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The Practice of Evangelism (2) – The How To?

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We practice ‘Fishing the World’ by living out our Kingdom vocation (calling) via our daily occupation (work). This naturally leads to EVANGELISM: sharing the good news of Jesus, who saves us through his life, death and resurrection. I’ve repeatedly said, however, who you are, how you behave, communicates much louder than what you say about Jesus. Last week I taught on the What? and Why? of evangelism; now we look at the How?

The Wisdom of Every Believer Evangelism

To be a follower of Jesus is to be his witness (evangelist). Every believer is his messenger of joy sharing The Gospel, ‘fishing’ people into his Kingdom. While some are gifted as evangelists (Eph 4:11), every believer is called to do evangelism… right where we are, and further afield, to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Therefore, we must “always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have… with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet 3:15, cf. Eph 6:15 & Is 52:7).

To ‘win’ people requires wisdom as Solomon says: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and those who win souls are wise” (Prov 11:30). Those who are wise will lead many to righteousness, shining like bright stars in a darkening world (Dan 12:3). This applies to Jesus’ fishing image: to catch fish you need to be clever, knowing what fish you’re trying to catch, the season, the time and tide, and what bait to use! Because we ignore these factors we often don’t catch fish (people) – besides our lack of motivation and practice. Jesus used other images to teach the same regarding his disciples’ mission and witness in the world: “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves, therefore be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves” (Matt 10:16) – be cunning and clever, yet pure and innocent! To be “the salt of the earth” is to make people thirsty for God’s goodness, while stinging their corrupt conscience; and to be “the light of the world” is to show people the way to God by your good deeds, while confronting and driving back their darkness (Matt 5:13-16). Continue reading The Practice of Evangelism (2) – The How To?

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Fishing the World – The Practice of Evangelism

For the audio teaching on these notes, click on:

Our third value of ‘Fishing the World’ for God is practiced as we live out our Kingdom vocation (calling) through our daily occupation (work). This naturally leads to our second priority and practice: EVANGELISM. If we are good news in our workplace, then we will be able (even invited) to speak the good news of Jesus. This teaching answers the What? and Why? of evangelism, and will introduce the How? to do evangelism.

WHAT is Evangelism? What is The Gospel?

English ‘evangelism’ comes from the Greek evangelion, with the root angelos, messenger or herald… of good news. Used of Greco-Roman generals and emperors, ‘messengers of joy’ ran to the ends of the Empire telling of their victories in battle, and the good news of the Emperor’s birth, enthronement and reign. Thus, evangelion referred not only to a) the messenger (evangelist) and b) the act of proclaiming the message (evangelising), but also to c) the message itself, called the Evangel – ‘The Gospel’ – the good news.

Seventy Jewish scholars translated the Hebrew (Old) Testament into Greek in 150 BC, called The Septuagint – read by Jesus and his first followers. The translators used the verb evangelizomai (to evangelise, proclaim) in Is 52:7-10: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace and salvation, who say to Israel, ‘Your God reigns!’” (also Is 40:9, 41:27, 61:1, Ps 96:2f)). Isaiah predicted, in 750 BC, that God’s end-time messengers will herald and proclaim the joyous good news of GOD’S REIGN: God will come in his Messiah-King to save the world by defeating evil in all its forms, and make all things new, and will rule and reign over the earth forever.

Continue reading Fishing the World – The Practice of Evangelism