EVANGELISM IN ACTION
Evangelism is “the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ” (Merriam-Webster.com). It is to spread the Gospel to the world. As Christians, we are all called to be an evangelist. In Matthew 28:19, it says, “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” God gives us opportunities every day to tell the story of the cross.
The Bible has great examples on how to spread the Gospel. There are many people in the Bible who were evangelist. Mary Magdalene is considered the first evangelist in the Bible. Jesus was placed in a tomb after He died on the cross. Mary Magdalene came to visit Jesus’ tomb and noticed the stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty, and Jesus’ body was missing. She was unaware that Jesus resurrected and walked out of the tomb. We read in the Book of John, chapter 20, verses 11 through 18, Mary Magdalene is standing in front of the tomb weeping. “As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’” (verses 11-13). Mary Magdalene replied, “’they have taken my Lord away’ […] ’I don’t know where they have put Him’” (verse 13). She turned away and saw a man standing before her. It was Jesus in human form, but she did not recognize Him. Jesus asked Mary questions on why she was crying. She mistaken Jesus for the gardener and asked about Jesus’ whereabouts. Jesus responded by simply saying her name, and she recognized Him instantly. Jesus told her to tell others about His resurrection, and His ascension into heaven to be with God. She was the first person to tell the world of the Good News. In verse 18, Mary Magdalene approached the disciples and declared, “’I have seen the Lord!’”
Paul is another great evangelist in the Bible who was a devoted Christian. Paul’s story begins in the Book of Acts, chapter 9, verses 1 through 19. He was not always a follower of Christ. Before Paul became a Christian, his name was Saul. Saul was known for persecuting Christians. In fact, he was on his way to Damascus to murder more Christians. Something unexpected happened to him while he was on the road to Damascus. God blinded him, and he fell to the ground. He “heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’” (verse 4). Saul replied, “’who are you, Lord?’” (verse 5). Jesus gave him instructions, and Saul obeyed. He was blind for three days in Damascus with no food and water. Finally a disciple named Ananias was instructed by the Lord to go to Saul and pray over him. Ananias, after much hesitation, obeys God. The Lord had great plans for Saul and said that He has made him a “chosen instrument to proclaim [Jesus’] name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel” (verse 25). After this experience, Saul was a changed man. He was a fully devoted Christian who could not stop talking about God. Saul’s name was changed to Paul after the conversion. Paul endured much hardship for being a Christian. He experienced beatings and imprisonment. Paul’s passion for spreading the Gospel continued in prison with his writings to the early churches. Paul is considered one of the most powerful evangelists in the Bible.
There were many great men and women in the Bible who were fully devoted Christians. They were not afraid to speak the name of Jesus to a lost world.
What are some ways you have shared God’s love with others? What are some ways you can build your confidence in Christ to share the Gospel more frequently? I encourage you to ask God for His strength for you to evangelize on a daily basis.