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Author Topic: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?  (Read 8000 times)

Curtis

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How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« on: September 27, 2012, 10:55:53 AM »
I've read some posts here that seem to put the emphasis on Christians to be evangelists and their chief job is to share the gospel. But in the world we live in today, how important is sharing the gospel? We have our lives to lead, jobs to work on for 8 or more hours a day, and our own children to raise. I'm not saying we shouldn't evangelize, but with the doctrine of Predestination, we're not really winning anyone for Christ anyway. So I'm a little mixed up on so many teaching we need to go out and evangelize. I'm interested in how you balance Evangelism, with Predestination and your life in this world. Thanks.

PS. Doesn't the Bible say, not all are evangelists?

Erik Diamond

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 04:06:34 PM »
Try this link for some answer that our moderator Tony Warren explained. Hope this helps.

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=36.msg10750#msg10750
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Curtis

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 11:17:57 PM »
Thanks, but that link seems to be more about Predestination, rather than my topic.

Tony Warren

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 09:19:49 PM »
Thanks, but that link seems to be more about Predestination, rather than my topic.

 This article might help in your understanding:

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/other_studies/evangelism_and_the_reformed_faith.shtml

by Rev. David Engelsma

Big Ben

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 11:08:58 PM »
Thank you Tony!


Reformer

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 03:28:45 AM »

Thanks, but that link seems to be more about Predestination, rather than my topic.

There's some articles here that might be helpful regarding believing in evangelism and Predestination.

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/searchit/searchit.cgi?Reformed%20Evangelism

There is no contradiction between the two things. Those who believe in free will tend to try to show there is a contradiction.

Joe Johnson

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 05:08:00 AM »
PS. Doesn't the Bible say, not all are evangelists?


 Yes it does. Which means that the reformed crowd are out of touch with their beliefs. If not all are evangelists, that means it's only for some people. So as iusual, they are wrong in their beliefs.

 You have to understand the hypocrisy of those who believe in Predestination. Their stance is, you can't come to christ, you can't choose, you can't save yourself and you can't get anyone saved by your preaching. Then they turn around and say, you should preach anyway. How stupid is that?  If your preaching saves no one, why are they even addressing evangelism?

The only doctrine that makes sense is free will.

JohnDunningUK

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 07:53:59 AM »
PS. Doesn't the Bible say, not all are evangelists?


 Yes it does. Which means that the reformed crowd are out of touch with their beliefs. If not all are evangelists, that means it's only for some people. So as iusual, they are wrong in their beliefs.

 You have to understand the hypocrisy of those who believe in Predestination. Their stance is, you can't come to christ, you can't choose, you can't save yourself and you can't get anyone saved by your preaching. Then they turn around and say, you should preach anyway. How stupid is that?  If your preaching saves no one, why are they even addressing evangelism?

The only doctrine that makes sense is free will.

That's the biggest load of rubbish I've ever heard on this subject. Those who believe in the doctrine of predestination, at least those I know of, believe only those given to the Son by the Father shall come to faith, but it will be through the avenue that God has provided. That avenue being the preaching of the Gospel to all men, for we do not know who the elect are. If anything, a right understanding of predestination gives us confidence when preaching the Gospel, not vice versa. We don't have to worry about trying to manufacture nore effective methods, just simply proclaim the truth and trust God for the harvest.
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Joe Johnson

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 10:09:07 AM »

Well that may be the biggest (unchristian word) you ever heard, but your choice of words is as poor as your street talk. The very question was asked because the man questions whether there is some contradiction between being Reformed and being an evangelist. If it was such a _____ as you claim, why is he even asking? Why are articles written about it? I'll tell you why mr potty mouth. It's because there is some question about it. It's because people see some sort of contradiction.

 John 6:44
   "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:"

Proof, according to the Reformed, that your preaching is in vain, except the father first without man's own free will, draw him. So you can pretend that this is the biggest piece of "WHATEVER" you want, the whole idea is contradictory. We can't say No man can come to Christ, and then evangelize and say you can come to Christ. It's an insult to logic.


Puritan Heart

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 10:45:34 AM »
Joe,

In your quote:  ''The only doctrine that makes sense is free will.'' you in one very foul swoop, utterly negate God's Divine Sovereignity.

Cogito!

Alexandra
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

JohnDunningUK

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 12:05:10 PM »

Well that may be the biggest (unchristian word) you ever heard, but your choice of words is as poor as your street talk. The very question was asked because the man questions whether there is some contradiction between being Reformed and being an evangelist. If it was such a _____ as you claim, why is he even asking? Why are articles written about it? I'll tell you why mr potty mouth. It's because there is some question about it. It's because people see some sort of contradiction.

 John 6:44
   "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:"

Proof, according to the Reformed, that your preaching is in vain, except the father first without man's own free will, draw him. So you can pretend that this is the biggest piece of "WHATEVER" you want, the whole idea is contradictory. We can't say No man can come to Christ, and then evangelize and say you can come to Christ. It's an insult to logic.

First of all if my language has offended you then I apologise, but here in the UK what I've said isn't considered foul mouthed. Not to my knowledge anyway, but regardless my apologies are sincere for any offense caused. But as far as the rest is concerned, it is not I but Christ Himself who tells us to preach the Gospel to every creature:

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 (KJV)


And it is Christ Himself who has taught us that not all are able to come to Him, but only those given by the Father:

64  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. John 6:64-65 (KJV)


And it is also Christ Himself that tells us that all who are His shall come to Him:

37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37 (KJV)


You can try and belittle me all you want to, but the truth is that you're the one contradicting Scripture by what you say. Someone of a reformed position accepts that only those who are elect shall come to Christ, but we are not told who those individuals are. What we are told is to preach the Gospel to every creature, and through that method God will bring those who have been given to the Son, into His salvation by grace alone, through faith.

The Bible says that the Gospel is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom 1:16), and nothing I've said here contradicts that being true. But neither does it mean that all are able to come to Christ either, as I've clearly shown from the words of Christ Himself.

Many thanks,

Mr. Potty Mouth. :P

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Susan

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 01:45:35 PM »
Hi John,
   I know you are not in the US but everyone doesn't know that. Words mean different things in different countries, and in the US "a crock" is equivalent a pile of "you know what." I know you meant no harm by it, and I hope you take this in the manner it is intended. As a christian I would give my son a good talking to if he used that type language. As I also have to do with a certain other word used for the other relief, if you know what I mean. So I guess I'm sensitive to Christians talking like that. And over here, I hear a lot of it (and worse) from people professing to be Christians. I just think it's a bad witness to others since we're supposed to be different from the world.

As for your point, you are correct of course on all levels. Predestination in no way contradicts God's use of people to evangelize. It is Joe's logic that is flawed. He's saying God paid for all our sins, but his payment was in vain because we have all the power to accept or not accept. That would mean it wasn't a real payment. And that also makes us ruler of our own fate, and takes away all sovereignty from God? I think it also makes God a liar, no?

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."  John 15:16

Doesn't that say Christ chose them unto evangelizing to bring forth fruit? They didn't have free will to chose Him, he chose them unto service.  So you are correct and Joe is the one who's logic is flawed. As is the logic of all who look at things from a human, rather than scripture perspective.


John

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 03:49:26 PM »
Quote
You have to understand the hypocrisy of those who believe in Predestination. Their stance is, you can't come to Christ, you can't choose, you can't save yourself and you can't get anyone saved by your preaching. Then they turn around and say, you should preach anyway. How stupid is that?  If your preaching saves no one, why are they even addressing evangelism?
How stupid is that? Well, let's see.

1Co_1:25  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The foolishness of preaching, using the weak of the world, using simple words by despised men, is meant by God to shame the strong. And for what purpose?

1Co 1:30-31
(30)  And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
(31)  so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."


The point of preaching is to be used by God to bring His elect into the kingdom. It is "because of Him you are in Christ Jesus", where the "Him" is God. To you it is stupidity but to God it is the means to save many alive.

Now, you think predestination to be hypocritical as related to preaching and salvation. Why would anyone preach to those who may not be part of the election? The answer is that our preaching or witnessing to the truth is used by God to bring His elect to repentance, not apart from the Holy Spirit but in concert with the action of God. In other words, despite your claim of independence from God by some imaginary claim of "free will" all people, indeed all things, are under the will of God, to include the means and mode of the salvation of His elect. Or to say it more simply: No one acts who does not act according to the purpose of God.

It is God who is the Savior of all men. But the question is: Does God govern the believing of men or is their believing left up to them?

1Ti 4:10
(10)  For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe.


The evangelist is to labor and strive in the field of men, but their hope is not on their own ability to persuade men. If we acted independently of God by our "free will" then we have room to boast and can rightfully say we decided to choose, we decided to come to Christ, we saved ourselves!  This is the logical conclusion of the false "free will" doctrine. A false doctrine that runs headlong into the face of Scripture.

Are men left to themselves then to believe or is believing a consequence of the God who is Alive and able to save His people?

Jesus told in Luke 8, that the word is spread abroad but only one group would hear, hold it fast and believe. It was those that had an "honest and good heart". That "good heart" is able to hear and respond and produces much good fruit. So, we know that the others who heard for a time and fell away did not have this manner of heart, because they eventually went back into their old sinful life.

Mat 7:18-20
(18)  A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit.
(19)  Every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
(20)  Consequently, by their fruits you shall know them.


The same "good" heart is described as a tree that produces good fruit (works). Those that don't produce good fruit are cast into the Lake of Fire. There is then a dividing - the good heart are those who believe and continue into glory.

Yet, there is something more in this parable that is often overlooked. Jesus said that a sower went out to sow his seed. That sower is Christ Himself, because God says so. But looking closer, there is only one seed of Christ the sower that is called "good seed". The other seeds that were sown were trampled, withered, choked out, but the "good" seed produced the fruit (salvation and good works that flow from it).

Jesus is making a point here, if we will listen. The world is full of men - but only the "sons of the kingdom" are the "good seed". Those that are of the Devil are the tares. Are all the world the "good seed" or all the world "tares" and we get to choose which we will be? The answer is no.

Mat 13:37-38
(37)  He answered and said to them: "He that sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
(38)  And the field is the world, and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the evil one.


The answer is that God has decided that those who will believe and produce fruit and enter glory are the "good seed", and it is Christ who "sows" these people in the field that is the world. The "sons of the kingdom" are scattered about - and they are the only ones that will be brought out of the world to repentance and belief. The rest are the "sons of the evil one", and they will never believe unto salvation.

Keeping this point in mind - that preaching is to all men but salvation is for those who believe - and those who believe are sown by Christ unto salvation, then preaching is not hypocritical to predestination. For God has predestined, that is, determined beforehand, His "good seed" and therefore directs the affairs of men so as to bring the evangelist or believer in contact with those who are purposed for salvation. 

1Co 1:21
(21)  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, God was well pleased, through the foolishness of our preaching, to save those that believe.


To the "free will" advocate, this is foolishness. Preaching can only be effective if we decide to believe out of our own inner desire. Otherwise, they say, it is making robots out of men. The "free will" advocate would rescue an animal that falls into a pit or stop someone from harming themselves, but God is not permitted to rescue some of mankind and show us mercy lest He violate mankind's "free will". He must leave men to struggle tooth and nail so that out of the mire of depravity someone just might decide to believe (an impossible idea, see Rom 3:11 "... no one understands; no one seeks for God").

We know what "free will" advocates believe but we also know that it is not what the Bible teaches. Those that did believe were predestined to believe for the sole purpose that God by the counsel of His own will decided to work out His salvation in this manner. "We who first trusted in Christ" are those that have been "predestined according to the purpose" of God. There is no getting around this.

Eph 1:11-12
(11)  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
(12)  so that we should be to the praise of His glory, we who first trusted in Christ;


The wiggling action you see in the "free will" advocate is their attempt to redefine predestination into merely a "knowing" of the future in the hopes of divorced from the term any sovereignty of God over those He chooses. That is, God only knew who would come to Him but didn't control the outcome. The Bible doesn't say this but the "free will" advocate must believe it to be so in keeping with our so-called "free will". Read the verse again. "God works all things according to the counsel of His will", not according to the desires of our "free will" advocate. It is "to the praise of His glory" that salvation is managed by a sovereign God - so not even the "free will" advocate can boast in their own seeking and believing. It is part of the "all things" too. There is nowhere to escape into a world of "free willism", not in this world. God is sovereign and rules over every aspect of His creation - including the very actions of men to believe or not believe and the actions of those who preach or evangelize. There is nothing left outside of God's will and therefore no room for men to declare their "free will" in any matter.

The preaching and witnessing done by men is only effectual when God's power to save is applied to those hearing. And that only is applied to those chosen by Him for this salvation. And that choosing was not based on our good or evil inclinations (of which none were good but only evil, see Romans 3 again if you doubt this). And since our selection to be heirs of the kingdom was performed by God before the world even stood - there is no place for the "free will" advocate to hang their hat and say "God saw our faith and in turn God chose then to save us". Nope - that is impossible. Nor can they say, "God knew we would be one to believe and therefore He choose those who first chose Him". Nope - that is impossible too.

Eph 1:4
(4)  ...even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.


God's choosing was effectual, it brought about the singular result that we would be "holy and blameless before Him". The unbreakable line from God's pre-creation choosing (predestination) and our blameless state in salvation is DIRECT, the prior is the cause of the other. God's decree is separated by eons and yet it still will never be dependent upon our own inclination or will - God independently planned who He would save and performed it (you have no room to boast). That is why God can call us the "good seed" that was sown upon the field for salvation. There is no other "good seed" but the elect and they are the only ones God will save.

So, then if our preaching is vanity toward the seed of the Devil who are the tares fit for destruction, why bother? The answer is still the same and something the mental state of "free will" advocates refuse to wrap their heads around, lest the see and believe. There is nothing that happens that happens that is not under the sovereign control of God, not even the prayer of the saints for the lost, or the preaching of the gospel. It is not as if men preach and witness to the truth and yet God is saving people through some other means, perhaps directly without the word, making all of our preaching just whistling into the wind. The "free will" advocate must understand that by preaching and witnessing to the truth is the very means that God uses by His design to bring men to the knowledge of the truth. He doesn't act independently of His own will - and that is His declared will on the matter!

No one who was regenerated, whether in the womb or on their deathbed came to understand their fallen state and their need for salvation apart from the word of God. God simply doesn't regenerate (prepare the soil for the seed of the word) and then leave that person without a means to receive the hearing of the word (the seed). Salvation is when we, the person, believe that Jesus is the Lord, and that is not done apart from knowledge of who this Jesus is and what He did.

That is Paul's logic in Romans 10. If there is no one to preach to the lost then how will the elect amongst them hear and believe and be saved? Regeneration is not enough. There must be the hearing and understanding that begins with educating everyone within earshot of the gospel (quite different than being robots). Those that are regenerated (by God) will believe and bring forth much fruit out of an "honest and good" heart (created in them by God). Faith grows in the regenerate heart by the hearing of the word - and out of this understanding comes repentance and salvation.

Rom 10:13-14
(13)  For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
(14)  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?


Returning to the "free will" advocates main point - if preaching saves no one why bother to evangelize? The answer: Because God brings His elect to the knowledge of Himself through His word, which convicts the tilled and prepared heart of that elect individual, bringing repentance toward sin and salvation. This is all made possible only by the power of God. God's power in salvation is only demonstrated upon the children of the kingdom, the "seeds" sown before the world began and none other. The chosen are those who by the will of God will be saved and brought to glory, and none other.

Preaching, evangelism, witnessing to the truth, showing forth a good testimony in deed and action - are all means God uses to bring His elected ones to the truth (and convict the wicked of their wickedness). It is not a special case of God's design or an exception to the rule - it is the very rule or law that God operates by to bring forth a people for Himself. Therefore, no one has "free will" and no one ever can. For there is only the will of God at work in "all things". Your pride may rebel at the thought of God sovereign and you subservient, but despite your objections that is the truth of the matter.

So, evangelism is not "stupid" when we realize that God does not depend upon us to choose Him - but He will glorify those He justifies, and those just and upright are only those able to respond to God's calling out of the mass of humanity, and those called are only those who were predestined before the world began for that very purpose, and those predestined were predestined by the will of God. Unbreakable!

Rom 8:30
(30)  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.


God did not ask the "free will" advocate for their input. God did not ask for their "acceptance" of Him by their some miracle of self-empowerment. God did not take their counsel that He must obey their dictates on salvation or else be changed with making them robots. He is not ashamed of His plan. Though they call it "stupid" and Him "stupid" by inference, God knows the hearts of men that they are desperately wicked. God brings forth the elect to salvation by His power while the "free will" advocates claim it is by their own power to decide. They boast and rejoice in their having "chosen Him" first, on their "spark" of goodness. Yet, God is not mocked. Those given eyes to see understand the folly of the "free will" folks as they box with God. Those given ears to hear understand the beauty of God's salvation plan - and the ugliness of those who insist God can do nothing without them.

john
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!

JohnDunningUK

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 09:48:15 PM »
Quote from: Susan
So I guess I'm sensitive to Christians talking like that. And over here, I hear a lot of it (and worse) from people professing to be Christians. I just think it's a bad witness to others since we're supposed to be different from the world.

Hi Susan,

As I said previously I apologise for my mistake. I have modified my initial post to what I would normally have put, which is "a load of rubbish", and is a phrase that I purposely didn't use because The US seems to use different words. Hey ho, guess I'll just stick to British in future. :-[
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Joe Johnson

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Re: How Important is Sharing the Gospel and being an Evangelist?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2012, 12:38:42 PM »
The passage of Ephesians 4 is perhaps the clearest Pauline passages related to the specific question of evangelistic responsibility. Which rules out everyone being chosen to it, which would mean there is no responsibility because it's out of our will. We must choose to be teachers or evangelists.

Ephesians 4:11
 "And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers ..."

The scripture here treats evangelists as it does prophets, apostles, pastors, and teachers. There is no indication that everyone should be all of these, and that includes evangelists. It's not everyone's job to preach the gospel. Nor does this teach that we are chosen, but that we have free will to chose to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

 


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