“Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:3-18)
Sadly, not much has been taught on the proper way to evangelize. When I use the word “proper” I am focusing on our demeanor or attitude expressing the Gospel. I often see evangelism being exercised to one extreme or the other. For example, one may express a humble gentleness in his approach while not, earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 1:3) On the other extreme, one may be contending for the faith with little or no gentleness and meekness of a Christlike character. Both sides distains the other, thinking they are both correct yet each are failing to see and considering the whole biblical charge in this matter. Nontheless, I shall not address here those who are weak in contending for the faith. Instead, I want to deal with our delivery rather then our doctrine. This is the heart of this topic. Therefore, I have created this shortened article which was taken primarily from my dissertation to teach on this subject. Consider this a perfect ultra compact syllabus on this issue.
I have been evangelizing publicly since 1995. From this time, I have seen just about everything there is to see out there good and bad and many different styles. I have not always been blameless myself in doing it properly. Consequently, it is my desire to help others avoid unbiblical conduct. Since this is a condensed teaching I will not elaborate much on the wrong ways evangelism is exercised. Rather I will use the guidelines given in scripture for appropriate modes which will solve any unsuitable actions. Let us imagine that magnetic north was the correct direction you needed to go to reach your destination. If you were to head south, east or west you would not be on the right course. You only need to make sure that you line up with magnetic north to know you are heading the correct way. If we line up with biblical evangelism then we can be sure that we are doing it properly and thereby please our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I have a sermon I preach entitled, Do you have godly wisdom or are you just a wise guy? This is a perfect title to keep in mind as you read.
Are you evangelizing or exacerbating? Are you preaching for repentance or provoking for rage? I am fully aware that, “…the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” Psalm 2:1 and that this may be seen while preaching. Yet we can, “…provoke…to wrath…” Eph 6:4 and “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife…” Pr 28:25 and this ought not to be our outcome. If you are evangelizing as you should or you are just starting, then you must be very careful to maintain the right countenance as an ambassador for Christ.
I made an acronym for the word, “Campus” because that is where I often minister and it will be a great medium to explain this theme. It is, Christ’s Ambassadors Ministering Peace Unto Students. I have it graphically posted on my website, www.BibleGreg.com. Let us dissect this acronym because if you can meet this standard it will help you will be true and proper in your efforts to proclaim the gospel.
#1 Christ. He is always our focus. He is the Anointed and if we want our preaching to be anointed by Him we must keep Christ in the forefront. Not ourselves, not apologetics, not evolution or abortion or homosexuality etc. but Christ! We may use these topics but it is easy to get off focus and defeat the purpose we are there for. We are to always bring our audience to and back to the Lord Jesus Christ who is our focus. This may not bring a large crowd or great recognition but that is not our goal if our motives are pure. Ga 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
If we focus on Christ, some will believe like Peter did, Mt 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. So we can talk till we can’t talk anymore unless the father reveals it to a sincere heart. God does this through us. Ro 10:14 “…how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Like Martha, Joh 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
So some will believe but some won’t. Lu 22:67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: By today’s standards Noah was a failure because only his family went into the ark. Conversely, have you ever considered that we would not be here right now if it wasn’t for Noah? 1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Results are up to God and it would do us good to keep that in mind.
Even when Christ told them plainly they still rejected him, Mr 14:61 “…Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am…”. So do not be surprised when someone rejects the message but please do not give them an excuse because of how you conduct yourself when you are preaching Christ. Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Some will just consider him just a good man or a prophet but not the Christ, 27 ¶ And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. So #1 Christ should always be our focus no matter what they do or if they do not believe and if we do not do this, our vision is blurred.
#2 Ambassadors, 2Co 5:20 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.
Much has been said on this verse by many. Everything from how we are to dress, what we drive, where we live and what kind of tracts we pass out. Even though there are extremes on both sides we need to keep balanced. The main thing I would like to impart about this verse is that we represent the King of kings, King Jesus and not ourselves or our ministry. In the book of first Peter it clears this matter up for us, 1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Ambassadors behave carefully because they are representatives for who they are going in behalf of. Another synonym are the words, diplomat, tactful, sensitive, discreet, peacekeeping, and diplomacy. We should always represent our selves properly whether it be to male or female, police officers or store front owners, to the belligerent or the passive. So if you are to be an Ambassador, remember to be Ambassadors!
#3 Ministering: “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) We must keep in mind that first and foremost we are to, “ministered to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 6:19) As we do this, the, “Holy Ghost” directs us with what and where work he has for us to do. I need not ask “why”, I only need to do or die.” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
#4 Peace: I found that there are three kinds of peace in the New Testament, “peace with God”, “peace of God” and “peace from God”. The later is not as some lost people believe that there is peace without God but is rather the, “peace of God” that descends from Him. If you do not have, peace with God you can not receive peace from God which gives you the peace of God.
With: Ro 5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
From: Ro 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Of: Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
I shall spend most of my time here because at this point is where most go wrong. It is also where my title is understood the best. Do you have godly wisdom or are you just a wise guy? Now this can be the biggest piece (and I say not peace) missing from your evangelism. When Christ was born, probably around September or October, “…suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Lu 2:13-14. When we evangelize we give glory to God and it proclaims peace, good will toward men. So now man can have peace with God by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. However, if the Gospel means good new, and we are to preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things, (by-the-way notice the exhumation point on the end of that verse.) Then why do some bring a hateful countenance when sharing it? Ro 10:15 … them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Sadly when Christians do not evangelize with kindness they are not there, rather unto the furtherance of the gospel as it says in Philippians 1:12 but rather unto the hindrance of the gospel. We need to have smiles on our faces and like Steven who was full of the Holy Ghost“…his face as it had been the face of an angel. Ac 6:15 We need to express the right tone in our speech and have the proper countenance and appearance about us.
Lu 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. So we should be there as one to desire to help them and not hurt them.
God desires to depend on us to spread His message. God choose us to preach that people might be saved. Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? We have a dependence on God and God has a dependence on us and if we do not do it in the right way this next verse expresses that God may not give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth because we did not do it in meekness. 2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; You see Pr 15:1”…grievous words stir up anger.” and Pr 13:10 ¶ Only by pride cometh contention…” so if we stir up pride in others by our grievous words then God’s work is hindered because “…resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Jas 4:6
Here are some verses that are our checks and balances. 1Co 8:1 ¶ Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. If you do not believe that, just talk to someone who thinks they know it all.
Pr 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 1Jo 4:16 “…God is love…” It never says God is hate, but God does hate. You see if we love marriage we hate divorce, If we love life we hate death, love children we hate abortion, love the truth we hate lying, if we love God’s Word, we hate false Bibles.
We need to have grace when we go with our knowledge, 2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
If you preach about sin you’d better preach about the Saviour! When we think about Bible Doctrines we think, “The Blood Atonement, Virgin Birth, Deity of Christ, Resurrection, Second Coming. But the Doctrine of peace in evangelism that I am writing about is directly and indirectly taught in God’s word perhaps more then all those above doctrines I just mentioned combined; with the exception of, The Blood Atonement but even that is not properly understood without this Bible Doctrine. The word doctrine in its plain sense means, “teaching that you strictly hold to and practice.”
I do not have a word like, Deity for which this Bible Doctrine is called but it has to do with, Wisdom of God, Walking in the Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit, Charity etc. This Bible Doctrine is barely preached and taught about and because of this it is seldom followed while evangelizing.
You may know a lot of Bible. I am nicknamed, BibleGreg but without this doctrine of peace in evangelism, I and you are nothing. We are wasting our time rather than redeeming the time. Eph 5:16, Col 4:5 1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 ¶ Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Yes someone may get saved and God’s word will not return void but we are being disobedient. Perhaps all our works will be burned up. 1Co 3:1 ¶ For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 2Jo 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Have you ever done this? You walk away from someone you were witnessing to and said to yourself or another Christian, “I showed them from the Bible, I won!” Here’s a quote that the Lord let me think of, “Fleshly Wisdom cares more about winning the argument then helping the person you’re confronting.” For example, the woman caught in adultery. The Jews didn’t care that this woman broke God’s Law. They weren’t weeping because she had offended God and were sorrowful over it. They just wanted to trap Jesus. “Fleshly Wisdom cares more about winning the argument then helping the person you’re confronting.”
Jas 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 13 ¶ Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. Verses 17 and 18 is your evangelism guide lines.
Here’s another quote that the Lord allowed me think of, “Wisdom allows you or gives you the ability to properly use knowledge.”
“You fagot!, You whore! Get back in the kitchen and be bare foot and pregnant!” I have heard these and other unkind statements from people evangelizing. Let us look and see if this lines up with scripture.
2Ti 2:14 ¶ Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Would you get mad or say unkind words to a blind man who bumped into you? Hopefully not. They couldn’t help it for they were blind. You hopefully would be very kind, patient and gracious and help him to find his way. Well that’s the same way we are to entreat those blinded by the Devil.
Here are four ways on how to walk:
1. Walk in wisdom: Col 4:5 ¶ Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
When my sisters and I were little we got this hot air popcorn popper. It was a glorified hair dryer in my opinion. It created dry styrifoam like popup corn that was unpleasant and hard to swallow. However, after my mom put butter and salt on top we did not have trouble swallowing it. That is what this verse is saying. We can say the right thing but we can say it in the wrong way. You can tell a woman that her breath smells like a dead skunk, and it may very well be so but you would be much better offering her a mint. In the same way we must tell people they are headed to hell but we need not say, “burn, baby burn!” You would be scriptural to walk in wisdom and have your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt and say, “God cares about you and does not want you to go to hell because of your sin, and I don’t want you to go to hell, rather then saying, “You’re headed straight to hell you sinner!” One is the scriptural way to speak and the other is not.
2. Walk worthy: Eph 4:1 ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3. Walk in love: Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. Walk in love towards God and man.
4. Walk in the Spirit: Ga 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
If we preach to Catholic’s and say something like, “The popes a dop!” or No hope in the pope!” Or to Muslims, “Mohamed was a pervert.” or to Mormons, “Joe Smith was a pervert!” you are unscriptural! Here is our proof text:
Ac 19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Did you catch that? Paul and the other disciple at Ephesus knew that the Ephesians worshiped what they considered to be “… the great goddess Diana…” and yet they did not blaspheme her. They did not start name calling. That’s Bible! Notice this passage Ac 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. Paul disputed with them but no where do we read he used falmitor remarks. In fact, Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill and todl them that God was not far from every one of us and that we are the offspring of God. He futher went on to tell them to repent Because God appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Now that was the truth spoken in love. At least 21 times in the book of Act Christians are speaking of Christ’s resurrection. Not once do we see them telling anyone they are going to hell. They did speak of judgment an few times. Notice they said sayings such as, “remission of sins,” Ac 2:38 Ac 10:43 “your sins may be blotted out,” Ac 3:19 “forgiveness of sins.” Ac 5:31 Ac 13:38 Ac 26:18 “wash away thy sins” Ac 22:16 let me ilistrate by discribing my banner sign which reads on one side, “Hell is Avoidable!” I am not say to not mention hell but rather how we mention hell, judgment, sin etc. We need to give “hope” as it says in, Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
Lets look at our command again, Ti. 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, (Someone who fights with his mouth) but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Now we are told to remember that we once were lost, 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9 ¶ But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
It is easy to get into the flesh and lash out. It’s hard to control the tongue. The Lord Jesus Christ is our example and here is how he did it, 1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Knowledge is power- Nuclear energy takes knowledge, but without wisdom it’s very dangerous. Just think if Hitler developed the atomic bomb first. If we as Christians do not exercise our knowledge with godly wisdom we will just end up destroying those we intend to help. Let’s not be wise guys. Let’s have godly wisdom.
2Co 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
Ec 10:12 ¶ The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
#5 Unto: This is self explanatory. Ac 1:8 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. As Christians we are to GO! Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. It is unbiblical, but today most Christians invite the lost INTO the church and rarely go out UNTO them. This is one reason why the church today is filled with tares among the wheat. Christians are together in the assembly to worship God together and fellowship one with another, be fed by God’s word and then go out UNTO the lost.
#6 Students: I am breaking down the word campus so this was very fitting but we could use the word “souls”. It’s an important thought to remember who your audience is. We do not change the message but depending on who we are talking to we can tailor it to meet them at their level. At every stage of life certain conversations are more fitting. for example if I were to talk to young children I might bring up examples about honoring their parents. Likewise there are appropriate topics to teens that I might touch on like video games that I am not going to address with senior citizens. So consider who you are trying to reach.