Question: Please comment on the importance of evangelism
in the church today.
Answer: Some years ago I heard an older Gospel preacher
say that after he retired he would like to do evangelism. Remarkable!
How sad that many "cannot see the forest for the trees."
Have we become so professionalized that we no longer take the
command to "go into all the world" personally? Indeed,
I am afraid that this symptom of nonevangelism among all
Christians (not just elders and preachers) is a problem in many
As one searches the riches of God's Word, the ideals of godliness
and holiness along with the attitudes of servanthood and
obedience shine brightly as spiritual qualities for which all
men should aspire. Christianity as a vibrant and active lifestyle
really depends upon a well studied growth for its existence within
the individual (2 Tim. 2:15). Those who "hunger and thirst
after righteousness" and who feed upon the "doctrine
of Christ" are as steadfast as the cedars of Lebanon and
flourish as the palmtree (Psa. 92:12).
Are we genuinely committed to evangelism as an integral part of
living the Christian life? Those who are growing in the faith
have no problem in recognizing the importance of teaching others
Neither do fullgrown Christians wait on an organized effort
before they start teaching the lost. It just comes naturally.
In fact, doing personal evangelism is the immediate byproduct
of true conversion to Christ. We are debtors to those who are
lost because of our own salvation (Rom. 1:14). If we are thankful
for salvation, we will be serious about telling others!
The pattern book which provides both motivation and methodology
for evangelism is the New Testament. God's Word portrays for our
twentieth century minds those first century men and women who
were committed to personal evangelism ant in whose lives evangelism
Paul, a converted persecutor of the church, was not ashamed of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, realizing that it alone provided to
Jews and Gentiles the only source of reconciliation and eternal
Peter, the apostle who had denied his relationship to Christ three
times, now by virtue of steady spiritual growth preached the first
complete Gospel sermon. For the first time men and women were
told why they should obey the Gospel and how they were to do it.
Lydia, a woman from Thyatira who was one of Paul's converts and
who worked in Philippi selling purple dye, formed the nucleus
of the congregation at Philippi, along with her friends. In fact,
Paul and his companions made Lydia's house their headquarters
before and after their stay in the Philippian jail.
Philip, after being forced to leave Jerusalem because of severe
persecution, traveled some 36 miles to the city of Samaria where
he preached Christ. Although prejudice existed in the minds of
many Jews toward the Samaritans (and vice versa), Philip, constrained
by the love of God, went anyway and met with a great reception.
In view of these examples of dedication to evangelism, each of
us should realize that we, too, are debtors to our untaught friends
and neighbors. It was to this end that Jesus came to "seek
and save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10) which today is
the mission of every Christian worker (Mark 16:1516).