Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: The Evangelist's Calling
By Doug Laird
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Until an individual is born again, he/she does not have the capacity to comprehend spiritual information (1). He/she is spiritually dead, and dead people are powerless to do anything for themselves.
It is part of the pre-salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Who makes the Gospel Message understandable for the soul of the unbeliever to make a personal decision. No one decides when he/she is going to “get right” with God. Salvation is always a response to the Work of God the Holy Spirit who prepares the message, the messenger, and the opportunity for the recipient to respond.
The function of the evangelist is to present the Gospel Message to unbelievers. This differs from the function of the pastor-teacher whose primary purpose it is to focus on the spiritual edification for the development of discipleship in those who have already been saved.
There are those individuals who are selected (2) and gifted by God to function in the capacity of evangelists. God arranges for these individuals to present the Gospel Message to relatively large and diverse audiences.
However, every born again believer is called to be an ambassador (3) of the Kingdom of God. An ambassador is a person who is sent to represent and to speak in behalf of the kingdom or nation that appointed him/her.
As an ambassador for the Kingdom of God, every born again believers is called to function in that capacity in his/her home, personal relationships, familial, social, and secular settings of his/her daily life.
As Christ’s ambassadors, we do not voice our own opinions, but are to be diligent in our responsibility to deliver His message (4).
The official message of the Kingdom consists of the unadulterated Gospel regarding salvation and the edifying doctrines of Scripture that apply to the Church Age dispensation for the purpose of experiential sanctification. In keeping with the topic of this article, we will focus on the Gospel.
Anything that is added to the requirement of believing in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to either obtain or retain salvation is blasphemy.
His Work on the cross provides the means of salvation for all mankind, but as He taught (5), each individual soul must be born again in order for His Work to apply to him/her.
Man was originally created as a three part being; body, soul, spirit. As a result of the Fall of Man, every person (with the exception of the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to qualify as the Lamb of God (6) is born physically alive (body), with a soul that will forever in one of two eternal destinations, but spiritually dead, separated from God.
Once an individual reaches the age or stage of moral accountability, he/she is headed for Hell in the spiritually dead condition in which he/she was born, separated from God, unless he/she is born again (spiritually) by believing the Gospel Message in the course of his/her time here on Earth.
As a result of the new birth, the individual is restored to the spiritually alive condition in which Man was originally created. While earthly discipline (7) and loss of heavenly reward(s) (8) await believers who choose not to follow through with the post-salvation plan of God, the status of his/her salvation remains permanently secure.
The heart of the evangelist will ache at times. Paul expressed this (9) in his willingness to be self condemned if that would result in the salvation of his people, the Jews. Paul also knew that this was not possible, as salvation hinges on the choice that each individual has to make for him/herself. We can relate to Paul’s feelings when we see disinterest in spiritual matters being exhibited by others, especially by those with whom we share personal relationships.
We feel morally obligated to speak up when it comes to sharing information when it concerns something that poses a threat to the physical well being of others in our periphery.
Should we not be even more concerned with the salvation or edification of the eternal souls of these same individuals? As His ambassador, what has been your response to the call of the evangelist?
(1) 1Cor. 2: 14 (2) 1Cor. 12: 11 (3) 2Cor. 5: 20 (4) Proverbs 30: 6 (5) John 3: 3 (6) John 1: 29 (7) Hebrews 12: 10 (8) 1Cor. 3: 15 (9) Romans 9: 3
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