Methods of Evangelism

July 21, 2000

Evangelism is the key that unlocks the glory of the Second Coming. There can not be an effective harvest if the seed is not sown. We need to search the scriptures to learn how this seed is planted. Salvation comes from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but it has to be the true Jesus and not a false one. Jesus prepares the heart as soil is prepared for the seed, once the seed is sown, it grows to maturity or it does not. This is what we learn from the Bible and Jesus teaches us that the seed is sown in the heart by us hearing the word of the kingdom. Jesus sows the good seed that bears fruit and the enemy sows the bad seed, but it is through us that it happens one way or another. If the seed is the Word of God and comes by hearing, then someone must be there to speak the word so that others can hear. This is not the word of God spoken in a church for the church is generally made up of those that have already heard. Peter writes of us being born again of incorruptible seed by the word of God and ultimately that comes from God but yet it is through the word spoken in us.

One thing that we may learn from the responses this time is that it is a gift and must be in the power of the Holy Spirit if we are to evangelize. The only way that one can hear the word of the Lord and be saved is if someone is SENT to them. What I am learning here is that those that go without being sent are defeating the purpose of the soil being prepared. Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons are good examples of those being sent by the evil one. They do not go in the power of the spirit, they go from a sense of duty according to their false doctrine and it is in the power of the flesh. We must be careful not to fall into the same category. I still believe however, that we do have a responsibility to make sure that there are those sent into the harvest. Whether we go ourselves or equip others to go or just pray that the Lord will send workers into the field, we should be doing something to bring others into the kingdom. It was mentioned before that it is sheep that reproduce sheep, not the shepherd. Ideally, this means that we have first sought the kingdom and His righteousness in our own lives. If we have done that, then we should be asking and listening to the Lord who will give us the power to know exactly what it is that we should do. One thing we are to do is to be a light to the world. Is that light shining or not?

The amazing conclusion of reading the posts in this edition is of the few disagreements concerning the methods, effectiveness or even the validity of evangelism. We have several great messages as to examples and methods, enough for a handbook for evangelists. There are however disagreements of whether we should even be evangelizing or not. These range from the Great Commission as not even being spoken by Jesus and our Christian example should be enough, to evangelism not bringing others to Christ because of all the poor evangelists in the past. There is, I think valid reasons for thinking that way and it is certainly our responsibility to reach the poor by our example and in many cases as being sufficient. The confusion as to what evangelism is, is that it should be bringing others the good news of a spiritual kingdom, not just the precepts of a religion. The kingdom is to be preached to the poor but that is my point, the gospel needs to be preached as well as lived out, not only in the witness of Jesus but in the power of His name and according to His word. Evangelism has been misused in the past, there is no dispute on that score. There have been those that have brought false doctrine and denominationalism and unscriptural dogma in the past as money grubbing, authoritarian purveyors of crass nationalism and exploitation. But we are to do a new thing here and not be bogged down by the mistakes of the past. We are to put away those things and press on to the higher calling. This means that there are some of us who should be planting and some of us who should be watering and some who should praying for the Lord to work in all of us for Him to bring in the increase and harvest. We are His body, living out His life.

So what is the consensus - are we all evangelists? No, but whether we are or not, evangelism should be a primary concern and if we are not to do it ourselves, we should do everything that we can to help spread the gospel. In this light, I believe that we are all agreed upon this. If not, I will wait for some more responses on this, but if none, I believe that we can move onto the next subject.

Jay

First of all, thanks Jay for your part in making all this possible, it is a real ministry to the Body.

Some Thoughts On What Evangelism Is

I don't have the gift, but I worked for a missions organization (Every Home For Christ) and I learned a few things about evangelism which have helped to form my perspective on how we should evangelize. There is a very interesting (should read "wise") way of looking at the process of conversion called the Engles Scale. It places the time of conversion at 0 and anyone pre-conversion spread out from -1 to -10 based on their openness to the Gospel. Our job as disciples of Christ is to discern where a person is in their journey and do what we can through prayer and other methods to move them from where they are towards 0 (conversion).

Evangelism therefore is more than preaching the conversion message which is really only relevant to those who are at -1 in their journey. In most cases people who are at -5 or greater would actually be moved away from the Gospel and conversion by a preacher proclaiming that they must be born again. For some reason the church has applauded people who "boldly proclaim Christ", but this "boldness" is called the "hunter" mentality. The idea being that a hunter comes upon a herd of deer and shoots one, but scares 49 away. So what is the answer for us who love the lost?

Evangelism has to be spiritual since it is a spiritual matter, that being, changing the spirit of man. Only God can change the Heart of man. We can only assist Him in doing that. Our evangelism ministry is therefore born in submission to the Holy Spirit, because only God knows the route and the need of the moment of a particular individual. I personally don't think you should speak to a friend or relative about the Gospel until they show signs that they are hungry for answers. You should only pick ripe fruit. Prayer is what ripens a person with hunger for God. In this way we are co-workers with God. Although we may love the lost, our love is a fraction of God's love, and our love is usually impure. Therefore true evangelism originates in the heart of God, not our own. It is motivated by His love in us, rather than our guilt or duty or other fleshly motive, and is expressed by an attitude of submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

The church is looking for a huge harvest but for what purpose/end? To make converts slaves to the Church or bond-slaves of Christ? I can say with great certainty that that harvest will not come to the Church, until it sees the great offenses it has caused to the Gospel by it's religious, self interest. If it will humble itself and repent before unbelievers of its failure to love them, its religious nonsense, and its self interest, the Lord will move hearts. There are millions of believers who see through the organization called the Church and reject it. They are not looking for another organization to join, but would run toward a true manifestation of the Body of Christ. I hear the prophets prophesy a great harvest and yes it will come but not in the way they are perceiving it. To the Body of Christ millions will be attracted, not necessarily the Church (unless it "rights" it many offenses against unbelievers). Only God can do this, but there is a tremendous need right now for small groups to help those who are "stuck" in their spiritual walk towards Christ and conversion. There are millions of people who believe but are "lost sheep" wandering and looking. The harvest is ripe but the Church is a stumbling block to them coming to Christ. There is need for a loving, relational, non-religious setting for people to find Christ. Home churches give the evangelist and the rest of the five-fold ministry the prime opportunity to use their "grace" for the important call of loving the lost. True evangelism is for those who have learned to walk in the Spirit of God, love with the Heart of God, and to bear fruit by the grace of God.

I spent the weekend with relatives from South America and across the country. They having heard of my recent book, "A Journey In The Wilderness - Becoming Fruitful In The Kingdom" knew I was a Christian. They expected me to be offensive, extreme, judgmental, and obstinate. I suppose another relative (christian) had inoculated them against christians and therefore the Gospel. I never once preached to them or judged them. I didn't try to imply I was better than them, nor separate myself from them. Jesus hung out with sinners and loved them. I respected them, and where they were in their journey. I tried to understand them and accept them and most of all love them in spite of our differences. They said, that I wasn't what they expected and because of that, wanted to read the book and give to it what I had given to them, "understanding and acceptance". God always respects us in our current position. We should respect everyone even those who are hostile to the Gospel. They have a right to their choice, and if we are in faith and not fear, we can trust God to save them, if we release HIm in prayer to work toward that end in their life.

Evangelism for me, has been for the most part, "prayer as the Lord would lead", but I have made some subtle rules. If I meet a person more than once through circumstances, I pray for them. If they are friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors, I pray for them. If I sense a person I meet is open to the Gospel, I pray for them. If they are hostile to the Gospel, I like to pray for them. If they are in need, I like to pray for them. If they abuse me or cheat me, I like to pray for them. I like to pray for the gas station attendant, the woman at the post office, the bus driver, sometimes I just like to spread grace around at random. I am not an evangelist but evangelism is more than preaching salvation, it is loving people in the way they can receive God's love. Sometimes that is just by smiling at them, accepting them, and praying for them.

Here is a song I wrote for my daughters 20th birthday which underscores the importance of prioritizing our lives to the purpose of building up Treasure in Heaven (Evangelism).

Treasure in Heaven

Lashed to the oar and
Driven by the drum
The corporate media mirage
Bombards us till we're numb
They tell us who we are
They tell us who we aren't
If we bow down and serve them
They tell us we are smart

The rules are so subtle
They are rarely ever spoken
But you are under suspicion
If any of them are broken
We're slaves to acceptance
We want to belong
We sell our lives for things
Worth as little as a song

They make you pay a price
If you don't want to belong
To a system that is failing
And will collapse before too long
To them you are a failure
If you live your life for more
Putting everything you have
Into bags that can't be tore

Even from some pulpits
It is taught without shame
That if you don't appear prosperous
You don't know the power of Jesus' name
But that price is cheap, compared
A greater price was paid
Treasure will cost you your everything
But no better deal can be made

In weakness and in death
The Spirit brings success
In poverty and brokenness
There is victory that will bless
If you choose to become a poor man
To share the second birth
You will enter Heaven a rich man
And see your true net worth

Overrule the Heart of Flesh
And the folly and lusts of it
Repent of the idolatry of image
And walk in the Spirit
Throw off the bonds that hold you
To the values of this world
Invest in treasure in Heaven
That returns a thousand fold

Chorus:
Store up treasure in Heaven
Prove that you are very smart
Bring to the Father, souls and righteous deeds
And a pure and faithful Heart

Paul K. Weigel 1999

Blessings, Paul Weigel
"A Journey In The Wilderness - Becoming Fruitful In The Kingdom"
www.theforerunner.net
paul@theforerunner.net

Hi Jay,

I think this is an on time subject. While there is, I believe, the Ministry Gift of Evangelist, are all given the charge by the Lord to "Go Ye" and preach the Gospel. We have all been called to the Ministry of Reconciliation. I believe this calling varies from those who may be Prayer Warriors who PRAY 24/7 (or close to it), or those who are called to live a VISABLE & FUCTIONING Christianity, to the one who is ANOINTED to WIN THE LOST at ALL COST Evangelist.

I believe it comes down to the question asked by Worship Leader Danny Chambers;

If Christianity were OUTLAWED tomorrow would there be enough EVIDENCE in YOUR LIFE to CONVICT you, not your Church, not your Pastor, but YOU ?!?!?

Love In JESUS,
Bro. GENE

Jay, I think we Christians make too big a fuss over "proper" and "professional" evangelism. Folks everywhere and of ANY "persuasion" just want to be treated nicely and fairly. As Christians we should DO that, then after awhile TELL them in what power we can do it. That is, not in our own power can it be sustained, but in the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Simple really, but the Pre-Christian will only wonder (and even be suspicious) about it and with many we will be considered "fools" for our charity and concern, not only for people's souls, but for helping them in the first place. It's a "dilemma" for sure, but one in which we are CALLED to be in. "Show and Tell" Remember it in school? Just follow it in relating to Pre-Christians.

Loveya, a.k.a. Larry Ingle

Hi Jay, Evangelism is one of the gifts of the Spirit that Paul was trying to explain in his letter. This was an anointing for any believer to help another mature in their understanding of who they are in Messiah. This gift is for maturing of a believer not reaching an unbeliever. It is the job of the Spirit of Yahveh to draw the unbelievers to Himself, not a person. Our job is to be ready to give an answer when asked and to be His witnesses.

When the Spirit of Yahveh moves in someone's life that doesn't mean they are called in to lifetime ministry. If Yahveh isn't moving in a persons life it's only their own flesh.

There is a deliberate mistranslation of Mark 16 that justifies the position of the church to go and preach (usually with no accountability or follow up) instead of teaching and discipline others who have been drawn by the Spirit to serve Yahveh through His son. The earliest Greek manuscripts do not contain Mark 16: 9-20, they have been added. Mark 16:15 is the only place you will find this man derived mandate to go and preach the gospel.

It is a disheartening fact that we have been taught incorrectly by people we loved and trusted. They are not responsible for us and won't be answering for us on the day of judgment. We can't afford to blindly accept what we are taught.

Relationship! It's all about relationship; with the father through His son and with each other. How well do you know the people in your church. Think about it. You could move as an evangelist in some ones life tomorrow. Are you ready?

Dave

Jay, I want to put in my two cents on the subject of evangelism. I am appending here a teaching on the subject that was put together a long time ago when we were just starting to do evangelism of unreached peoples in Indonesia. My first disciple and I put this together from an examination of the pattern in the Gospels.

Scriptural Teaching on Evangelism

"Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15). There are many methods of evangelism. But in this chapter we want to show the method used by Jesus and His followers. If we follow the example of Jesus and the early church, our evangelism will surely be fruitful.

Jesus' Method of Evangelism.

From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus walked through the towns and villages preaching the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14,15). On the Sabbath Day He went into the synagogues where He taught and did miracles (Luke 4:15,31-37). After that Jesus went out into the streets looking for people that needed help. He said, "The Son of Man came to save what was lost" (Matthew 18:11). Jesus forgave sins, healed the sick, cast out demons, and performed other miracles, which showed the power of God. Many people saw these miracles, and the news spread quickly. To the crowds that gathered, the Lord Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God, urging His hearers to repent and believe this Gospel. He used very few words in bringing the Gospel to new people. Whenever someone received His help with an open heart, Jesus said, "Your faith has saved you". When people opposed Him, Jesus rebuked them with very stern words. He taught the people who became His followers, giving them a deeper understanding of the Kingdom of God. He called a little band to be with Him in the closest type of fellowship and to be prepared to continue His work (Mark 3:13, 14). These disciples were given very deep but very practical teaching in close fellowship with Him.

The Early Christians' Method of Evangelism.

We can see the early church's method of evangelism in the Book of Acts. When Paul and other apostles came into a district where there were not yet any Christians, they normally went first into the Jewish synagogue where they preached and performed miracles. Usually there were some people who believed, but others that opposed strongly, especially the Jewish leaders. The apostles were always driven out of the synagogue. Then they began to preach the Gospel outside in the streets, the market places, and everywhere there were people to listen. The apostles' evangelism was always accompanied with healing and other miracles. All the people who repented and received Jesus and believed in Him were baptized immediately with water, and as soon as possible with the Holy Spirit. Then generally the apostles stayed on in the city for a few weeks or months to teach the new converts, encouraging them to meet together in their homes to pray and break bread together. Often the apostles were persecuted by the opposition and driven out of the city. They would escape to another city and begin again there.

Content of the Early Christians' Evangelism.

The early evangelists stressed four major points:

  1. They proclaimed the joyful news about the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:12).
  2. They proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of mankind (Acts 17:3).
  3. They told the most important facts about Jesus Christ, His life, His suffering, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His coming again (Acts 2:14-36).
  4. They called people to believe in Jesus and receive Him for their salvation (Acts 16:31). The apostles' evangelism was always positive and Christ-centered. They did not start with talk about sin or powers of darkness, but they fixed people's attention on Jesus, His glory, and His help.

Jesus' Instructions for Evangelists.

In Luke 10:1-11, we read the instructions Jesus gave His disciples when He sent them out:

  1. Don't take anything with you. These words of Jesus are very radical, because He forbade them to carry anything, even extra clothing. Certainly if we take this instruction seriously, we will attach less importance to expensive equipment such as tape recorders, pictures, projectors, tracts, automobiles, and the like. We must realize that the most important equipment for the evangelist is the Gospel written in his heart.

    Through our experience in Indonesia, we have found that the best visual aids are the ones that God produces Himself. Shortly after we moved into our training center in East Java, we held an evangelistic campaign in front of our house in a big open field. Each day for several days, thousands of people from town and from surrounding villages came and stood for hours to hear the Gospel. Most of them had never even heard of Jesus before. Over nine hundred people were healed of blindness, deafness, and many other ailments. We collected a small mountain of crutches and canes from people who had been healed. People for miles around knew that the Christians have a living God. We did not need to show a film of something happening somewhere else, because it was happening right before their eyes.

  2. Don't greet anybody on the way. When we go out to evangelize, we should not talk to other people about things other than the Lord. We must not mix worldly matters of any kind with the Lord's work. If we go out together as a team for ministry, it is best not to talk to each other on the way. Our whole attention is fixed on God and on our mission. We need to be able to hear the Lord's voice guiding us moment by moment.

    One night in our fellowship, the Lord said: "Send a team to Bali immediately. They may not speak to anyone along the way, until I send someone to lead them." They rode a bus to the eastern end of Java, took the ferry boat across to Bali, and got on another bus, still not talking and not knowing how far they should go. At a particular moment, all felt they should get off the bus. Immediately a man met them and took them to his village, A crowd gathered and the team began to tell them about Jesus. From there, the Lord led them from place to place, miraculously opening doors of ministry.

  3. When you enter a house, give your peace there. This means we should always begin right away with prayer. We ask for God's peace and God's guidance in that household and on everything we say there. In this way, we avoid all useless talking. When we go, for instance, to minister to a sick person, we should not sit and chat with the family first, or drink tea with them. The sick person would not be healed. We must go in directly to minister to the sick person. Whatever mission the Lord gives us must be fulfilled first. Only after this is completed can we observe the amenities.

    One time, as we came into a village, we were met by a blind girl. We felt we should pray for her. But we were hot and tired from the journey and said, "Let's get a drink of tea first." Afterwards we prayed for the girl several times with great intensity, but only succeeded in making the family bitter and antagonistic toward the Gospel. It was a bitter lesson.

  4. When you are received in a house, stay there and eat and drink what is set before you. This constitutes a promise that the Lord will supply all the evangelist's needs through other people. The teams we send out for evangelism and ministry are usually given enough money to get where they are going. From there on, they trust the Lord to supply all their needs for food, shelter, and further transportation without asking anything from anyone. We also claim the promise of this verse when we are presented with strange foods. We eat whatever people give us without fearing sickness.

  5. Tell them that the Kingdom of God is near. Remember that this was precisely the content of Jesus' message and the message of the early church evangelists. It is not enough to proclaim the help (salvation) that is available in Jesus. He is the coming King, and he is to be the Lord of our lives now. We must lead people to accept Him as their Lord, the Ruler of their lives, and not just a blessing machine.

  6. Heal the sick in the city. Evangelism must not be by word only, but with healing and other miracles which confirm the Word.

    In Javanese villages, everyone has experienced supernatural power, but not from the Lord. Increasingly this is true even in this country. If we come to them just with words, they will be polite and thank us for coming. But nothing will happen. They need to know that God is more powerful than the witch doctor, or the horoscope, or whatever involvement they may have. When we evangelize in a formerly unevangelized area, we ask the Lord to lead us to someone with a real need.

    One day two of our young people went into a house where a man was dying of tuberculosis. He had been deserted by his family and was too weak to sit up. When they started to tell him about Jesus, he remembered that he had once been a Christian, but for many years had not followed Christ. Our young evangelists prayed for him and the Lord raised him up immediately. His friends and neighbors saw that he had been healed. They began to gather regularly to hear about Jesus.

    In another village a woman's stomach was swelled so badly that she looked like a great big balloon. She was prayed for and her body returned to a normal shape. She and many of her neighbors turned to the Lord. The Lord likes to help people first. After that, there is plenty of time for them to get acquainted with Him and learn all about Him.

  7. If you are not received, kick off the dust, reminding them that: The Kingdom of God is near. Those who accept the Gospel receive great blessings from the Lord. But those who refuse are to be given a stern warning, so that they understand what decision they have made. Kicking off the dust is also a reminder to us that we leave behind any feelings we may have of frustration, anger, and discouragement, and we start afresh in the next place.

Power for Preaching.

If we want to follow Jesus' and His disciples' example, we must realize that we cannot minister with our own ability, especially if we want to do miracles in Jesus' Name. We need power from on high. Remember that Jesus Himself said, "The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work' (John 14:10). How much more we need this humility. In baptism we are given the right to all the power of the Name of Jesus. This is the real meaning of being baptized into (eis) the Name of Jesus. The Name of Jesus is powerful. After Pentecost, the apostles performed miracles in the Name of Jesus. They did not pray for healing, but commanded it in His Name. One day, as we were studying healing in Acts, the principal of the junior high school came and asked us to pray for the little sister of a student. She had been paralyzed for several days, and was unable to move her leg. One of our team members said, "In Jesus' Name, raise your leg." She did, and was completely healed. Her family believed, and, for days after, friends and neighbors came to the Lord as the result of that miracle. When we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we receive the same power that operated in the ministry of Jesus and the early Church. Jesus promised, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit is the power to do miracles in the Name of Jesus, and it is also the power that urges people from within to receive the salvation which is offered to them. "When He [that is, the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8). While we are explaining about the Kingdom of God and witnessing to someone about Jesus' help, the Holy Spirit is also speaking in the person's heart, convicting him of his condition and his need, and urging him to receive Jesus as his Savior. If he accepts, the Spirit will work a miracle in his heart and give him a beautiful new life.

Practicing Evangelism

Our purpose in evangelism is to lead people as quickly as possible through the four-fold process of being born anew--believing, repenting, being baptized in water, being baptized in the Holy Spirit. In our initial presentation of the Gospel, we use as few words as possible. We are introducing our friend Jesus. In making introductions, we often tell a few significant facts about the Person we are introducing. Then, as they begin to get acquainted, they can fill in the details. It is not helpful to give a long explanation, from Creation to the Second Coming of Jesus or the doctrine of the Trinity, to people who are not yet born again. They will not understand it, and it will just raise more questions whose answers they also cannot yet understand.

Once I went with a young Indonesian evangelist to pray for a sick girl. The father was a Christian, but the mother was not. The evangelist began to speak to the mother, reading John 14:6 very slowly. "Jesus said, 'I am the way . . . the truth . . . and the life . . . . No one comes to the Father . . . except through Me.'" He explained the verse in about three short sentences, emphasizing certain words. Then he told her, "Jesus loves you very much." The woman began to cry, and confessed her sins without being told to do so. She spontaneously acknowledged her need of Jesus as her Savior and invited Him to take over her life. She was immediately transformed. Jesus was introduced, and received, but the introduction took only about one minute. Then we all prayed for the girl's healing together.

Sometimes people want to ask many questions and try to understand the Gospel thoroughly before accepting it. We have to tell them this is impossible, because God is infinitely greater than their understanding. It is best for them to get acquainted with Jesus first, then the other things will begin to be clear.

One day a young Moslem neighbor came to our Training Center with a list of theological questions. Jerimia, one of our students, talked with him. Jerimia said, "There's no use of my answering all your questions, you can't understand because you aren't yet born again. Go home now, and decide if you want to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. Then you will be able to understand." The boy went home, but before six o'clock the next morning he was on our doorstep again. "I couldn't sleep," he said, "I want to receive Jesus now." Since then, he has done a great work for the Lord among the college students in the nearby city, and effective missionary work with the primitive tribes on the islands of Irian Jaya and Timor.

When we go to evangelize, we don't go anywhere we like, nor do we indiscriminately knock on all the doors on the street. It is better to let the Spirit tell us exactly where to go and to whom to speak. Often He will lead us to a person who is in obvious need of healing or of other help. We can then minister with the gifts of the Spirit, and a miracle can take place. This encourages belief. Sometimes when there is a healing or other miracle, the friends, neighbors, or the whole neighborhood will gather, and we can introduce them all to Jesus.

In a little village church started by one of our students, the teenagers, and even the little children began to experience the gifts of the Spirit. There was a word in their prayer meeting saying, "Go north two kilometers and west one kilometer. There you will find a lame person. Heal him and bring him to church." They went out as directed, entered the house the Lord indicated, and found the lame person. He was healed by the power of God, and walked back to church with them. Another time the Lord woke some of the young people in the middle of the night. He told them to go to a certain house where they would find someone in trouble. They knocked on the door, and a woman opened it. She was weeping and distraught, unable to sleep. They ministered the love and peace of Jesus to her.

We should always go out by two or three to evangelize. While one person talks, the others can pray. If we watch the eyes of the person we are evangelizing, and are also sensitive to the Lord's voice, we can know the moment when the Spirit has moved his heart to receive the Lord. At that moment, let us not talk or explain anything more, even if we think we have more to say. If we delay, the moment will pass and the decision will be more difficult. At that moment of desire, we must stop and say, "Would you like to receive Jesus now? Do you want to know Him now?" or words to that effect. Then we pray with them, encouraging them to pray and invite Jesus to come into their lives and take over as Lord and Savior.

Then a miracle occurs in their lives. They are justified (made righteous) before God. The peace and joy of God, which surpasses all understanding, descends on them, and they become new creatures in Christ. Perhaps they will want to confess their sins, and we should encourage them to do so truthfully and hopefully, with full assurance that Jesus forgives, forgets, and sets them free. Old things have passed away, the new has begun. It is a glorious moment, and a great privilege just to be there when it happens. In village evangelism in our area in Indonesia, when a new convert believes and repents, our workers explain to him the need to be baptized in water. They perhaps read a few verses from Romans 6, emphasizing that in baptism our old nature is buried with Christ and we receive a new life in Him. Then they ask, "where is the nearest river?" They go to the river immediately and baptize the new converts. God performs another miracle. They are dead to sin and alive to righteousness. Our workers encourage them to burn their old magic charms and other instruments of heathen worship. They are free from the old sinful nature, free from the power of sin, and free to live in holiness before God. Everything looks different to them and they are new people.

A man in one of the villages near us was the only Christian in his family. One day, as he was sitting at his table reading the Bible, his wife got a stick and started beating him as hard as she could. He said that a couple of months ago he would have killed her. But now the love of God was so great in his heart that he did not even feel the least bit of anger. The Lord changes people.

We believe that immediate baptism is the perfect scriptural way, and also the most effective procedure. I am painfully aware that it is in open conflict with the traditions and regulations of many church denominations. But let our focus be on Jesus and His ways and hold fast to the real New Testament pattern in our heart and our acts. Who knows how much our submissive spirit to His will may influence our fellows?

The efficacy of baptism will depend in large degree on the faith and sincerity in the heart of the candidate. We should be as sure as possible of the genuineness of his repentance and acceptance of Jesus before we baptize him. If we are sensitive in hearing the Spirit's voice, He will give us clear guidance in this matter.

When the new convert has been baptized in water, he can often immediately be encouraged to seek and receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In fact, in several instances in the New Testament, baptism in the Spirit precedes water baptism. The order of these baptisms is not critical, though, of course, conversion and repentance must precede both.

If there is not real repentance, or if people still have occult practices or magic charms, strange manifestations can occur. We need to lead the people to a complete break with the past and a thorough deliverance before we pray for anyone to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Anyone who has taken part in seances, playing with ouija boards, water witching, hypnotism, and similar practices must seek deliverance and renounce these practices before seeking baptism in the Holy Spirit.

One day in Sumatra, we were praying for a Catholic lady to receive the baptism in the Spirit. She began to make very strange noises and to shake. We stopped her and asked if she had any magic charms at home. She said she did and went home and got them. We burned them and prayed for her deliverance. Then we prayed again for baptism in the Spirit, and within a minute she was praising the Lord in a beautiful new tongue.

In Chicago, I met a young evangelist who had been unable to receive the baptism in the Spirit. The Lord told me what was wrong, so I said to him, "Ten years ago you were going to services at a spiritualist church. You need deliverance from that before the Holy Spirit can work freely in your life." He acknowledged that this was so, renounced the spiritualist experience, was delivered from all the occult powers, and was free to receive the fullness of God's Holy Spirit.

We must remember that we can baptize people in water in the Lord's Name, but only Jesus Himself can baptize people in the Holy Spirit. Our ministry to those who want to receive the Holy Spirit consists mainly in supporting them with our prayers. Sometimes it is helpful to accompany our prayer with the laying on of hands. We can encourage them to trust Jesus to baptize them with His Spirit because that is clearly promised in the Scripture. If they believe and yield their tongues to the Lord, He will give them a new language in which to pray and praise Him. They will begin to speak in new tongues as the Spirit gives them utterance. We should then encourage them to continue praying in this language of the Spirit.

When we have helped people to arrive at this point, the work of evangelism has been completed. They become new-born babes in Christ, and, as such, will need much tender loving care. We have used few words in evangelism, but now we will need to give much instruction. The new converts must be built up in the faith, taught to pray, walk in the Spirit, and maintain the new life of holiness they have received in Jesus.

Edwin Stube

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It is interesting that Evangelist is not seen as a gift when clearly in EPH 4:8, it says, "...he gave GIFTS unto men." Yes sir, evangelism is a gift. Some have it, some don't. He gave gifts according to the measure of faith. Recently I was watching a very well known TV preacher by the name of K. Copeland. He is not an evangelist, but a pastor and moves in the prophetic as well. He has evangelized, but not very successfully. In the beginning of his ministry, however, he had evangelists like Jerry Savelle and Jesse Duplantis who are called to evangelism, to help water!

Jay, my point here is that if K. Copeland, who is not an evangelist, gave an altar call, he would get few people, but, my God, let the evangelists do it, it is tremendous. I have seen Jesse D. get 400 at a time as soon as he opened his mouth. Why? Because that's their gift and no one else's. I believe it is everyone's calling to preach the Gospel, but the five-fold gifts are NOT for everyone, EVANGELISM being one of those gifts! Evangelism is not necessarily preaching. There are teaching preachers and there are evangelistic preachers too. My intent here is not to offend, but offer a view. I hope this helps.
Comments are welcome.
love in Jesus, Joseph
Ap77joseph@cs.com

Dear Jay,
I am sorry, i cannot agree with you this time...i do not think that evangelism brings people to Christ. It may bring people to His name, out of fear, pain or simply the want (in 3rd world countries) for food and medicine. I spend much of the year in Mexico, and i spend my time among the less fortunate. The people are poor but happy. This to me is the important part. Even though the missionaries have brought their version of Christ to where i visit, it seems that they have brought mostly dogma, ritual, (not to mention bloody murder) and a sense of moral superiority. But the people follow the example of Christ more fully than most Christians i know here. This did not come from evangelism, but from truly understanding the message of Jesus. Evangelists go on and on about how Christ died for us, rather than, to me, the more important fact that he LIVED for us. These people are poor, they understand suffering, and being cast out, and persecution....my philosophy is that they rejoice because for them sorrow has no meaning, it would profit them nothing and they understand this. They are kind to each other, they feed each other even when it means going without themselves. They take in family members in need without judgment. They love and accept each other. Maybe we should go and learn from them rather than trying to turn them into a carbon copy of us, after stripping their culture bare of anything that goes against our beliefs. It is my belief that we lead by example, this is what i feel is important to God....i do not think that we get points for huge meetings where scared children who don't speak english are given standing ovations for being able to pronounce the name Jesus. As far as i can see it's just a big money grab, and i can't stand it.
Just my opinion,
With love,
Tanya

Jay, Your question was interesting, it is exactly the question that was asked by the pastor of a church we visited on Sunday. His message was with fervent appeals to the congregation to "go into ALL the earth and preach the gospel" and he said exactly this. WE ARE ALL called on to DO the things the Lord has commanded us to DO. How can we say we love our neighbors if we have no concern for their souls, if we really believe that Jesus is coming back and that the earth will be consumed by fiery judgment, that all who are outside of the ARK of the SECOND COVENANT will be forever separated from the Lord who has loved them and died for them, but we are withholding the GOOD NEWS from those around us because we are ashamed or embarrassed to tell them what we ourselves profess to BELIEVE and KNOW is TRUTH? He also made it clear this should not be done in "Christianese", which is a language the world doesn't even speak, but that we need to get to know people who don't know the Lord and learn to speak whatever language they speak so we CAN tell them. WE can PREACH loudest at times by what we DO even if we have no words they can "understand", we can LOVE and share the LOVE of Jesus with them.....that is the responsibility of everyone who knows the Truth, and if we truly love we will be poured out to the hungry and the stranger among us, both spiritually and physically. We will also let them know WHY we love them, because HE FIRST LOVED US! You can't really love them and watch them die in a fire without rushing in to at least TRY to pull them out! I think all the letters the Apostles left for us are written to admonish and exhort us to WALK in this world as JESUS walked, doing good and healing and loving and being the AMBASSADORS of another world, the KINGDOM of HEAVEN which Jesus clearly tells us is NOT OF THIS WORLD....the real problem is we live here as though we are quite "at home" in the world, not like we are the ones who are pilgrims and strangers here, more like we are the OWNERS of the WORLD. We get to grasping, clasping and holding onto our goods the same way the world around us does, which makes it pretty hard for them to believe we believe a word we are saying about the WORLD TO COME, the UNSEEN HEAVEN in our hearts. I think EARTH and WORLD are as different as BODY and FLESH, so I will just define my terms for any who may wonder what I mean when I am saying that. I think the EARTH will be made new as the world as we know it is consumed by the Judgement that is to come upon all who are outside the gates when He gets here.

"God so loved the world He gave HIS ONLY begotten SON". Jesus became God's very own offering to sacrifice on the alter (He didn't spare HIS own son as HE had Abraham's). Jesus IS the sacrificial lamb who has been slain so we can be saved from the very RIGHTEOUS judgement of a very RIGHTEOUS creator who has suffered mankind for all this time, waiting in LOVE for ALL MEN TO BE SAVED...

God doesn't WILL for ANY man to perish. And when I think there are people who won't evangelize or witness to others because they believe God has already elected who will be saved and it makes no difference what we say or do, it is only the SOVEREIGN move of God to save them, I have to wonder if they have read the whole gospel story! It certainly isn't the message Jesus gave us by HIS life, death and resurrection. He says, "any who COME to ME I will in NO WISE cast out" and He weeps over Jerusalem who "stones her prophets and drives out their MESSIAH"....He took the Kingdom away from the "elect" and "gave it to the Gentiles" (most of us, you and me!) and they will be LAST to enter into these promises they were FIRST to receive! It's up to the Church now to get the word to the world, THE MESSIAH has COME. THE ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT IS BUILT, ALL WHO WANT TO BE SAVED THROUGH THE FIRE OF GOD'S JUDGEMENT ARE FREE TO ENTER" and I think it's time we are out gathering in the lost, the lame, the blind, any who realize their NEED of a SAVIOR. The first ark was filled with a few people and lots of animals (what does that say about human intelligence?) Again, how we go about this gathering of souls is key to our "success" in getting them to follow us to the ARK, and we aren't supposed to be out there driving men like they are cattle, just simply "calling them home"....gathering in the strays, searching for the lost or those who have been driven out, loving the world back to the ONE who has most LOVED them. Gently leading, with a SHEPHERD'S STAFF, not a cattle prod. Many are still afraid to come home, afraid they won't be accepted or welcomed because of the guilt and shame they still carry around as scars from the snares they've fallen into. That's OUR job, to convince them it isn't true that the Lord won't take them back.

If we KNOW HIM then we ought to SHOW THEM the LOVE we TELL them THEY ought to HAVE inside of them! How else can they know if we don't share with them what WE HAVE LEARNED and what we CLAIM to believe? Any of us who have been prodigals or prostitutes caught in the act and saved from the stones ought to know what kind of Merciful Savior we are serving. If we are ashamed of Jesus, then why should He not be ashamed of us when we show up wanting to reap all the benefits of those who have been out laboring in the Harvest? Why should we eat from THEIR sacrifice or their labor if we just sit around waiting for dinner to be served and the feasting to begin? I don't think so! We have a big job out there to do and the fields are RIPE and READY, the laborers are FEW, and the LORD of the HARVEST is calling and giving out jobs to anyone who is AVAILABLE to GO into those fields. He has been giving us lots of WAKE UP calls, but it's my guess that there will still be those who will be sleeping, gambling, or playing games on the shoreline when the SHIP pulls in that is heading HOME....when it comes time to GET ON BOARD....

I read something Frances Frangipane said recently that really hit home for me. When God told Noah to BUILD the ARK before the first judgement of all the earth (the great flood) He never gave him the time or the DATE it would happen, He only gave him the mission. He told him what to do and how to do it. When Noah finished the assignment, did exactly what he was told, he took his family and went into the ark. Anyone could have gone on that ark who wanted to be saved, they didn't. The door closed, and THE FLOOD CAME and did exactly what Noah had been told it would. It's the same for us. We are all here with a mission, and Jesus made it quite clear to us what we are to do until the moment HE gets back to TAKE US HOME....to establish HIS KINGDOM from the throne in Jerusalem HE will bring down from HEAVEN with HIM....believe it or not, our choice. But, if we DO believe it and if we CALL HIM LORD, then we WILL DO what HE SAYS and we will preach the gospel to EVERY creature, take the message of HIS death, resurrection and COMING KINGDOM into ALL THE EARTH, into until every kindred, tribe, nation and tongue has HEARD that message, THEN HE WILL COME, according to everything we have been TOLD by HIM and HIS APOSTLES, the prophets, the teachers and all who have OBEYED that HEAVENLY VISION and brought us the TRUTH....it is all up to us now, the laborers here coming in at the last hour to finish up the work the Apostles began, and the LAST will be FIRST, the FIRST will be LAST, but all who labor together will ENJOY the fruit of the harvest and eat from the abundance of the Lord's House when we bring in ALL our sheaves and lay them at HIS FEET, our Righteous and JUST and HOLY and GOOD KING JESUS!

If we don't know HE really loves us by now, folks, it's pretty doubtful that we ever will....what more could HE possibly do to have proven so GREAT a LOVE as this? He LAID down HIS LIFE for us!!! What on earth do we have to be ashamed of? This kind of LOVE? The greatest MAN who ever walked the earth? OUR FRIEND, OUR LOVER and our KING? We should be so honored to be called by that NAME that JESUS has given to us, and proud to belong to HIM, the creator of all HEAVEN and EARTH, greatly privileged to be chosen to be HIS BRIDE! What causes me shame is to think I have ever failed to love HIM in return as HE has loved me, or that I could ever have caused Him pain by being unfaithful or unwilling to serve HIM due to my own selfish pursuits in this fallen, greed-driven world we live in! I am a little fervent today and feeling the heat rather passionately, but you know what? This is FIRST LOVE and it is being so very rekindled in my heart, stirring up all those passions of the first day I came to look into the face of JESUS and realize HOW MUCH HE LOVES ME! That is HOT and I love this JESUS with everything IN ME....I also really love the people I see around me, both lost and found, and my earnest desire is to see EVERYONE on that glorious day celebrating the great marriage supper of the LAMB, while I am rejoicing at that table and filled with everlasting JOY in HIS KINGDOM!!! Where I will sing of HIS LOVE forever, starting YESTERDAY and going on and on Forever, love you guys! Keep up the GOOD work til HE COMES. Karen

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