Is Personal Evangelism Mandatory?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by christianyouth, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. christianyouth

    christianyouth
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    Do some people have the gift of evangelism and others do not? Does God require all Christians to evangelize? If so, what verses are written to NT believers that encourage evangelism?
     
  2. JustChristian

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    I believe that all Christians have the gift of evangelism because it can take so many forms. Everyone has a unique opportunity for spreading the gospel because everyone is in a unique situation. School children can share the gospel better with their classmates than can adults because they understand them better. On the other extreme, senior citizens in nursing homes also have a unique opportunity. Christ commanded us to:

    Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
     
  3. SBCPreacher

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    2 Timothy 4:5 "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I don't believe there is a spiritual gift of evangelism. I believe there is a spiritual office of evangelist, but not the gift.

    That said, all Christians are to evangelize all peoples...and use words if absolutely necessary...;)
     
  5. christianyouth

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    That was written to the disciples, and the 2 Timothy passage was written to a young pastor, one who was specially ordained to preach the Word. These do not seem to be written to the average NT believer, but rather specific people in full-time ministry. Is there anything Paul wrote to the churches that encourages the laymen to evangelize?
     
  6. John of Japan

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    As preachinjesus has pointed out, there is nothing at all in the Bible about a nebulous "gift of evangelism." There is, on the other hand, the Holy Spirit's gift to the church of the "evangelist" (Eph. 4:11), a preacher gifted in evangelism and in inspiring evangelism.
    Christ gave the Great Commission five times (Matt., Mark, Luke, John, Acts). What more do we need to be encouraged to witness for Christ? In particular, Luke's version says "You WILL be my witnesses." The only question is, how good a witness are you? Again, John's version of the Great Commission was written simply to "the disciples." Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Then you are sent just as He was--to work in God's power for the salvation of those who believe.
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Preachinjesus, this sounds clever, but what do you mean by it? Surely you don't think someone can be saved without hearing or reading the Gospel?
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Unless you are a hyper-calvinist, the Lord's commission is for you to make disciples, devoted followers of his. But before you can do this, you must "GO."
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Very true--all the way to Asia if the Lord so leads! :thumbs:
     
  10. christianyouth

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    Since my post was ignored, please allow me to restate.

    That was written to the disciples, and the 2 Timothy passage was written to a young pastor, one who was specially ordained to preach the Word. These do not seem to be written to the average NT believer, but rather specific people in full-time ministry. Is there anything Paul wrote to the churches that encourages the laymen to evangelize?
     
  11. mnw

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    Christian Youth, I believe II Corinthians 5:17 and onwards is a good passage to consider. I have a message I preach and the main thesis is that if you are a new creature in Christ then you have recieved a mandate to witness.

    I.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Every Believer Has Received a Mandate – The Non-negotiable of Evangelism

    II.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Every Believer Has Received a Ministry – The Opportunity for Evangelism

    III.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Every Believer Has Experienced the Message – The Ability for Evangelism

    IV.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Every Believer Has a Motive – The Mobilising of Missions

    The main text for the message is:

    "17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
    19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 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. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Christianyouth, please pay closer attention. Several of us have written to the effect that the Great Commission is meant for today and not just for the 1st century. For you to casually dismiss our views is not helpful to you or anyone else.

    You said, "That was written to the disciples." I assume you mean by this the Great Commission. If so, you show a shallow understanding of it. Please look back at my post where I refer to the 5 statements of the Great Commission, in particular those of Luke and John.

    (1) Luke's Great Commission was written specifically to "the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them" (24:33). I interpret this as being to the church. Who do you say it is written to?

    (2) John's Great Commission was written specifically to "the disciples" (20:19). It does not say "the eleven disciples" as in Matthew (28:16) or "the eleven" as in Mark (16:14) or "the apostles" as in the Great Commission in Acts (1:2, 8). So John's GC was simply to disciples of any age. Do you disagree?

    (3) In Matthew's Great Commission, the eleven are commanded to teach all that Jesus commanded. Why would that not include the Great Commission itself? I say that it does include it, and therefore all Christians are responsible to obey the Great Commission, including you.

    Please do not casually dismiss the views of men of God many years your senior. You are, after all, "christianyouth"! :smilewinkgrin:

    God bless.
     
  13. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I think that people who are in rebellion will work hard to ignore the clear commandments of God. And all those who claim to be Christian yet work equally as hard to discover just how little they must do to please God may need to reevaluate their relationship with Him. For it is not the friut of a Christian.
     
  14. Allan

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    Agreed, there is no gift of evangelism scripturally. Just as there is no spiritual gift of pastor, apostle, prophet. Yes, there is a spiritual gift of proph-SEY but not of prophet. These are gifts to the CHURCH not the spiritual gifts that are given to individuals within the body. These are offices in which there are specific works to be performed through the use of many differing giftings. That is why they are commanded to do the 'work' of an evangelist.
     
  15. Allan

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    Jesus said to the disciples/apostles. Go and make disciples ... teaching to observe/do everything I commanded you to do.

    Since Jesus commanded them to Go...Tell, they were to teach those under their leadership to do the same. Jesus said to the disciples "I came to seek and to save that which is lost" and He also said "as my Father has sent me, so send I you".

    Look at 1 Thes 1. They are said to be the example to the Churches.
    Yes, ALL does mean ALL here.
     
    #15 Allan, Jun 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2007
  16. Allan

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    Godly wisdom.
    Excellent points! :thumbs:
     
  17. gb93433

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    Do you know the difference between the average Christian and those who are not? It is much more than just preaching.
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    It is clever and pointed. Too often we rush into people's lives and try to throw the Gospel up in their face and not embark on a journey with them. The quote is actually a modified quote from Francis of Assisi.

    The reality is in our evangelistic efforts our actions should always lead to questions about our motivation (or faith) from unbelievers. One of the great mistakes of evangelism is having the belief that we can just walk up to people and generate spiritual decision out of thin air without having the right relationship. A great failure of evangelicalism has been the movement away from acts of grace precipitating conversations about the Gospel in our lives.

    Christianity is the single most important decision someone can make in their lives. When we thrust a tract in their face, give them a canned four spiritual laws presentaiton, harrass them about morality that they don't understand, or other types of confrontation without relationships we defeat the role of the Gospel in their lives. The Gospel is about restoration and completion. I'm just saying we should first show them the Way of Christ before delivering the Word of Christ.
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Okay, I see where you are coming from. I do not oppose "lifestyle evangelism" per se (or "freindship..." or "relationship..." or...), since we are clearly told to shine (Matt. 5:14-16). And working in a Confucian society where relationships are extremely important, I acknowledge what you say in that area.

    However, please note that your phraseology is needlessly abrasive. ("Thrust a tract in their face...?" Come now.) Rather than being abrasive, we should praise God for every effort to get the Gospel out (Phil. 1:18), no matter how clumsy or ill-intended. The most faithful believer in my church was saved when I put a tract in his mailbox (legal here), then visited his home and led him through a modified (for Japan) version of the Romans Road. A relationship can last a few minutes and still be effective for Christ if the Holy Spirit is at work.

    In the end, every soul must be given the Gospel verbally or in print, for no one is saved without it, as I'm sure you will agree (Rom. 1:16). You can live your Christian life before a neighbor for ten years, but if no one ever witnesses to him or her, they will never be saved.
     
    #19 John of Japan, Jun 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2007
  20. Karen

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    I think this is very true. Sometimes Christians tend to think that if we act nice enough, long enough, people will ask us why. And only then can we tell them.
    I live in the Bible Belt. And around here there are still many vestiges of a Christian culture. There are lots of nice non-Christians around here who need to hear the explicit Gospel.
     

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