you?"
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. Heb.1:6-7

    Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; Luk.1:1-2

    1 Cor.3:5, 1 Cor.4:1-2, 2 Cor.3:6, 2 Cor.6:4, Ps.104:4. Matt.20:26. Eph.3:7, 1 Pet.4:10.

    I don't think, merely because the Pentecost fire phrase was not repeated in reports of successive Holy Spirit anointings, that we can dispense with the metaphor and try to apply the fire motif to only hell fire. This puts far too much emphasis on judgement and not enough on Grace and power gifted through the Holy Spirit to cleanse and invigorate Christs followers.

    Certainly John the Baptist was not referring to Christ's baptism as a baptism into hell. I don't recall reading that John the Baptist ever spoke of baptism in terms of judgment and hell fire either. I think John's baptism was expressly intended to signify escape from that prospect. Matt.3:7-12. If anything John here is refusing to baptize the Pharisees, because he doubys their sincere repentance, not promising them hell fire in a future Jesus performed baptism.

    So why try to make out the fire only Christ can baptise with refers only to the fires of hell. I don't think the context necessarily supports the idea, even though the Pharisees rejection of Christ clearly would expose them to the inevitable possibility of hell fire, as John had warned them previously. John the Baptist was quite hot on hellfire preaching himself and was at pains to draw a marked contrast between his own ministry and that of The Messiah, who far outranked him. We neglect the spiritual metapohors of Blood and Fire for the believer, at our peril. The Sally Army could tell you that.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    One of the greatest keys to evangelism is prayer. What is prayer? It is communication with God. Effective communication with God involves both speaking to Him and listening to Him.

    Smith Wigglesworth had great zeal for souls from the time he was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at the age of 9, and he also practiced good communication with God. As a young teen, on one occasion the Lord directed him to a certain intersection, where he waited for the right person to pass by. He waited for an hour an a half, watching many people pass through the intersection, but none of them were the right person, and he grew somewhat impatient. Finally, though, a certain man in a horse-drawn cart drew near, and the Spirit let Smith know this was the man. Smith recounts:

    ...the Lord spoke to me just as he spoke to Philip... I got up in the cart beside the man and was soon talking with him about his need of salvation. He growled, "Why don't you go about your own business? Why should you pick me out and talk to me?" I wondered whether I had made a mistake. I looked up the Lord and said, "Is this the right man, Lord?" He said to me, "Yes, this is the right man." And so I continued to talk to him and plead with him to yield his life to Christ. By and by I saw that he was shedding tears, and I knew that God had softened his heart and the seed of the Word was entering. After I was sure a true work of grace had been wrought, I jumped down from his cart, and he went on his way."
    Three weeks later my mother said to me, "Smith, have you been talking to someone about salvation?" "I am always doing that, Mother." "Well, I visited a man last night. He was dying; he has been in bed for three weeks. I asked whether he would like someone to come and pray with him. He said, 'The last time I was out, a young man got into my cart and spoke with me. I was very rough with him but he was very persistent. Anyhow, God convicted me of my sins, and saved me.'" My mother continued, "That was the last time that man was out. He passed away in the night. He described the young man who talked with him and I could tell from his description that you were the one."
    (Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith, S. H. Frodsham)​

    What great things might God do through us if we are willing, obedient, and communicative with Him!
     
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Has God done anything for you? Do you ever tell anyone the story behind it?

    Can you think of a time in your life when God helped you get through a situation? Met your need? Gave you strength?

    Have you ever known anyone personally whom God healed, helped, or greatly changed? What's the story? People love to hear stories.

    Any such things are wonderful conversation elements. Evangelism rarely starts with heavy, turn-off questions; one would not want to begin a conversation with, "Do you know Jesus, or are you going to hell?" :facepalm: Unless the person just got hit by a car and is dying, that's not a good way to establish rapport! But a great many good statements about God or your faith in Him could be woven tactfully into a friendly conversation.

    Nearly 3 decades ago, the Lord led us (in a striking fashion) to move 1000 miles from the state of Michigan to the state of Oklahoma, sight unseen, with no clear idea of what we would do for income. One of my favorite opportunities comes when someone asks me why we moved. I reply, "God told us to move!" The asker always looks with amazement, and I get to tell them how God pulled off an amazing feat. It shows just how genuine and dynamic God is in the life of a believer.

    Does the conversation ever work its way to the topic of automobiles, driving, traffic, road conditions, or anything similar? That's when I will sometimes muse, "This makes me remember the time I hit a highway construction worker." The listener is always all-ears to hear this tale, which ends with a miraculous healing by God through prayer and the laying on of hands.

    Not everyone has a spectacular story to tell, but spectacularity is not necessary. Sometimes the simple, little things work best. What do you usually say when someone asks you how you are? "Fine, thanks" is a common reply that I hear often. But this simple question presents potential for communicating the reality and providence of God. Next time someone asks, "How are you?" consider one of these responses:
    "I'm blessed! And how are you?" :D
    "I'm fine, thank God!" :yes:
    "Praise the Lord, no sign of Covid!" :cool:
    Any of these (or similar) will show the other person that God is genuine to you and that you give Him credit for your well-being. If they are at all amenable to a spiritual discussion, they have just gotten an inkling that you could be the one who is available and willing to answer some question they've had about Christianity.

    I hope no one is thinking, 'Oh, but that's not socially acceptable! :zipped: Won't they look down on me for exposing my faith?' Jesus calls upon us to be His lights, shining on a hill and not under cover. "If you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father," Jesus said.

    Sometimes conversations go in an unusual direction. One time I was doing a job and the person nearby kept cussing and cussing. It was "G-D" this, and "G-D" that, constantly, with a few "JC's" thrown in for good measure. I thought on the inside, "Lord, he doesn't sound too open to the Gospel. Is there anything I can say that will make an impression on him?" After a few more instances of the Lord's name taken in vain, a boldness came over me; I turned to him and said with a :) smile, "You'll have a hard time getting God to damn that thing for you. He's not the dammer, He's the blesser!" I can't say for certain whether it impacted his life in the long run, but it did put a halt to the potty-mouth. :halo:

    I'll ask again: have you seen God do anything good? If so, what's your story? Be ready to share with the people you meet, and let the light shine!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Are you shy? Afraid to talk to someone about spiritual matters? Consider wearing the Gospel message!

    Here is a custom t-shirt I recently bought. It cost about $30 to have it printed to my specs at customink dot com. That included an upgrade to a nicer shirt material than their basic one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The ribbon on the lower part of the cross reads, "Jesus loves you"
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In the 1980s, when the Soviet Union fell, only 10 Christians were known to live in Mongolia. Today there are about 60,000 Christians in Mongolia. This didn't happen without evangelism.
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    1 Pet.3:15.
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    The younger generations respond well to music videos. Share one with them....

    (Thanks to Lowly Layman for this idea)
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    People are drawn to cartoons and illustrations, including memes. Adults and children alike.

    This illustrated publication just came out, and I think it nails one of the new modern attitudes that prevails in today's culture:
    https://www.chick.com/products/tract?stk=1179 ("Snowflake?")
    If you find yourself reading it all the way through, think what other people will do when they see it. Illustrations work!
     
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    We are all called to be light and salt in this world. We all are counseled by Jesus to not hide the light under a basket but to let it shine forth for all to see.
    Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
    Mat 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
    Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


    One of the most important 'good works' we can do is to help people come to faith in Christ. There is joy in heaven when a sinner repents (Luke 15:7), and it is a joy for any Christian to lead another person to Christ.

    We all are called to be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission. Some people will protest, "Isn't witnessing about Jesus the job of ordained ministers?" To which I reply, Why let them have all the fun? :D

    I have outlined many ideas in this thread for evangelizing. But there's one more that I don't think I've touched on, and that is: financial giving to evangelistic efforts. Even if a person hesitates to talk to others about Jesus' love or about what God has done for him, even one is reluctant to leave tracts where they will be found or to wear a Christian-message shirt, and even if a person isn't much for praying, he still can be involved in evangelism by participating in sending others. A number of Christian ministries exist which actively practice evangelism. My personal favorite, one which I regularly support, is https://www.worldcompassion.tv/ . Why have I chosen to support this particular ministry? I'll explain. World Compassion doesn't just meet spiritual needs, they meet people's worldly needs also. They join the two together. For example, when they provide food, medicines or clothing to needy people, they let the people know the reason why they are doing this: God loves them. And when they passed out backpacks full of school supplies to children in Iraq, they included a booklet about Jesus in each backpack. In this way, God's light shines through them (and through the monetary gifts that make it possible to meet people's temporal needs). This particular ministry also provides sound Christian curriculum to people in China, smuggles Bibles into Iran, has helped build a church in Cuba, and so on. And other, similar ministries exist which are good ground for planting financial 'seeds'.

    Mar 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
    Mar 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
    Mar 4:32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.


    Have you sown any gospel seeds lately? :)
     
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