You Can Evangelize
Have you ever looked up to the stars in the heavens on a clear night and marveled at their beauty and great number? There they are, fixed in their positions, and shining brightly!
The Scriptures tell us that people who lead many to righteousness and who teach many to do what is right will shine like these stars forever. Look up Daniel 12:3.
The task of evangelizing involves you! God wants you to lead your relatives and friends to Christ. When the Bible speaks of souls, their worth, and the rewards for winning the lost, it uses the language of heavenly dimensions. What an incentive to share the Good News!
In this lesson, you will learn what the task of evangelizing is. You will discover that it can be done by all kinds of people. You will be inspired to prepare yourself for this most rewarding work. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to challenge you to evangelize!
WHAT EVANGELIZING IS
Objective 1. List and identify examples of the four aspects of evangelizing.
The word evangelizing is a modern term used to cover the four aspects of sharing the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. These four activities include 1) telling people about the Savior, 2) witnessing to them of Christ, 3) winning them to him, and 4) helping them to win others. We will look at each of these a little more closely.
Telling the Good News
When the apostle Paul writes about the gospel, he is writing about who Jesus is, why and how He came, what He did, and how He died for us and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:2-4). This is also called the Good News. It is good because it tells people how to be saved from sin and its results, and how they can receive eternal life. It is news because it is about actual happenings. Unfortunately, most people don’t know about it. They need to be told. This is one part of evangelizing.
Witnessing for Jesus
Witnessing is telling your own experience of salvation. It is testifying about what Jesus has done for you. Giving your testimony helps people see that the power of Christ is real. If they can see that it is something good, they will want what you have.
To witness is to give evidence or proof. Jesus said, “You will be witnesses for me” (Acts 1:8). This part of evangelizing testifies to Christ’s saving power in your life.
Witnessing requires the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank God this is available to believers today! Jesus promised that “when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power.” The Spirit’s power is given primarily for witnessing.
In the early church, Peter and other apostles boldly spoke to Jewish leaders about the gospel. They gave evidence about Christ’s death and resurrection. They witnessed repentance and forgiveness of sins. They said, “We are witnesses of these things—we and the Holy Spirit” (see Acts 5:29-32). They experienced the power of the Spirit in witnessing for Jesus!
Winning People to Christ
It is not enough to tell others about the gospel, or even to witness what the Lord has done for you. You need to take yet another step: that of leading people to receive Christ Jesus as their own Savior. As the Holy Spirit guides you, help them to respond to the love and claims of Christ. In other words, evangelizing must win people to Christ.
The person who wins people to the Lord may be called an evangelist, but don’t let the word frighten you! If you are telling others about the Savior you are an evangelist. Paul encouraged young Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5, KJV) or to “do the work of a preacher of the Good News” (TEV).
Another example of an evangelist is Philip, a deacon in the early church (Acts 21:8). We shall see later on in our study how Philip evangelized.
Making Disciples of All Peoples
New converts need to be helped to become strong in faith and to grow spiritually. They should be trained to win others to Christ. We refer again to the Great Commission: “Go . . . to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples” (Matthew 28:19). They, too, need to experience the joy of winning others to the Lord.
LAY PEOPLE CAN EVANGELIZE
Objective 2. Explain who is responsible for sharing the Good News.
We expect pastors, missionaries, and full-time evangelists to be involved in the task of evangelizing. However, they can never do it all! Evangelizing the world demands that all believers get involved in sharing the Good News. You, too, can evangelize! The following stories are examples of lay people who have won souls.
A Longtime Christian Starts Telling the Good News
Mr. Lee, a Chinese, had been a Christian for many years and attended church faithfully. When in his seventies he became very ill. Suddenly, as Mr. Lee began to think about meeting the Lord, he became greatly distressed. I cannot die yet! he said I have no harvest sheaves to give to the Master. He began to pray earnestly that the Lord would spare him for a few more years so that he could witness to people and see them get saved.
A miracle happened! Mr. Lee became well again. He told his friends how he had prayed and how the Lord spared his life. He began to tell the Good News wherever and whenever he could. He rode many miles on his bicycle to attend a pioneer church, visit people, and win them to the Lord. The new church began to grow. Other people were inspired by his zeal. For about ten more years Mr. Lee lived and worked for his Lord. Then one day he died happily and peacefully, for he had become a soul winner!
A Disabled Girl Witnesses to Others
A missionary couple went to help in a small pioneer church. They prayed for the salvation of souls and worked with the national pastor to make the church grow. People in the area were idol worshipers. They were suspicious and afraid of the church. The missionaries wanted the church to be a place where people would not be afraid to come.
A girl with a distorted face and body attended the church. When she spoke it was with great difficulty. Would her appearance perhaps turn people away? Then, to their surprise, the missionaries learned that many of the new converts had been brought in by this girl. She loved Jesus and had a bright smile. She cared about people who did not know the Lord. Through her love and caring, she witnessed despite her handicap.
A New Convert Wins Her Father
A retired businessman who is an earnest soul winner said, “I believe that the associates the Lord puts into my life are for a definite purpose. I take it from the Lord that I must help them. I pray for the anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit in what to do and say to meet spiritual needs.” He then told the following story.
“I was asked by a girl who didn’t know the Lord to visit her father, an elderly man with a brain tumor. Because of heavy traffic during rush hour I arrived at the hospital after visiting hours. I learned that the patient was heavily drugged and that I could not have talked with him anyway as he spoke another language. I cried to the Lord to open the way for me to reach him. Within a week the Lord answered my prayer. The man was converted and went to heaven, a saved soul!”
“How did this come about?” we asked.
“Christine, the girl, was deeply concerned about her father,” this man told us. “Meeting her after the fruitless hospital visit, I said to her, ‘There’s only one way left for me to help you and your father. I shall carefully explain to you the way to be saved. You will accept the Lord as your Savior. Then you and I will believe the promise that you will be saved and your family (Acts 16:31). You will then tell your father what the Lord has done for you, and agree with me for your dear father’s conversion. Do you consent to this plan?’
“‘Oh, yes indeed, Sir!’ Christine replied eagerly.
“Fine. There are five steps to salvation. The first one is to acknowledge that you are a sinner. ‘Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s presence (Romans 3:23). Do you believe this, Christine?
“‘Yes, I do.’
“Now there are four steps left. The second is to recognize that God did something about your sin. ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life (John 3:16).
“The third step is to accept Him. You must not just admire Jesus, nor pity Him in His sufferings. To those who receive Him, He gives ‘the right to become God’s children (John 1:12).
“The fourth step is to confess your sin and get rid of it. God’s Word says that ‘if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all wrongdoing’ (1 John 1:9).
“The last step, Christine, is to confess and believe that Jesus is your Savior and Lord. ‘If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from death, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
5th step: Confess and believe that Jesus as Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
4th step: Confess sin and get rid of it (1 John 1:9)
3rd step: You must receive Christ (John 1:12)
2nd step: God did something about it (John 3:16)
1st step: You are a sinner (Romans 3:23)
“Do you take these steps, Christine?
“She was willing, so I prayed for her in Afrikaans (the language closest to her own that I could use). She, in turn, prayed, and together we prayed earnestly for her father’s salvation.
“The next night the telephone rang. It was Christine. With joy, she told me that when she saw her father his mind was clear. Christine told him of her salvation.
“‘What do you mean?’ the old man asked.
“‘I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior.’
“‘Honey, that’s wonderful!’ exclaimed her father. ‘I would love to have you tell me how I can become a Christian.’
“Christine gave him the five steps of salvation through faith in Christ. Her sick father accepted Jesus as his Savior too. That was Wednesday. On Saturday he went to be with the Lord.”
This was a double victory in soul-winning: the girl got saved and then, as a new convert, led her aged father to the Lord!
A Working Man Makes Disciples
A telephone lineman in Central America had to travel great distances over the countryside on horseback, keeping the repair lines. He would stop overnight in the homes of peasants who did farm work on the large estates. This man became converted. He began witnessing to his peasant friends, telling them about the Lord’s saving power in his life. He read to them from his Spanish New Testament. Bit by bit these farm workers responded to the truth of the gospel. In one place two or three accepted Christ; in another, perhaps a family of five or six members.
The lineman then called in pastors to further instruct and baptize these believers. Banded together in Christian fellowship, the new converts themselves shared the Good News. The lineman continued to make his rounds maintaining telephone service, but in his free time, he was winning and teaching the people. Today you find churches in places where this Spirit-filled lineman stopped in his travels. He obeyed the Great Commission.
PREPARE YOURSELF TO EVANGELIZE
Objective 3. Evaluate your spiritual preparation for evangelizing.
Show Concern for People
Long ago Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, won victories in battle. Though a great soldier, honored by his king and his country, he suffered from an incurable disease—possibly leprosy.
A young girl, captured from the nation of Israel, was a servant in his household. This girl felt concerned for her master and wanted to help. What could she do?
Simply expressing concern to Naaman’s wife she said, “I wish that my master could go to the prophet who lives in Samaria! He would cure him of his disease” (2 Kings 5:3).
Her concern led to a miracle. After Naaman heard what she said, he traveled to Samaria to see the prophet, Elisha. By obeying the prophet’s instructions to wash seven times in the Jordan River, his flesh became as clean and healthy as a child’s. God healed Naaman completely!
When you feel concerned for people and show that concern, you will find ways to help them.
Pray for Souls
Sharing the Good News of Christ’s salvation with others is spiritual work. Prepare for this work by praying for specific individuals. Keep their names in mind while praying. And look for opportunities to share the Good News with them.
David, an Englishman, traveled on a coach from Calais, France, to Brussels, Belgium. Before taking the trip he prayed that God would allow him to witness someone. The only seat left for him on the coach was next to a young Belgian lady named Marie. They started to talk. David soon discovered that Marie was willing to discuss spiritual matters.
“Are you a Christian believer?” David asked.
“I’m not sure,” Marie responded. She explained that she did go to church at times. Then she asked David if he belonged to some cult.
“No,” he replied, “I’m an evangelical Christian.” David then explained the way of salvation. He was careful not to force his conversation on her, allowing time for her to express herself and to ask questions. He discovered that she had been seeking God but didn’t know how to find Him!
Their conversation lasted three hours—the length of their journey. David invited Marie to a church where the full gospel message was preached. Marie learned that Jesus is the only way to God and with joy, she accepted Him as her Savior.
When we met Marie, she told us, “My life is completely changed!”
Because David had prayed, the Spirit directed him to a hungry heart with whom he shared the Good News of salvation.
Be Filled with the Holy spirit
How important a qualification this is for soul-winning! Be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and you will be filled with spiritual power to win souls to Christ. Out of your heart will pour streams of life-giving water to bless many lives! See John 7:38.
Desire to Win Others to Christ
Allow the love of Christ to burn in your heart like a flame of fire! You will then want to win people to Him. The love of Christ will rule you (2 Corinthians 5:14) and compel you to go to the lost. We love because God first loved us and sent His Son that we (and they) might have eternal life.