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Doctrine of Evangelism

February 17, 2014

DOCTRINE OF EVANGELISM

A.  There are three categories of evangelism that have occurred since the beginning of man’s sinfulness.
1.  Personal evangelism conducted by all believers.
2.  Evangelism through the function of the spiritual gift.
3.  National evangelism through client nation missionary activity.

B.  Personal Evangelism or Witnessing.
1.  Personal evangelism has three characteristics in 1 Thes 1:45.
a.  Verbal witnessing.
b.  Witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e., the filling of the Spirit.  You must also have impersonal love, humility, and an understanding of the subject of the Gospel, which requires spiritual growth.  The greater the spiritual growth, the more effective is personal witnessing, and the more effective is the spiritual gift of evangelism.
c.  Passing momentum testing is the witness of your life.
2.  The Holy Spirit is the sovereign executive of witnessing.  Since the unbeliever has no human spirit, the Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit to make the Gospel real to him, Jn 16:811.
a.  The only sin that is an issue in witnessing is the sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ.  Personal sins are not the issue.  Rejection of Christ results in judgment and condemnation at the Great White Throne.
b.  Common grace is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel clear to the mind of the unbeliever.
c.  Efficacious grace is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making the faith of the unbeliever effective for salvation.
d.  According to 1 Cor 2:14, the unbeliever can’t understand the Gospel apart from God the Holy Spirit.
3.  Pertinent Bible doctrine, i.e., the Gospel, is the weapon in witnessing.  Rom 1:16,  “The Gospel is the power of God with reference to salvation;” not our personality or presentation of that Gospel, 1 Cor 1:18.
a.  The Bible is the absolute norm for truth, 2 Pet 1:1221.
b.  The Bible is the source of the Gospel, Lk 16:2831; 1 Cor 15:34.
c.  The Bible is the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
d.  The Bible is divine power, Heb 4:12.
e.  God’s Word never returns void, Isa 55:1.
f.  God’s Word endures forever, Lk 21:33; 1 Pet 1:25.
4.  The believer is an agent in witnessing.
a.  Witnessing is the responsibility of every royal family member.
b.  The witness of the life is found in 2 Cor 3:3, 6:3; and of the lips in 2 Cor 5:1421, 6:2.
c.  The believer must witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, he must exclude every system of human salesmanship so as to not create any false issue.
d.  The believer must understand Christology and soteriology, especially reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, imputation, justification, and atonement.
e.  The believer’s ability to witness depends on his emphasis of the Gospel, and especially the doctrine of reconciliation, Eph 2:1417.  Correct and accurate information is always the effective power.
f.  Rom 1:1416 declares our responsibility and mental attitude in witnessing.
g.  Believers must have assurance of their eternal security; this provides stability in the Gospel presentation, Rom 8:3839; 1 Pet 1:45.
5.  Witnessing is the function of the royal ambassadorship.  The motivation for witnessing comes from our priesthood and our love for God, 2 Cor 5:1820.  The ministry of reconciliation mentioned in that passage belongs to all three categories; i.e., personal witnessing, the function of the evangelist, and the function of the missionary.
6.  Failing to make the issue clear is the great tragedy of witnessing.
a.  Remember Christ is the issue; not renunciation of sins, not argumentation, and not giving up bad habits or taboos.  All of that is salvation by works.
b.  1 Cor 15 declares the Gospel boundaries.  Sin is not the issue; only faith and faith alone in Christ is the issue.  Don’t add to the Gospel of grace.
c.  Changing one’s behavior pattern, personality, or certain sins accomplishes nothing toward salvation.  Feeling sorry for sins and being baptized are false issues in salvation.  Avoid using gimmicks which confuse the issue, such as emotional begging, public invitation, walking of aisles, raising hands, etc.
7.  Effective witnessing depends on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in His convincing or convicting ministry.  The Holy Spirit makes the presentation of the Gospel understandable and real in common grace; this is the inhale.  Efficacious grace is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making effectual the exhale of faith in Jesus Christ.
8.  Summary.
a.  The prerequisite of personal witnessing is knowledge of the pertinent doctrine, which is the Gospel.
b.  The effectiveness of the message depends on the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
c.  Responsibility for witnessing belongs to three categories: the royal ambassador, the evangelist, and the missionary.
d.  The dynamics of witnessing depends on motivation and mental attitude.
e.  Clarity of the issue depends on the believer’s accurate understanding of the two deaths of Christ on the cross, plus the fact of His judgment.  The believer must understand that in the new birth, eternal life and divine righteousness are imputed to us.
9.  The Biblical pattern for witnessing is found in 1 Thes 2.
10.  See the doctrine of Witnessing and the doctrine of Salvation.

C.  The Gift of Evangelism.
1.  A few male believers have the communication gift of evangelism.
2.  This spectacular gift gives the evangelist the ability to gain the attention of crowds.
3.  However, if the evangelist does not clearly present the issue of the Gospel, then receiving the attention of the crowd is meaningless.
4.  Evangelism is conducted inside the client nation in contrast to missionary activity, which is evangelization outside of the client nation.
5.  See the doctrine of Spiritual Gifts.

D.  National Evangelism or Missionary Activity.
1.  Missionaries face a language barrier.  Therefore, they must first learn a new language.
2.  Their second problem is one of strategy.  The Lord knows where positive volition is going to be.  It moves in every generation.  The missionary must be very sensitive to where the Lord leads him.
3.  Missionaries should be the greatest and highest quality of believers.  They must be mature in every possible way, well-trained in all fields of Bible doctrine, languages, customs, and have great virtue.
4.  Personal social intercourse precedes spiritual intercourse, as illustrated by Jesus with Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, the wedding at Cana, the rich young ruler, Simon the tax collector, and Mary of Bethany.  From social intercourse comes spiritual communication.
5.  The indigenous concept must be followed.  In this process, the missionary trains native men to be pastors.  Then new local churches pastored by natives are formed, and they become spiritually selfsustaining and self-propagating.  There must be native witnessing, Bible schools, and seminaries.
6.  The missionary must never become involved in the politics of the country where he serves.  He cannot become distracted by social work, the philosophy of the government, or any form of politics.  The social gospel and social reform is not his emphasis.
7.  The missionary must regard all opposition from the standpoint of logistical grace, and he must depend on the Lord.
8.  There have been many great missionary thrusts in history.
a.  During the Merovingian dynasty of Clovis, and from Pippin the Short to Charlemagne, the Franks were a great German empire and a client nation. The great missionary function of the Franks came on the heels of military victory.  Therefore, no missionary should be anti-military.
b.   Columba of Scotland started all the missionary missions in Ireland and evangelized Scotland.  First, he defeated the Scots, and then he evangelized them.  He was one of the greatest missionaries of all times.
c.  The Vandals and Huns rejected the Gospel as they destroyed the Roman empire, and so they disappeared from history.
d.  Columbanus preached all over eastern France and established indigenous missionary activity in Burgundy.  He also worked in Switzerland.
e.   Boniface from England evangelized in the low countries, in Hess, and among the Saxons.
f.  Ansgar, a Frank, evangelized in Denmark and Sweden.  His ministry lasted for 600 years.
g.  Cyril and Methodius were sent to the Slavs of eastern Europe.
9.  See the doctrine of Client Nations.