The Heart of An Evangelist
1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 KJV (1) For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: (2) But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
We need to think of an evangelist as one who preached the gospel and no matter what the cost or what happens to him he keeps preaching. With that definition in mind, one person who ought to come to mind is the Apostle Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:16, Paul writes to Timothy that he is a pattern to those who would believe. So, as a pattern, we need to think about what he went through, why he did what he did, what was his motive for doing so and why all these sufferings came unto him.
When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians he said, ďour entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain.Ē Paul preached the gospel unto them and they had received it.
1 Thessalonians 1:6-9 KJV (6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (7) So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (8) For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (9) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
The Thessalonians had received the word Paul preached unto them and turned to God and stopped serving idols. The Thessalonians followed the Apostle Paulís example and became ensamples to other believers in Macedonia and Achaia. These saints then developed an addiction:
1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV (15) I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
We need to addict ourselves to the ministry of the saints.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
When Paul preached to the Thessalonians, it was not in vain: they received the word and became involved in the work even though they knew that Paul was shamefully treated at Philippi.
1 Thessalonians 2:2 KJV (2) But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
Acts 16:12 KJV And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
Paul described the being shamefully treated as being beaten and then thrown into prison. Have you ever felt shamefully treated when someone rejects the gospel? We need to realize that it is not you that they are rejecting, but Christ. Paul endured so much more that just someone saying, ďNo, I do not want the free gift.Ē What motivated Paul to continue to preach the gospel?
Why Have the Heart of an Evangelist
The main reason we should have the heart of an evangelist is because it is our job.
1 Corinthians 9:16-17 KJV (16) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (17) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
Paul is no longer here; it is now the Body of Christís job to preach the gospel. God is getting the job done today through the Body of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
The treasure that we have is a message, i.e. the gospel of the grace of God.
2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
Do you believe? If so, there should be an urgency in giving out the gospel because we have the rapture in view: if you knew it was going to happen soon; what would you do? Sit back and relax or go out and tell people? Do you feel the urgency to go out and tell someone because you do not know when it will happen?
Living with the rapture in view is thinking about the resurrection, it is rightly dividing the word of truth and understanding that grace not law is what the dispensation of the grace of God is about. Up until 2 Timothy is written, Paul thought the rapture was going to happen in his lifetime. He had a sense of urgency. The dispensation of the grace of God has been going on now for over 2,000 years, we, too, ought to have a sense of urgency.
When you do tell some one you do not need to use scare tactics, i.e. using fear as the motivation because it is the love of Christ that constrains us (2 Corinthians 5:14). When we speak to people it ought to be a labor of love.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 KJV (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.
We are ambassadors for Christ and we have been given the word of reconciliation. Love is what made Christ come and die for us and it is when we learn more about Him doing that that is what motivates us. Love should be what motivates us to tell other people the gospel because Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for us.
Proverbs 11:30 KJV The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
2 Timothy 4:5 KJV But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.