The need for personal evangelism has never been greater; we are the generation upon whom the ends of the world [age] has come (I Cor. 10:11). It behooves us as saints of God to take seriously our responsibility, obligation and privilege to witness to the lost and dying world.
It is imperative that the apostolic church of Jesus Christ arise and take its rightful place in the field of evangelism. We must be energized and motivated by the knowledge that, if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost (2 Cor. 4:3): The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is defined in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and applied to the individual life by obeying Acts 2:38-39 (the new birth according to John 3:3-8).
Every person that is baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost has the power witness within them. Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The word witnesses is plural. This means the whole body of Christ, regardless of age or gender, must be involved in personal evangelism.
According to Acts 5:28, the apostles and saints of the early church filled Jerusalem with the true doctrine of Jesus Christ. These people did not have the printed page nor any of the modern technology that we have available today; however, they went everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:4). Personal evangelism was the method of choice. The saints and preachers alike touched and changed lives. The entire body of Christ was involved in reaching the lost with the only Gospel message that can bring salvation.
They went to the market places, the streets, the places of pagan worship, the river banks, the fields, the fishing boats and anywhere there were people. They preached and witnessed to the masses and they preached one on one (Acts 8:26-40).
They were fervent in their thrust and earnest in their desire to evangelize the world. “By the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10). It did not say they were all saved, but they all did hear the Word of the Lord.
They were truly United Apostolic saints. They had problems, but they did not let that hinder them from obeying the command of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).
Today is our opportunity to fill ‘our Jerusalem’ with the only saving Gospel. Jesus said that the Gospel must be preached into the entire world for a witness (Matt 24:14). With the advancement of technology we now have the ability to put the Gospel in every home in North America. We now broadcast our General Conference live over the internet. We have iPhones, iPads, iPods, Tablets, Video, CD’s and DVD’s. In a few seconds we can contact people through the internet, cell phones, text messages and email. All of these will never replace Personal Evangelism. We should use these tools, but they can never replace that ‘hands-on’ touch inherent in personal evangelism.
You will not win everyone you witness to but neither did the apostles and disciples of the early church. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58 ).
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Tim 3:1-5)
Holy Ghost filled saints of God should realize that we have arrived at this juncture in time as Paul prophesied; and, that knowledge should energize us to put forth our best effort to witness to the lost, evangelizing our personal world.
“Jesus said; Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John 4:35-36)
The above scripture speaks about reaping, receiving wages and gathering fruit unto eternal life. These all would be impossible without putting forth some personal effort to be a witness to the lost; Apostolics must do this on purpose and with a purpose. We must break down walls and build bridges into our community if we are going to win them to Jesus Christ for the gospel sake.
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, [or witness] that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:18-20)
We, the Holy Ghost filled saints of God, baptized in Jesus Name, are the ambassadors for Jesus Christ in this world of sin and ungodliness. We are his hands, feet, eyes and spokespersons to the lost in this world on behalf of Jesus Christ.
Jesus imparted to every Holy Ghost filled person the ministry of reconciliation: he also gave us the tools or (word) of reconciliation that we should witness that God was in Christ (the Man Christ Jesus) reconciling the world unto himself.
“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
Jesus Christ did not come into this world with a ministry of condemnation but rather with a ministry of reconciliation that the lost and dying world might be saved through him. He ate with publicans and sinners, accepted the touch of a woman of no reputation, touched the unclean and the dead. Countless examples are available in Scripture to demonstrate the inward compulsion for reconciliation that resided in the bosom of Christ.
He did not go to the lost with a book of do’s and don’ts. He went to them where they were with compassion, showing mercy and sharing truth. When they began to follow him the truth working from the inside brought some external changes in their life
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor 5:17)
The biblical standards of internal holiness, which are manifested outwardly in our attitudes, actions and appearances are not for the sinner; rather they are for those who have truly been born again of the water and Spirit by obeying Acts 2:38-39, which is the New Birth as taught by Jesus Christ in John 3:1-8.
So, remember, we are talking about personal evangelism, so it must be personal. We must first win them to ourselves; we must befriend them. John Cross said, “Where there is no love, put love, and there you will find love. If they do not like you, they will not like your God. Take them from where they are spiritually to where they need to be.” Marion Lawrence said, “First, I learned to love my teacher then I learned to love my teacher’s God.” Just because you love them does not mean you like what they are doing or the way they are living, just because you show mercy does not mean you are compromising your convictions; however, it does mean you have a burden. You have a vision; you are concerned with the lost going to hell, and nobody needs to go to that place of torment.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58)
The above article, “Personal Evangelism” is written by Robert Hall. The article was excerpted and compiled from two UPCI magazines.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.