NT Tuesday: Doing the Work of an Evangelist

Golden Waves

Over the last few weeks (here, here, and here), we have considered several New Testament principles: worshipping God in spirit and in truth and the appropriate use of spiritual gifts. Now it is time to turn to another principle found in the New Testament. Before we look more intently at this new principle, I want to remind everyone of what makes a New Testament principle. A principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption.” So, a New Testament principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption that was established or expounded upon in the New Testament for believers seeking to follow the Lord Jesus as His disciples, individually or collectively.”

To introduce this next principle, let’s look at a few verses. The first verse is one of the parting comments of Jesus Christ to His disciples and is found in Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Another verse, with the same thought, is found in Acts 1:7-8

“He (Jesus Christ) said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Both of our verses suggest the idea of spreading the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus Christ died on the cross as payment for our sins and that the Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days later as proof that God is completely satisfied with that payment. Elsewhere we have a few other verses that are more direct in our responsibility to share the Gospel with the lost. In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul exhorts Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist”. And in Ephesians 4, we read that the Risen Lord gave men as evangelists for the well-being of the church (the same reason all of the other gifts were given).

Several simple and accurate conclusions can be reached by looking at these verses. One is that God has entrusted men and women with the responsibility of delivering the good news that Jesus died for mankind’s sins according to the scripture. I want to emphasize something – the responsibility is given to INDIVIDUALS – not to the church, either local or universal! The assembly is not responsible for spreading the Gospel; the universal church is not responsible for spreading the Gospel. Rather, each and every believer is given the individual mandate and privilege to share the Gospel with the lost.

We will think more on this important topic next week!

Until then, fulfill your ministry and do the work of an evangelist!


Photo credit: Chris Buggins, used with permission.







One comment

  1. Crawford Paul

    Good article Mike and I agree 100% that the responsibility is on individuals to spread the Gospel. Churches can be active in evangelism to create opportunities that individuals can’t but that doesn’t remove individual responsibility.

    Thanks also for the reminder of what a principle is. Too often people confuse preference with principle. They bring in their own ideas of spirituality that are not found in the Word of God and preach them as principle.