lifetime evangelism

Evangelism is a ministry for every Christian; it is the natural result of a life that is in step with the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit calls the heart of every believer to share the good news with all whom he may meet; that the good news may be carried land from land to every nation.

The most practical aspect of lifetime evangelism is fluidity. It is the ability to change with what God gives you and where he places you. There are times when you will be able to move and minister to those who need you and are responsive to what God is trying to do in their lives. As a dedicated Christian one must be willing to stay as long as needed and to work where God places you.

A Christian living a spirit filled life that is focused on Christ must be ready to deliver the Word of God in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2-5). An effective method toward this end is the bible study program. A bible study program can be held anywhere and scheduled at the most convenient time. A weekly bible study program can attract people who might not respond in a more formal setting. It is also useful in that it centers on the most effective tool for evangelism - the living word of God.

Perhaps the most important principle of evangelism a Christian should apply in his life is the recognition of the evangelistic mission. This mission is one that was given to us by God, and it is from his holy command that we take the authority and responsibility to reach out into our world (Matthew 28:18-20). God has called us into a partnership with him. He has chosen to reach the world through his people. He has given us the power of his Holy Spirit for this mission promising to work through us and in us as we remain in him, acting as the salt and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 1:8). It is through this guidance and power that we are to fulfill the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

The work of evangelism is not a task for just the single believer alone. It is a task for the whole church. Just as we form the body of Christ, we work together in the effort to evangelize the world. Each member of the body does his own part in evangelism, forming a coordinated effort under Christ who is the head of the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

Christ came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). These are the people whom Christ would have us evangelize. We are to bring them the light that shines in the dark land (John 8:12); we are to bring him to those who hunger and offer him as the bread of life (John 6:35). Like the Apostle Paul, we are obligated to all who are without Christ (Romans 1:14-16).

In this mission we find ourselves in the middle of a great conflict. We are Gods vessels as he rescues souls from the dominion of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). To bring the lost into the light we struggle with dark spiritual forces of evil who are not eager to lose those under bondage (Ephesians 6:12). Fortunately we have victory over Satan through the Cross of Christ (Colossians 2:15) and the Holy Spirit is within us and is greater than the enemy (1John 4:4).

In evangelism we must necessarily deal with sin. It is sin that estranges us from God; it is sin that is the disease of the soul; it is sin that has caused us to lose our way. God sees sin as a disease like leprosy, it corrupts the whole being making him unclean (Mark 7:14-23). Sin makes us strangers to Gods love and authority. In sin man finds himself in rebellion against God and his truth and indifferent to his love and authority (Psalm 78:56; John 3:19; Romans 8:7).

God has not left us to our own devices. He has saved us from our sin and its ultimate consequences. God loved us so much, he sent his son to saves us from our own sins. He did this so that anyone who believes in his name would have eternal life (John 3:16).

Love was the motivating factor for Gods provision for the sinners salvation. Like him, love must be our motivation in evangelism. If we are to be effective in this ministry we must have both love for God and for our fellow man (saint and sinner alike). Love makes us real in our ministry to real people and is a witness in itself of God. It is essential in our ministry and without it anything we do will be no more than empty action (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

Prayer is the final piece of the evangelistic toolkit. Through prayer man is brought to Gods purpose and the Spirit is moved to action. All aspects of evangelism should be accompanied by prayer for an effective ministry (Thessalonians 3:1-2).

With these and any other method of evangelism there are some consistencies. First is the need to live a spirit filled life. A life filled with the love of Christ is a witness to the truth of ones testimony. Also important is the focus on the training up of other men in the word of God with a focus on is divine authority. The word of God is living and active and is able to pierce the persons soul in ways that are impossible for man and will remain with the convert long after the Lord has called you on (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16).

Applying principles of evangelism in an individuals life is the best way to fulfill the 'Great Commission' to serve as Ambassadors of Christ. The application of these principles form a program of lifetime evangelism and is useful wherever on may find himself.