What is Evangelism?

Posted on June 13, 2015 by Born4Battle

EvangelismI have on my bookshelf a number of works concerning personal evangelism and stored in my files I have more books in digital format, as well as articles and sermons concerning our subject. But rather than bore the reader with a long list of definitions gleaned from all of those sources, I would like to share something from a list of definitions that I think perfectly addresses both what evangelism is not, and what it is:

“Evangelism is not persuading people to make a decision; it is not proving that God exists, or making out a good case for the truth of Christianity; it is not inviting someone to a meeting; it is not exposing the contemporary dilemma, or arousing interest in Christianity; it is not wearing a badge saying, “Jesus Saves!” Some of these things may be right and good in their place, but none of them should be confused with evangelism. To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what He has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” – John Cheeseman, Saving Grace, 1999 .p113, by permission Banner of truth, Carlisle, PA. 

I confess that I am well aware that the above statements of what evangelism isn’t might step on some toes and we can discuss some of those in future posts. For the time being note the definition of what evangelism is:

“To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what He has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Lest you find the language of that definition a bit intimidating, here is a simpler definition:

“To evangelize is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.” – Alistair Begg, Crossing the Barriers

I really like those definitions, especially the second one because it tells me what I am to do (present Christ to), what God does (supplies the power behind the message), and because it defines the ultimate goal (that the listener would put his/her trust in God through Christ).

Think of it in terms of three ‘actors’ in a powerful drama. There’s you with an eternal message, a listener who needs the message, and God who is the drama’s producer/director.

Make sense? Stay tuned!

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