Evangelism In The Church

            Paul said, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” What are we, the church doing to preach the gospel to our family, friends, co-workers, and the people we meet day by day? The Lord’s church is the pillar and ground of truth. We are that institution that supports promotes, stands for and loves the truth. Since the truth is to be preached, it is to be done by the church.

            When Paul wrote Timothy, he stated, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men [ἀνθρώποις], who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2.  Jesus commanded that His gospel was to be preached “to all nations,” and “to every creature” in every nation. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16. After Jesus had given this command to His apostles, He ascended into heaven, leaving His work to be done by earthen vessels. Paul wrote, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7. The apostles and other “earthen vessels” took what Jesus said seriously. Within thirty years, the gospel had been preached to the whole world. “Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth…If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Colossians 1:6, 23.

            Why have we not done this again?  Compare the church of the first century to the church of the twenty-first century!  They did not have any of our modern day modes of travel and communications. However, they preached “to all nations,” and “to every creature” in every nation. How did they do it? Why have we not done it? Is it because we do not love Christ and the lost souls we meet day by day? There is nothing wrong with the gospel! It is still, “the power of God.” Romans 1:16. The only problem we have is with the “earthen vessels”! Do we, the “earthen vessels” love Christ and lost souls enough to stop being “so busy” with other things to reach out “to all nations” and “to every creature” in every nation? There is a question that some do not want to hear or answer, but it must be stated! “How many have I taught the gospel?”  We give as God has prospered us to the local work so we can preach the gospel locally and send missionaries to other places. However, each one of us has a personal responsibility to teach others who are lost in sin. We are to “go”! When we go, we are obeying our Lord. We are “to teach”! When we teach, we are obeying our Lord. We are “to baptize”! When we baptize those we teach because we go, we are obeying our Lord.

            John wrote about when Andrew found the Jesus in John 1:41-42. , “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”  Andrew loved his brother, but his brother had not found Jesus.  John also writes about when Philip found the Lord in John 1:43-46. “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.  Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.”  When Philip found the Lord, he told Nathanael. The only question one can ask is, “why did Andrew and Philip tell the others?  We conclude that “others” we also looking to find Jesus. They understood that the only way to heaven was to find and obey Jesus. They loved those who were trying to find Jesus.  How many have I found? How many lost souls have I loved?

            Listen to Paul.    “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Philippians 1:8. We have claimed Christ for ourselves; will we claim others for Him? When we “go” means, we ask others for a Bible study or invite them to Bible Study and Worship. Then, we may, or someone else may “teach” them the Gospel and “baptize” them. Whether we “go,” “teach,” or “baptize” we have done what we are commanded to do! All can “go” that is invite or ask. Others can “teach” and ‘baptize.”

            We sing the song, “Lead Me To Some Soul Today.” The chorus says, “Few there are who seem to care, And few there are who pray; Melt my heart and fill my life: Give me one soul today.”  Bobby D. Gayton