What is evangelism and Who is an evangelist?
“And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers” –Ephesians 4 vs. 11
This passage talks about five kinds of Ministers, including Evangelists, showing that Evangelism is a peculiar and unique ministry which can be solely focused upon or combined with other offices in a Christian ministry.
Christians are motivated to share the Good News primarily because our Lord commands us to evangelize. The heart of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 is “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
The command in Acts 1:8 is “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.” At the Berlin Congress on Evangelism John R. W. Stott said: “We engage in evangelism, not necessarily because we want to, or because we choose to, or because we like to; but because we have been told to. The church is under orders. The risen Lord has commanded us to go, to preach, and to make disciples, and that is enough for Us.
We are motivated to evangelize also because men are lost (Luke 19:10), without hope (Ephesians 2:12), under condemnation (John 3:36), and destined for destruction (Mark 16:16). For some, nobody is lost in the eternal sense; nobody is really perishing; nobody is destined to spend eternity in Hell. This is a new form of an old universalism — but Jesus taught eternal punishment as well as eternal life (Matthew 25:46).
There is an estrangement between man and God which needs reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus says that it is sin that defiles us and cuts us off from God (Mark 7:14-23; Isaiah 59:12). Something happened in the Garden of Eden that blighted the entire human race (Romans 5:12).
As a result the whole human family is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:l)and is under the grip of sin (Galatians 3:22). Therefore man needs to be shown the depth of his depravity and the extent to which he has fallen short of the expectation of God.
The doctrine of the return of Christ has also been one of the great motivating factors in evangelism. The day of salvation is “now” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Jesus said there is a night coming “when no man can work” (John 9:4). The second coming of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of every believer (Titus 2:13), and to desire others to share in that hope becomes an impelling motive for evangelism.