The Origination of Evangelism – John 3:16

Very rarely today is the study or work of evangelism kept within a Biblical perspective. By that I mean that most of the books that I have on the subject talk primarily about two things: Most stress the work of the evangelist. That evangelist must have X number of scriptures memorized in X number of areas. He must carry a marked soul-winner’s New Testament, or else a huge Bible – a dagger or sword. He or she must know and practice certain principles of sanctified salesmanship. He must have memorized dozens of answers to the most common arguments of the unbelievers. He must have spent at least an hour in prayer prior to this particular evangelistic visit. And of utmost importance he must have a breath mint in his mouth and a few more in his pocket. Despite a few half-hearted statements, most of those books leave little room for the work of the Holy Spirit. Can a person be rescued from a burning building by someone who isn’t a fireman? Can a person be saved who has been pointed to Christ by someone with halitosis? If the only verse of scripture that a person knows is John 3:16, can he be used of the Lord to point some sinner to Christ? Must an evangelist know the theology of I John 4:10 before he can lead someone to Christ? (What???) “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” How might the modern emphasis on the qualifications of the evangelist hinder the work of...

God’s Love and Biblical Evangelism – John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse has often been called such things as “the heart of the gospel.” Is this verse a declaration of the gospel? Is this verse a clarification of the gospel? Although this might be called the heart of the gospel, a heart doth not a full body make. How is I Corinthians 15:1-4 a more complete declaration of the gospel? “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” John 3:16 is an important and wonderful verse, but very few people have ever spent much time studying it. It tells us something about the love of God, but it’s not what the unthinking think that it says. It tells us something about what the unsaved do at the time of their salvation, but it doesn’t say everything. What essential step is taken by sinners whom the Lord regenerates, which is not mentioned here? Does this verse say that everyone in the world will eventually be given eternal life? Does this verse say that God loves everyone in the...

Evangelism and Election – Romans 8:28-30

What do we mean when we say that God is eternal? In God’s eternality, do we only mean that God began before time and will exist beyond time? (Above time.) Does God progress through time the way that people do? Does God learn things by observation as time progresses? Even if we admit that God is sovereign over time, does that mean that He has to control time from second to second, or can He do it all at once? What do we mean when we say that God is independent? What are some synonyms for the independency of God? (Autonomous, sovereign.) Does God’s independency from man mean that He has no relationship with man whatsoever? How much control does God have over the affairs of men? Does that mean that He is sovereign moment by moment or over all things at once? (Both.) Could God in His sovereignty and omnipotence determine all things at one time? God’s hand on human events is called “Predestination.” What does the word “predestination” mean? Is predestination a Biblical word or a Biblical principle? Romans 8:28-30 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did PREDESTINATE, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Now turn to Ephesians 1:3-12 – “Blessed be the...

Evangelism and Our Commission – Matthew 28:18-20

What is the Greek word translated “power” in verse 18? (“Exousia”.) To what kind of power does it refer? (Authority.) How much power has Christ been given? Usually, what is the way in which that power is applied to the following commission? (To the evangelists.) How much authority does Christ possess? Where does He have authority? Is it just as a Supervisor? Does His authority extend over those to whom the evangelists give the gospel? Does divine authority affect the receiving of the gospel as well as the dispensing of the gospel? Tell me what is wrong with the following statement: “Calvinism stresses God’s sovereignty, and Arminianism stresses man’s responsibility.” This is the slandering of anyone who teaches the sovereignty of God in evangelism. There are those who believe that the people whom God chooses to save will be saved whether or not they ever hear the gospel, repent of their sin or lovingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Do those who teach such things have a Biblical perspective of the work of evangelism? What are those people generally called? (“Hyper-Calvinists” and sometimes “Hardshell Baptists.” ) Just as the Bible stresses Divine sovereignty, it also stresses human responsibility. Is that responsibility only of the evangelist in his spreading of the gospel? The Bible also stresses the responsibility of sinners to repent and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. How far does Christ’ authority affect these areas of evangelism? Is this a true statement: “God commands no more than what man can perform.” (False.) How about this: “God commands obedience to the Lord whether man can actually obey...

The Universalism of Biblical Evangelism – Mark 16:15

There is a lot of talk in religious circles about “universalism.” What does the word “universal” mean? (Relating to, extending to, affecting the entire world.) Is there such a thing as the universal fatherhood of God? But didn’t the God create everyone? Is there such a thing as the universal brotherhood of man? But didn’t we all come from the same human parents? Is there such a thing as universal salvation? Are there people who preach it? Now think about these next questions: Is Jehovah the universal God? Is the worship of Jehovah meant to be universal? Should Biblical evangelism be universal? Biblical Universalism. Generally speaking, the Old Testament is considered to be about God’s relationship to the nation of Israel. It’s in the New Testament that the Lord began to open wide His arms toward the Gentiles. What does the Hebrew word “gowy” (go’- ee) translated “gentiles” literally mean? (The nations.) In the New Testament we see the gospel being sent not only to Israel but also to the nations. Generally speaking is that perception of the Old Testament being primarily Hebrew primarily true? Moses said to Israel: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” – Deuteronomy 7:6. In Psalm 147:19-20 David said, the Lord “sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.”...

Heresy and the Urgency of Biblical Evangelism – I Peter 3:18-20

How likely is it that Satan will leave important Biblical doctrines alone? What are some of the things that Satan teaches about Christ? What is the Satanic doctrine about Hell? What are some of the things that he teaches about evangelism? If Satan is preaching anti-evangelistic messages, it makes the urgency of Biblical evangelism all that much more important. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could count up all the people that we know. I wonder how many that would be: 200? 500? 1000? Now, how many of those people that you know, are you reasonably sure are genuine Christians? Of course, we are somewhat unique people, because as Christians, more of those around us are Christians than is true of the average American. Because we are Christians many in our families are Christians, and those in our church are Christians. Perhaps 10% to 20% or more of the people that we know are children of God. But for the average American it is probably more likely that 1% to 2% of their friends and family are Christians. Do you think that my estimates are close to accurate? If I am right, then those kinds of numbers say something about the urgency of evangelism. There are lots of ways to highlight the urgency of evangelism, but many of them are unbiblical. We could talk about how disease and war are decimating certain populations in the world. For example, there is a particular need for missionaries and evangelists in Central Africa and South East Asia. Is the nearness or prevalence of death, the highest of all arguments for evangelism? Aren’t...

The Motive for Biblical Evangelism – II Corinthians 5:10-21

This morning we deal with some of the reasons, or motives, for evangelism. We touched on part of this subject last week, but that was just in passing. And I suppose that it is a much wider subject than to what we’ll reach today. Nevertheless, we’re talking about Biblical evangelism. How long has Christendom been a part of the American scene? Were there any missionaries on board the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria? What is the meaning of the Spanish words “Santa Maria”? Do you suppose that the Spanish priests might have used the word “evangelism” as they tried to “convert” the natives on North America? Generally speaking, what were the Spanish looking for in colonizing the Americas? Judging from history, what do you think was the reason that the Spanish government sent priests along with the conquistadors? Did those priests have any aversion against helping their soldiers to reap the Inca gold? Has wealth ever been a motivating factor in evangelism? I’ll come back to some of the ungodly and unbiblical motives for evangelism, but let’s start with some of the Biblical reasons. Can SELF-LOVE be considered a Biblical motive for evangelism? Does God love Himself? Within the God-head could the Father’s love for the Son be considered self-love? How about the Son’s love for God the Father? Is man’s love for himself a natural thing? By that I mean, do we have to teach a child to love himself? If we say that it is natural, does that mean that it is sinful? Could it be that our self-love comes from the fact that we were...

The Aim of Biblical Evangelism – Romans 11:25-32

Our question this morning calls for a rather short lesson. But it’s not as short as most professing Christians think. What is the first answer from most Christians to the question: What is the purpose of evangelism? Is the salvation of lost souls one of the purposes of Biblical evangelism? Is it the only purpose for evangelism? Is it the highest purpose of evangelism?What do I mean by the word “theocentric”? What are some things which might be considered as the opposite to being “theocentric”? Any religion which doesn’t put Jehovah at the core of its theology is a false religion. Is Islam a theocentric religion? Is Humanism a theocentric religion? Is there much Humanism in professing Christendom today? If we say that the primary purpose of evangelism is the salvation of souls are we being theocentric? What is the aim of Biblical Evangelism? The salvation of souls. What do people mean when they say that man is immortal? What do they mean when they say that man has an eternal destiny? What is destiny? (A guaranteed outcome.) Does the Bible teach that everyone has an eternal destiny? There are some who will enjoy eternal bliss and fellowship with God. And there are some who not enjoy eternal condemnation and separation from the Lord. Practically speaking, what determines in a person how he will spend eternity? What if someone is not told about the vicarious sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ? Can we say that it is important that everyone hear the gospel of Christ? What is the term that we have been using to talk about the spreading...

The Agent of Biblical Evangelism – I Peter 2:9

We have in Matthew 28 the so-called “Great Commission.” “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Why, do you suppose, do I often preface the words “The Great Commission” by saying “so-called”? Does the Bible call Matthew 28:18-20 or Mark 16:15 “The Great Commission.” I wonder who coined that phrase? There is another thought which is called the “Great Commandment” What is the true “Great Commandment”? Matthew 22:35-40 – “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” I would have to guess that Matthew 28 isn’t even the second greatest commandment, and who knows how far down the list of commandments it really is. Nevertheless, it IS one of the great responsibilities that the Lord has given to us. The next question is: To whom was the commandment of Matthew 28 given? Specifically,...

The Proper Approach to Biblical Evangelism – Acts 17:16-34

I attended a Bible school which was highly evangelistic. There was another Bible school across town that was the leading school for the Assemblies of God. There were some teachers in that school which believed that if its students didn’t speak in tongues once in a while, they probably shouldn’t have enrolled there. Not all Assembly of God people believe that glossolalia is a mandatory proof of salvation, but many do. What is “glossaolalia”? Baptist Bible College believed that such an idea was heresy. However, there were professors at BBC that believed that if its own students weren’t “winning souls,” they, like the Pentecostal kids, shouldn’t have enrolled at their school, because leading souls to Christ is the PRIMARY proof of – and PURPOSE for – being Christians. As a result of this evangelistic attitude, during my three years at BBC, I heard every kind of argument for “soul-winning” imaginable. Some were Biblical, some were para-Biblical, and some were thoroughly un-Biblical. What does “para-Biblical” mean? One argument that we’d hear from time to time was that the heathen are hungering & thirsting for the gospel. I can’t tell you how many times visiting missionaries would tell us how they traveled for 16 hours or 16 days over mountain passes on foot to visit remote native villages. And when they arrived they were told that the villagers had been praying that a representative of the White God, would come to tell them about the Way of Eternal Life. And the application was that the heathen are yearning, praying, pleading for someone to come and tell them about the Lord Jesus...

The Means used in Biblical Evangelism – Romans 10:13-17

When God created the universe, did He begin small and work up to the really big stuff? When He created life, did He begin with algae and plankton, using them to develop more complex things? Did Jehovah begin the universe with creation and then use evolution over a zillion years to finish creating? Do you mean that the Lord created all things in less than seven days – complete and complex? Is there any evidence to support that idea? Do you suppose that the things which the Lord created even had the appearance of age?So why didn’t the Lord instantly do the same thing with salvation? Why didn’t He glorify you and make you completely perfect at the time of your repentance and faith? If we are going to put it that way, why bother with repentance and faith at all? Why didn’t the Lord save you before creation, and glorify you before you were born? Assuming that you are a child of God, does the Lord intend to glorify you and make you perfect? Is there no doubt that He will do that for all of those whom He has chosen to save? Could we even say that it is a done deal; it is completed – as far as the decree of the Lord is concerned? Does that mean that the elect were never lost people? Does that mean that the chosen of God were never children of the world and children of Satan? Okay, some day the Lord is going to glorify all of His redeemed. Does that mean that the elect should postpone their repentance...

The Message of Biblical Evangelism – I Corinthians 15:1-4

What do we call the message that the Biblical Evangelist brings to his unsaved friend? (The Gospel.) What does the original Greek word “gospel” mean? (Good news.) Is the announcement of the birth of a baby good news? Is it the gospel? Is the announcement of a large inheritance good news? Is it the gospel? When the doctor says that the patient is cured is that good news? Is it the gospel? So when Biblical evangelists speak of the gospel, are they talking about something very special? Are there more than one kind of gospel in the Bible? What is the Biblical gospel? (“The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins, according to….”) If this is the case, why then does the Bible speak about several different gospels? The word “gospel” is found in just about a hundred verses. But if I should ask my computer Bible program to find all the references to these words “the gospel of….” how many references do you think that it would find: under 10, between 10 and 20, between 20 and 30 or over 30? There are 32 references in 31 verses to the “gospel of ……” And how many different words would you guess fill in that blank? (Different forms of 8 words.) In the order of their numbers they are: The gospel of Christ, God, the kingdom, peace, salvation, grace, circumcision and uncircumcision. If I spoke of the gospel of the atonement, would that make another kind of Biblical gospel? What about the gospel of repentance, would that be a different gospel than that the gospel of Christ?...

The Zeal of Biblical Evangelism – Romans 10:1-4

What are some of the synonyms for the word “zeal”? (Fervency, intensity, enthusiasm, passion, fire, etc.) Generally speaking, is zeal a good thing when it comes to good things? Is zeal a good thing when it comes to bad things? The word “zeal” is found 6 times in the New Testament; sometimes in a good sense and sometimes bad. In speaking about the Lord Jesus, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” Was the zeal of the Lord a good thing or a bad thing? In speaking about some of the saints: “For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” “For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.” “For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.” Is the zeal described in these verses good or bad? But then in a negative way, first Paul and then others displayed a sinful kind of zeal. In Philippians 3:6 Paul confessed that persecuted the church with zeal. And the Jews, according to Romans 10:2, had this testimony: “that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”Actually...

The Effectiveness of Biblical Evangelism – II Corinthians 10:1-10

What is “oratory”? (The art of public speaking.) What is “rhetoric”? (The art of using language effectively.) What is “elocution”? (The art of public speaking, with emphasis on gestures and delivery.) Most people don’t use these words, and so we don’t know their definitions very well. Today we have condensed and summarized these and related terms into the word “communication.” What is “communication”? (The art or science of conveying a message whether by spoken word, writing, singing or even acting.)Changing themes, would you say that the ability to paint a beautiful picture is an art or a science? What is the difference between art and science? Is the effectiveness of a good portrait painter the result of art or science? How many of you have read one of the biographies of C.H. Spurgeon? Adonirum Judson? William Carey? In your biographical reading, did you learn how much time Spurgeon or Judson spent studying elocution? From reading the sermons or books of Spurgeon, would you say that he was a good communicator? Would you say that he was a great communicator? Thinking of Spurgeon, how likely is it that effective gospel communication could be considered God’s gift? Paul, the great orator. Some modern preachers are prone to say that the Apostle Paul was a great orator. Is there much Biblical evidence to that effect? The words “oratory,” “rhetoric” and “elocution” all come from Greek and Latin. Those are sciences or arts which some of the people of Greek and Roman cultures had mastered. By the standards of the day, Paul was not an expert any of those things. And people in...

Resistence to Biblical Evangelism – Acts 7:51-60

Why did God create the universe? What was the first word did the Lord use to describe His creation? Other than a short period of time of fellowship between God and His creation, what was the next major event in human history? (The Fall.) How correct is it to say that the history of the human race has been one of conflict? Should this be surprising? (Genesis 3:15 prophesied it.) Did the Lord know, prior to creating the universe, that there would be so much conflict? So why did He create? In this regard, what is the purpose and result of evangelism? But what, generally speaking, is the sinner’s reaction to the gospel?One of the most profound mysteries of history and theology is that God permits resistance towards Him. Could the Lord quash all rebellion and squash every rebel? Who is the greatest of all His adversaries? Some people think that the adversary’s primarily target is man, but that isn’t true. Who is Satan’s primary target? Is the Lord obligated to tolerate or to put up with Satan’s arrogant disrespect? Why does He tolerate Satan? “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Is Satan the only creature who tries to oppose the Lord? Is man’s opposition toward the Lord confined to resisting duties and responsibilities? Does man ever reject and resist God’s intended blessings? Periodically the Lord reminds man of His great power and wisdom. What are some examples? (Volcanos, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.) Could grace be an example of the Lord’s...