Bible Discussion Thread

  • Giannis
    Dear brothers/sisters

    What is an evangelist?

    Ephesians 4:11-12

    "11 - And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    12 - For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:'

    The Evangelists mentioned in the above verses are persons that God uses to preach His Word to people.

    Philip was an evangelist.

    Acts 21:8

    "And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of PHILIP THE EVAGELIST which was one of the seven; and abode with him."

    We know the story how he went to Samaria and preached the Gospel to Samaritans.

    Acts 8:5-8 & Acts 8:40

    "5. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

    6. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

    7. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

    8. And there was great joy in that city.

    40. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea."

    That is how an evangelist works in God's work.

    This ministry involves specific persons (male) that God uses to bring His word to masses of people. And how it is proved that they have the specific spiritual gift? Mainly from the results their ministry has. It is Important that God testifies their word. In the case of Philip the whole city believed his preaching and got baptised.

    That is completely different from what we use to call an evangelist nowadays. We simply call evangelist someone who talks to people, usually one at a time,, about Jesus Christ. Those, men and women, are actually evangelists since they bring the Good News of God's salvation to people. But they are not the specific ministry that God uses in His church to evangelize whole towns.

  • Richard H Priday - in Reply
    I have several observations. There is a clear pattern in scripture where the Spirit guides the worker where to go; and in some cases individuals to speak to ahead of time through a dream or vision. You see a common theme such as with the prisoner guard and Paul where the question is asked what must I do to be saved? The same theme; in fact occurs with Jonah; who not only reluctantly preached and saw the population of a large city repent; but also caused the pagans on the boat with him to fear God after he was thrown into the sea. Obviously; the miracles were signs given to the Apostles. One cannot look at this apart from the true "grace" gospel; which causes persecution for all who are "godly in Christ Jesus." The legacy of someone who struggles for years until results occur has often resulted after their martyrdom; such as was the case with Jim Elliott. When we see the character of someone like Paul; or someone like Whitfield who used to pray for hours and shed tears for the lost we find examples of those who are worthy of being emulated. There are too many who are too comfortable to give up their homes; and riches to go to some unknown land to preach the gospel. Compromise and false doctrines; as well as seducing spirits make up much of the TV evangelistic world today; along with many megachurches; particularly in the USA and Africa.

    It isn't a "one size fits all" methodology which should characterize techniques used in street witnessing. It is the same gospel truth; but sensitivity to those who need a listening ear and a hug; and those who need to be gently rebuked. It shouldn't be shouting scriptures in our own anger; or expecting everyone will open up to God's love. First and foremost; we are being faithful witnesses praising God and sowing seeds; letting Him do what He will with them in His timing. We also genuinely listen to people and trust the Spirit to give us the words; as well as admitting when we don't have a particular answer.
  • Giannis - in Reply
    Dear Richard, I think we are in total agreement. Your observations are very successful. I just wondered is it ever going to happen to see things like the ancient church saw? Are there going to be people like Paul, Peter, Stephen, Philip with such a huge amount of God's Grace on them? Were those things only for that time like some churches claim ? Has God changed? What do we need to do to make God give us that portion of His Grace? Can we do anything about it? Obviously miracles in the early church played a huge role in attracting people to God, we see it all the time in the Book of Acts. Many questions, aren't they? I think nowadays more than any other time we need people like them.They weren't different from other people through the millennia that devoted their lives to God like them. Nowadays that people have a new supergod whom they call "science" (true and fake) people need something really drastic to escape from satan's trap. Anyway nothing to miss if we pray for that.

  • Richard H Priday - in Reply
    I would comment on Whitfield anyway that apparently he was more well known than George Washington; having reached many thousands of people throughout the US with his evangelistic campaigns. We could look at the Wesleyan revival; as well as perhaps the change in Ireland with St. Patrick if the legend is close to the truth.

    It could be stated that as the church Body grows; it goes through various stages. Again; we not only have many so called "revivals" today associated with a prosperity gospel; or churches with a different spirit than the Holy Spirit; we also have had most people that are at these "Crusades" either Christians themselves or familiar enough that they already know the basics of the gospel. You won't see these televised events deep in the jungles; or inside Muslim nations or other places where cameraman and noteriety aren't welcomed. We have to keep in mind also that Christ systematically "weeded out" from the throngs those who were too caught up with material possesions; or their families and unwilling to give all up as true disciples.

    We can look at Paul in Acts with those stirred up; and many such as Demus who abandoned him. We are in most likely the Laodician period or a time when that church is at least dominating. It is a "form of godliness denying the power thereof." We also look at past revivals when unfortunatly things either started off with false doctrines or more often than not they were introduced later. Unless we are aware of Satan's deceptions we are ill equipped for the battle. We may fall to the floor and weep due to our sins; but barking like dogs; shaking out of control; laughing and other hysterical screaming is not characteristic of a sound mind. The focus always has to be on sin; righteousness and judgment to come when the Spirit is present. Much of what we would like to see may not happen until the Tribulation and the great harvest. Many are fallen away today as prophecy warns.

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