Chapter 01 – The Good News
Luke 4:18 and 19 says,
The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Romans 10:13 to 15 says,
For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the gospel of peace, and bring good news of good things.
The ministry of the evangelist is perhaps one of the best known of the Fivefold Ministry.
I suppose you might think it is unnecessary for us to have a teaching on the signs of the evangelist, because I think most people think that they can spot an evangelist from a mile and identify him immediately.
I am hoping in this section that perhaps I will change that opinion slightly. By the end I hope that you will have a better understanding of what an evangelist really is, and what he should look like.
What an Evangelist is
What is an evangelist? According to the Greek word for the gospel which is euangelion, the evangelist is a gospel preacher or a bringer of good news.
Unfortunately in many circles the evangelist has come to be a bringer of bad news instead of good news. We have missed the original importance of what is meant by the gospel, and by what the good news really is.
You know there are those jokes that go around that say,
“I have good news for you and I have bad news for you.”
Depending on the joke most of the time people say,
“Well give me the bad news first, then give me the good news afterwards.”
I am afraid the same habit pattern has come into the church and has crept into the Evangelistic Ministry.
These days however the evangelist has changed the story and he is saying,
“I’ve got bad news for you, and I have bad news for you.”
The good news seems to have disappeared in many circles, and the preaching of the gospel has become the bad news.
I want to tell you something. People already know the bad news. You do not need to tell them that. They hear it all the time. It is time we started to preach the good news; the true gospel.
What is the true gospel? That is what the evangelist is meant to be preaching. What is the good news?
I want to consider a bit of that here, but it is not the main structure of what I want to share because I am going to try and show you what an evangelist is.
The Evangelistic Anointing
I want to start by looking at the evangelistic anointing. Jesus described it very clearly in the first passage where He said,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel.
To preach what? The good news. What good news was Jesus preaching? What was the anointing given for, and what was it going to lead Him to preach? What kind of gospel was it?
Jesus described it clearly here. I am going to look at each point very quickly and you will understand what the evangelistic anointing is meant to accomplish.
Good News to the Poor
The evangelist is meant to preach the good news to the poor. What is the good news that the poor need to hear? You might say,
“God wants you to be poor and suffer. You shouldn’t want anything.”
That sounds like bad news to me but that is what is being preached as gospel. The good news to the poor is,
“You don’t need to be poor anymore.”
Jesus was not only referring to those who are poor in the temporal things of this world. A poor person is a person who lacks the basic necessities of life. Those necessities can be temporal, they can be psychological, mental, physical or spiritual.
The good news to the poor, those who are lacking the good things that God intends us to have is,
“You don’t have to be poor anymore.”
That is what we should be preaching as the gospel.
Healing the Brokenhearted
The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me… to heal the brokenhearted.
Who are the brokenhearted? These are the people who have lost their goals. These are people who once had plenty of spirit and fire in them, and it all went wrong and was broken.
Their goals and their dreams have been broken and taken away. Their lives have become destroyed. They have nothing to live for anymore. These people need the gospel. They need the good news which says,
“Jesus has made the way for you to break free. He has come to give you a new goal and a new reason for living.”
That sounds like good news to me.
Sets the Captives Free
The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me… to preach deliverance to the captives
This speaks about those who are bound and those who are prisoners. They are in bondage. What are they in bondage to? They are in bondage to sin and in bondage to sickness. They are in bondage to bad habits, to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
They are in bondage to demons; to anything that controls them and prevents them from being free to do what they want to do and what God wants them to do.
The good news is you do not have to be in bondage. The good news is Jesus came to set the captives free and you can be free right now.
Preaching to the Blind
Jesus came to preach the gospel to the blind. Who are the blind? They are not only the people that cannot physically see. They are those who have become blinded by false religion, by the psychology and teachings of this world.
They are blinded by the archetypes, by the psychological propaganda and by the programming that has been built into people by the World System. It is designed to prevent them from seeing the truth of what they have available in Christ.
The good news is the truth has arrived. The good news is God wants to reveal Himself to you and He wants to show you the truth.
Preaching to the Bruised
Jesus said, “I have come to preach the gospel to the bruised.”
You know a bruise is a kind of internal bleeding. It is one thing to have a cut, the blood comes out and it is open and you can heal the wound. But a bruise is a wound; a sore that is inside that is festering and is painful. It cannot be touched.
People’s lives have been bruised. They have been battered and pushed down. They have had difficulties, problems and bad experiences in life and have entered into spiritual prisons. They are insecure, bound and suffering. They are hurting.
The good news is you can be set free and you can break out of that. The good news is you do not have to go to a shrink for years and hope that he might be able to solve the problem for you. Jesus can set you free now.
That is the gospel. Is that the kind of gospel you have heard evangelists preach? Come on, be honest. If it wasn’t then they were not operating under the anointing that Jesus declared was given for the preaching of the gospel.
The anointing that was given to preach the gospel was this kind of good news that I have mentioned here. If you are called to be an evangelist, God has called and anointed you to preach the good news that I just spoke about.
You say, “What about heaven and hell? What about sin and righteousness and judgment? Aren’t we meant to be preaching those things?”
Yes, but you do not need an anointing to preach those things; not according to this. The world is preaching judgment all the time and condemning one another. You do not have to look very far to find people condemning one another.
You do not have to look very far for people to find out the faults in one another and point out each other’s sins. You do not need an anointing to do that. You do not need an anointing to preach on sin. It is all around you. Anybody can preach on sin.
But the anointing that God has placed upon His good news preacher, the evangelist, is to set the captives free. It is to give the poor good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to open the eyes of the blind, and to heal those who are bruised. That is the good news of the gospel.
Chapter 02 – Functions of the Evangelist
What is the evangelist called to do? Let’s go over it in more detail.
Opens Blind Eyes
The evangelist is called to open blind eyes. Why do blind eyes need to be opened, and how is this going to occur?
In the teaching I did in Your Spiritual Life, we looked at the condition of a sinner outside of Christ. We said that he is like a man that is lying in bed sick and he has a disease. That disease is caused by sin.
Next to him and within his reach stands a bottle of medicine that is the cure to his sickness. All he needs to do is to reach out and to take that medicine and partake of it, and he will instantly be set free and healed of his sickness.
That is the simple way that the gospel is often presented. But we forget to realize that this man has additional complications.
Firstly, he is blind so that he does not see the medicine. Secondly, he is paralyzed so that he cannot reach out and take it. And thirdly, he has no confidence in the doctor who prescribed it.
I am not going to major on that here because I have taught that elsewhere. So what we have to do? We have to open his eyes first for him to realize that the medicine is there, so that he can reach out and take it freely.
We have to release him from the paralysis that is preventing him from reaching out and freely taking that salvation that is offered him in Christ.
The evangelist is called to open people’s eyes to see what is offered to them in Christ. He is called to set people’s wills free so that they can be liberated to freely reach out and take the salvation that is being offered to them in Christ.
How is the evangelist going to do that? He is going to do that by preaching Christ, not hellfire and brimstone.
You do not scare people into the Kingdom of God. Fear is Satan’s weapon, not God’s weapon. Preachers sometimes think that the gospel means standing up and hammering people into the ground.
It means making them feel guilty of their sin and making them full of fear that they are going to go to hell because of their sin. They think that somehow it would scare them into a commitment to Christ to try and escape the hellfire and damnation.
It does not take an anointing to do that. Hollywood can produce better fear than you can.
Do not try and compete with them. They can do better horror movies than you can preach, believe me, and they have no anointing. You must open the blind eyes and you must preach Christ. We are going to look at that further as we continue.
What must you preach? You must preach Christ and the finished work of Calvary. You must preach that when Jesus hung on the cross He said,
“It is finished. It is done. It is complete. The work is over.”
You must preach Christ who is the anointed one. What is He anointed to do? He is anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, to the brokenhearted, to set the captives free, to open the eyes of the blind and heal the bruised.
That is what you are meant to be preaching. That is what you are meant to be accomplishing as an evangelist.
How does the anointing work? It takes the anointing of God to open a person’s eyes to see their true condition before God and to see the fact that Jesus has purchased their salvation.
It takes having a person’s eyes opened before you can get them to understand the colors of the rainbow.
You cannot explain the color blue to someone who was born blind. Their eyes have to be opened first. They have to have a revelation and see the light. I am sure you have heard the expression,
“I’ve seen the light.”
Well they must see the light.
Conviction of Sin
The anointing that the evangelist operates under brings a conviction of sin.
You might say, “I remember how I was in a meeting and the preacher was really preaching. He was exposing sin, and he was exposing hellfire and damnation. He was preaching hard.
I saw my friend and I knew he was under conviction, because he got up and walked out of the meeting. He couldn’t take it anymore.”
No, he was not under conviction; he was feeling guilty. There is a big difference between the two.
You see it is one thing to take a person to court and to charge him with a crime. It is another thing to convict him of that crime and prove without a shadow of doubt that he is guilty. Can you see the difference?
Conviction of sin is not just to tell a person that they have sinned, but to convince them. And when a person is convinced that they are a sinner what do they do? They fall on their knees and cry out to God and say,
“Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.”
It takes conviction. How are you going to do that? The Bible says that the Spirit of God will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.
It is the Holy Ghost who will convict men and women of sin, not you and not your fancy preaching. Without the evangelistic anointing you cannot bring conviction of sin. You have to have that anointing to do it.
Brings the Effectual Call
The evangelist anointing brings the effectual call. What is the effectual call? It is that tug in the person’s heart that draws them to Christ. It is a pull that can be very strong. You have likely heard testimonies of people who said,
“I was sitting in a meeting. And when the preacher was finished preaching and he gave the gospel appeal, he asked if anybody wanted to come forward and receive Christ as their Savior. I felt as though something picked me up and dragged me to the front. I just couldn’t stop myself.”
What was that? That was the effectual call. It was the pull and the tug of the Holy Spirit. That takes an anointing, not psychology.
It does not take pure words to accomplish this. It takes the anointing of the Spirit of God. And that is the kind of anointing that is on the evangelist.
The anointing that is on the evangelist brings a complete salvation. What is salvation? We use this term in evangelical circles and we say,
“Are you saved?”
Usually what we mean by that is,
“Are you born again? Are you on your way to heaven? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior and know that you are not going to hell anymore?”
Salvation involves a lot more than that, as we have already seen, and as you will see elsewhere taught in this course.
The anointing of the evangelist has the ability to bring to bear on every single person, the full salvation that Jesus purchased for us on Calvary. We are going to see some more of it as we go on.
Chapter 03 – Mass vs. Individual Evangelism
How does the evangelist work? How does he operate? There are various allegories that are used in Scripture, but there is one that is the simplest and the clearest. In Mark 1:16 and 17 we read concerning Jesus:
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishermen.
And Jesus said to them, Come after me, and I will cause you to become fishers of men.
Fishes for Souls
Who does not love to go fishing? It is such fun when you can get it right; when you can get a fish to bite on the end of your hook and you manage to land him and pull him in.
Everyone knows a bit about how fishing works. Jesus used the allegory of fishing to indicate how we are going to win the lost to Him. And fishing and fish are always a picture of evangelism in Scripture.
Why is this? Because they are such a perfect allegory of how the evangelist goes about winning the lost.
You will see there are two kinds of fishing that can take place. You can fish with a net and you can fish with a hook. In the one who pull in a whole bunch of fish all at the same time. In the other you are handling just one single little fish at a time.
I have never done any fishing with a net, but I have watched them when we lived in Mexico. They fished in the sea and they cast their nets out where the fish were. They left their net for a good while and moved the nets about to give the fish time to swim into it.
Then they began to pull it in, and as they did so you see all the fish that swam into the net and got caught in it and they couldn’t escape.
They pulled the nets in with all the fish and then started to take the fish out of the nets until they had a whole big bucket full of fish.
It is not so difficult to fish that way as long as you can find a place where there is fish. If you can find a place where there is a good shoal of fish, you can put the net in there and get the fish to swim into it. Then it is very easy to pull them in.
That is a form of mass evangelism and we are going to look at that further.
The other kind of fishing is where you have to cast your hook into the sea or a lake or wherever you are fishing. You have a bit of bait at the end and you have to wait for the fish to bite.
That takes a little bit more skill and a lot more patience. And even when the fish has begun to bite it does not mean you have a catch yet.
There can be a long procedure in hauling that fish in. Even when he eventually takes the bait and he has a hold of your hook, it is not always an easy thing just to yank on that rod and pull the fish in.
Every amateur fisherman has learned this one and he has lost the hook, the sinker, the line – the whole lot – because he did not know how to bring the fish in.
It takes a little bit of skill in evangelism at times. It is not a simple matter. We will be looking at that as we look at methods of evangelism and we teach you how to reach out to the lost and to bring them in.
Limitations of the Evangelist
There are limitations to the evangelist and we will look at this further when we consider some of the examples in Scripture.
Firstly, the evangelist works only in the external anointing. What is the external anointing? You will have to study some of the other materials we have put out to understand that.
We have taught on the internal and the external anointings. And we have seen that various different ministries in the Fivefold Ministry function in different kinds of anointings.
The evangelist works largely only under the external anointing, not the internal. How do I know that? I will show you shortly as we look at some examples.
Secondly, the evangelist has a limited knowledge of doctrine. He normally knows a lot about salvation and that is all he is concerned with.
That is all he is preoccupied with. He wants to give a limited teaching to people to teach them the way of salvation. He knows that subject very well, but he leaves some of the heavier teaching and doctrine to some of the other ministries.
So there is a limitation, but in that which he is limited in, the evangelist specializes and concentrates on it, zeroes in on it and does a very good job on it.
Philip the Evangelist
Let’s look at some examples from Scripture. Who is the best example in Scripture of an evangelist? I think the one who the Bible calls an evangelist is a good one to start with. That is Philip the evangelist as he is known.
It is interesting that we do not have anybody in the Bible called ‘Pastor So-and-so’. But Philip is very clearly designated as an evangelist.
How did Philip operate? He knew how to use his net as well as his fishing rod.
The Scripture gives us two very clear descriptions and examples of how Philip the evangelist used those two methods of evangelism – the mass evangelism and the personal evangelism.
Acts 8:5 to 8 says,
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them.
And the people with one accord gave heed to those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city.
What did Philip preach? He preached Christ the anointed one. Philip preached the Christ who was anointed to set the captives free, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to take away all the sadness.
What was the end result? The Scripture says that there was great joy in that city. People were set free.
How did Philip operate? He operated in the external anointing with the signs and the wonders.
How do I know Philip could not operate in the internal anointing?
Because when he was finished there they had to send two apostles along to finish the job. They had to come and lay hands on the people and give an impartation of something that was going to bring a change within.
It was the internal anointing, the internal residence and outflowing of the Holy Spirit.
Use of Signs and Wonders
Philip performed signs. What were the signs for? They were the bait to attract the fish. The Scripture says,
The people with one accord paid heed to the things the Philip spoke.
Why was this? Was it because he was such an eloquent man? Perhaps people said,
“Philip was so educated. He had a doctorate in English literature, and he gave wonderful illustrations when he spoke.”
No, they didn’t care how he spoke. After they had seen this guy moving in signs and wonders, casting out demons and healing the sick, it did not matter what he said, they would want to go and listen.
He could have said, “The cat sat on the mat,” and they would have said, “Wow that’s wonderful.”
They were awed by the power that he was working in. They saw the anointing and that is what attracted them.
That is how mass evangelism works. And as an evangelist, if you are going to flow in that anointing; if you are going to minister to and reach the lost, and particularly when it comes to mass evangelism, you are going to have to flow in the gifts of the Spirit.
You will have to flow in the gifts of power and know how to use the external anointing. You will have to know how to not only preach the gospel, but apply it and make it happen. It is not enough to tell people,
“Jesus came to set you free of sickness and disease.”
You are going to have to set them free in His name. You will have to use that authority and power and that anointing that He has placed on you to heal the sick, to cast out demons and to set the captives free.
You will need to break bondages and bad habits in the lives of people; to pray for them and bring healing of the hurts that are within them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You are going to have to move in that if you want to be an evangelist. That is what you are called to do and what the evangelistic anointing is meant to be accomplishing.
It is wonderful to have mass evangelism and to have the whole city turn upside down. But that was not the only way that Philip ministered.
Philip was ready and open to minister to one person at a time. That is personal evangelism. Let’s read it in Acts 8:27 to 31:
And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Isaiah the prophet.
Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.
And Philip ran there to [him], and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what you are reading?
And he said, How can I, unless someone guides me? And he wanted Philip to come up and sit with him.
Philip arrived there in obedience to the Lord. He went where the Lord told him to go. Philip did not say,
“I think I must go and do some street evangelism today. I’ll pick the road to Gaza and go and see if there are any sinners there that I can go and minister to. I’ll go and take a walk down the road, Bible punch everyone on the street and hand out tracts.”
That is not the way it worked. Philip was called to a higher ministry than that. He could hear the voice of the Lord that said,
“Go down to that road.”
“But why Lord?”
“Just go and I’ll tell you when you get there.”
Philip arrived in the right place at the right time. Not only did he arrive to meet the right person, but he met him at the exact moment when this guy was sitting reading through the book of Isaiah.
He must have been reading for a long time because the chapter he was reading was in Isaiah 53 or so. He had plowed through all those difficult parts and he finally came to the part about the gospel.
God knew that at this exact point in time, this man was going to reach that spot in the Word. He was going to look at it, be confused about it and wonder what the answer was. At that exact point in time God sent an evangelist to step in and say,
“So, do you know what you are reading?”
“No, I don’t have a clue. Can you come and explain it to me please.”
Right Place, Right Time
That was the right time and the right place. The evangelist should be ministering to those whose hearts have already been prepared.
The evangelist is not motivated by obligation that says,
“You are responsible to get the gospel out to the lost. If they die and go to hell, God’s going to hold you responsible and their blood will be on your hands.”
There are people who think that they have to witness to everybody that they meet. You pick up a hitchhiker in the car and you drive for a while. You are sitting there and holding conversation and you feel obligated to tell him about the Lord.
You have to push the gospel down his throat. Before you drop this guy off you must have shared the gospel with him. You have to tell him he is a sinner, that he is going to hell, and that he must be born again otherwise he is doomed.
Let the Spirit Lead
You have failed. The evangelist does not need to work under obligation. He is led by the Spirit of God. Everywhere he goes he automatically shares the gospel with people.
Why? Because he is led by the Spirit of God, and God leads him to the right people at the right time in the right place.
I heard of somebody once who had the boast that every single person that she had ever witnessed to had accepted the Lord. Wow, can you imagine that every single person that you have ever shared the gospel with got saved?
Well I want to tell you that she did not witness to everyone she met. She did not witness every time she entered into a conversation. She was led.
She waited for the right time. She waited for God to lead her to someone whose heart was prepared, who was ready to receive, and who was open wide.
Not Always Instant
The evangelistic anointing will sometimes open people wide. I am not a great fisherman so I do not know about it. But if you are going to catch fish, I have yet to hear of someone who went fishing like this.
The way they did it was to get into the water, ram the bait right down the fish’s throat and say, “Bite!” I wish I could catch fish that way then I could choose which one I wanted.
It does not work that way. You have to drop the hook and wait for it to come and nibble.
Sometimes you have to dangle it a little bit and just play with it. You have to make him nibble and try and coerce the fish into coming and grabbing the whole thing.
It is not always easy. And if you are going to witness as an evangelist, you are going to have to dangle the bait and wait for the fish to bite.
If the fish does not bite you are not catching him. And when the fish does bite you do not yank. You could pull the bait right out of his mouth and could snap the line.
Sometimes you have to play him. Sometimes you have to pull and let him pull back; pull and let him pull back.
Other times you need to give him a little bit of rope to go and swim and fool him into thinking he is free, then you start pulling him in bit by bit. You reel him in until you eventually pull him out of the water.
We need to learn a bit of fishing when it comes to evangelism. You know there are some people who just have a knack for fishing. Don’t you hate them?
You sit next to them at the side of the lake. You are casting in and the fish do not even seem to bite on your rod. When they do bite and you pull there is never anything on the end of the line.
Then you have a guy next to you and he is just casting in and pulling them out all the time. You want to throw something at him. You wonder how he does it.
That is what the evangelist is like. He just throws the bait in and pulls them out. Why? God has given him a skill, a special anointing and ability that enables him to catch the fish very easily and quickly.
He knows how to do it. He knows the right timing, and he knows the right bait to use for the right kind of fish.
Chapter 04 – How Jesus Used Evangelism
We have looked at what is involved in being an evangelist. Now let’s look at the greatest evangelist who was Jesus.
If we are going to look at any example, there is no better one than Him. Jesus shows us a few more things that are very important about the evangelist.
Went to the Sinners
Firstly, if you are going to be an evangelist, you are going to have to go where the sinners are. Sometimes where the sinners are is not a very nice place.
Most good self-respecting Christians would not be found dead in a place that the world frequents. They attend church all the time and have given up all the ways of the world.
They do not sin anymore and do not drink, smoke, swear or do anything like that, so for them this is not a good place to be in.
They wouldn’t dare put their foot in a worldly place of amusement, in a place that sinners frequent. They would not be found in a pub or in a night club. Christians do not go to places like that.
No they do not; certainly not to go and get pleasure. But you know the sinners go to places like that. And Jesus was foolish enough to go to places like that to go and minister to the sinners.
The religious people of his day could not stand it. They got on His case all the time and said,
“How dare you mix with all these publicans and sinners!”
They accused Him of being a drunkard and a glutton and said,
“Jesus is going to wild parties with these people where they go and get high. He is right there in the middle of them. How dare He go to those places!”
He went into those places and pulled the people out of the mire. He went in there to get them out. You are going to have to go in to where the sinners are. You will have to get your hands dirty to go and reach them for the Lord.
Faced Religious People
Jesus had to face the religious crowd. They were so bigoted and proud and full of themselves. Jesus didn’t even waste His time trying to minister to them because all they did was find excuses.
The only ones that He managed to reach were the cowards like Nicodemus, who came to see Him at night so nobody would see that he was going to speak to Jesus. He was a secret disciple.
As an evangelist, your ministry is out to the lost in the world. It is not in the church. The sinners are not coming to church. They are going out there. And if you are going to find them you will have to go out there.
To do that you will need to have an attitude that does not condemn sinners. Does that mean you must get into sin? Does it mean you must overlook their sin?
No, but it means that your attitude to them is not based on their sin. You have the attitude of the Chief Shepherd, of the Chief Evangelist; the attitude of the One who died for them. You care enough for them and you look beyond their sin.
A Revelation of Love
How did Jesus do that? He ministered in love.
If you want to be an evangelist and get out there and reach the lost, you will have to get a revelation of love. Because those people out there in their sin, their vileness and filth are the ones that Jesus died for.
Perhaps you have forgotten where you came from. Perhaps you have forgotten that you were once there.
Perhaps you have never been that bad, and you are like the self-righteous, bigoted Pharisees who boasted in their self-efforts all their life. The Lord has to show you that you are just as rotten in His sight and that your righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
As an evangelist you need to reach both types of people. The one you are going to have to have compassion with. The other you may have to preach with more harshness as Jesus did when He spoke to the Pharisees and He said,
“You go a great distance to make a convert, and you make him twice the child of hell that you are. You are like dead men’s sepulchers, all clean on the outside and full of dead bones and stinking rotten on the inside.”
Sometimes the evangelist has to speak harshly too, but not to the sinner. He has to do that to the self-righteous, hypocritical Pharisee.
Ministered in Love
How did Jesus minister in love? When the harlot came to Him and fell at His feet, cried on Him and wiped it with her hair, all the self-righteous, religious men were sitting there looking at her and saying,
“Oh that’s disgusting! How can He let that vile woman even touch Him?”
Jesus sat there and reached out to her in love. He said to her,
“Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.”
You will have to have a compassion for the lost if you are going to be an evangelist. You will have to have a loving compassion of the Lord Jesus to enable you to look at people and see them through His eyes.
You will have to look at those prostitutes on the street and see them as Jesus sees them, not turn up your nose at them in disgust and say,
They need the Lord. They do not know any better. They need the good news of the gospel.
You are going to have to be prepared to go down there as Jesus did. He reached out and touched this prostitute. Oh how awful. He let her touch Him and He touched her. He ministered to her in love and set her free.
What about the woman caught in adultery that the Pharisees came and threw at His feet? They said,
“She was caught in the very act. Moses said we must stone such a person. What shall we do?”
Jesus turned to them and said,
“The one that is without sin can cast the first stone.”
That is the heart of an evangelist. The heart of an evangelist has no condemnation for the sinner. And if you think that to be an evangelist is to stand up and preach judgment against sin, then God did not call you to be an evangelist.
You are there to preach the love of God; the good news. You can tell people,
“The good news is you don’t have to sell your body on the streets anymore because Jesus has come to set you free. You don’t have to steal anymore to live, because Jesus has come to provide your needs and to make sure that you get a job to support your family.
You don’t have to pop pills and inject yourself with heavy drugs anymore, because Jesus has come to give you something far greater by the power of His Holy Spirit.
He’ll fill you with joy and give you a high that is far better than any drug you can take. You don’t have to drown your sorrows with a bottle. Jesus has something better for you.”
Can you see the difference in approach? It is not one of condemnation and yanking the sin out, but of replacing it with something far better.
“The good news is you don’t have to do this anymore. I’ve got good news for you. The battle has been won.”
Turned Lives Around
I think the greatest sinner of Jesus’ time and the one that was despised the most was the tax collector. Everybody hates someone who steals your money.
Don’t you hate those business people that cheat you; that charge exorbitant prices, coerce money out of you and force you to give money you do not want to give?
The highest level of all is the Government who insist you have to pay taxes. The taxman is still the most hated person today the same as it was back there.
Jesus walked down the road and saw a little man by the name of Zacchaeus who was one of the most notorious tax collectors of his time. He climbed in a tree so that he could see Jesus. Jesus had all the people who were following Him to minister to, but He stopped and singled out one guy. He said,
“Hey Zacchaeus, come on down. I’m coming to pay you a visit today. I’m going to come and have a party at your house.”
“You mean you want something to do with me? Don’t you know I’m a tax collector?”
“Yes I know that.”
“Don’t you know I cheated people out of their money? Don’t you know I’m just looking to see what I can wheedle out of you too?”
“Come on down Zacchaeus, let me give you some good news.”
Jesus reached in and transformed that man. He turned him so around that he was giving away money to everyone. He was paying back many times what he had stolen from them.
It transformed his life. Why? Because Jesus cared enough to reach out to somebody in sin. He reached in and met that man’s real need.
What was his need? He was short. He was insecure and a stupid little man that everybody looked down at. So you know what he did? He became somebody big and strong; somebody who could say,
“You cough up or I’m throwing you in jail. Give me the money now! Can’t you see how big I am and how strong I am?”
As they looked down at this little man they bowed to him. He had power.
That is what was motivating Zacchaeus. He just wanted someone to care enough to take notice of him. And the only way he could get them to notice him was to be the big tax collector.
Jesus noticed him though. He noticed him sitting in the tree, and out of everyone Jesus picked him out and gave him the attention that he wanted. He gave him the love and the understanding that he wanted. His life was transformed as a result.
Paul’s Change of Direction
It is so easy to see the weaknesses and the failures in people. It is so easy to see the sin. But you need to see as Jesus saw. You need to see the potential that is in that sinner.
Look at Saul of Tarsus who was going around killing people and destroying the body of Jesus Christ. You need to see that if you can just take that person, turn him around and make him change his direction, wow what you could do with him.
I think the church wanted him dead. I think they were all praying and saying,
“Lord, just remove this Saul of Tarsus. Lord he’s killing all of us. Please just deal with him.”
Jesus came down in His power as Saul was riding on the road to Damascus. He just gave him one backhander and Paul fell on the ground.
Jesus stood there in His power. He could have wiped Paul out in an instant and he would have been gone. But what did He do? He spoke to him and said,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
“Huh? Who are you Lord?”
“I am Lord and my name is Jesus.”
“You’re kidding; you’re Jehovah God, the guy I’ve been fighting?”
“Yes I am. Now there is going to be a change in direction for you Saul. You’ve been called Saul, but you’re going to be called Paul now. You are going to become the great apostle to the gentiles, and you are going to build the things that you once destroyed. Your life is going to be changed.”
When you have just had a backhander from the Lord and He is talking to you like that you do not argue. You say,
Paul had the sense to be saved. Sometimes you need to give a backhander, but you let the Lord do it. He knows how to do it better. That is the power of evangelism.
Demonstration of Power
Jesus ministered in power. Not only did He preach the good news, but He demonstrated the good news and He put it into action.
He reached out and healed the sick and the people flocked to Him. He reached out and touched them and set them free of their sicknesses and diseases.
He cast out the demons that were binding them and that possessed them. He even raised the dead.
He had compassion on the poor widow whose only son had died and was being buried. He reached out and stopped the funeral. He raised the boy from the dead and gave him back to his mother.
The evangelist must bring good news. And when he leaves town there should be joy in the city, not sorrow. He should be ministering the good news; the power of Almighty God.
He should be shaking the place. He should be pulling the people out of the bondage of their sin. He has that anointing, that ability and that skill from the Lord.
Chapter 05 – Summary of Signs of the Evangelist
Let’s look in summary at some of the signs that we need to look for in someone who is called to be an evangelist.
Compassion for the Lost
Firstly the evangelist is somebody who has a compassion for the lost. He looks out at everyone who is on their way to a lost eternity, who does not know Jesus and whose lives are broken with sin.
He has a compassion for them, not a condemnation for them. He has a genuine compassion and his heart is stirred. Everyone else may be saying,
“Oh that miserable, rotten sinner!”
But he is saying,
“Oh shame; oh Lord that poor man.”
He is looking at it in a whole different way. Next time you are speaking to somebody and they respond that way, your ears will pick up and you will say,
“I think he is an evangelist.”
Compassion on the Hurting
The evangelist has a compassion for those who are broken and are hurting. He does not look at people and say,
“Well it serves you right. You put yourself into this mess. I don’t feel sorry for you. You caused this problem yourself. You brought it on yourself. You were stupid and you got what you deserved.”
No, he looks at that person and says,
“This is a person whose life has been destroyed by sin and Satan. Oh Lord give me the power to set him free.”
That is your evangelist’s heart.
Compassion for Souls
The evangelist has a compassion for souls. He just wants to see people coming into the Kingdom. He has the kind of driving force that a woman has when she wants babies and she cannot have them.
It is like Rachel when she turned to Jacob in frustration and said,
“Give me children or I die. I want a baby now.”
You will have to have that kind of drive, and if you are an evangelist it is going to be there. You will have this compulsion in you.
You want to reproduce. You want to take this good news of the gospel that you have and start pouring it into others.
You want to reproduce the gospel in the lives of other people and see them come into the Kingdom of God. You are not satisfied when you do not see it happening.
An evangelist is someone who has a willingness to go where the lost are. He is not someone who turn his nose up at sinfulness, at sin and at sinners. His heart reaches out and says,
“If I have to go there into that dive; if I have to go there into the filth to go and reach that person and bring them out, I am prepared to do it.”
Sees Potential in People
An evangelist is someone who sees the end result rather than the current condition. He can look at a person and see their potential. He can look at that miserable tax collector, even as Jesus looked at Matthew. He looked at him and said,
“You know I could use this guy as one of my disciples.”
That man was lifted up and became the one who wrote the gospel of Matthew. He became one of Jesus’ disciples; a mighty man.
Jesus could have looked at him as most Jews looked on the tax collector and said,
“Oh what a horrible, vile man.”
But Jesus looked beyond that. He saw the potential in him and pulled him out.
Ready to Speak the Word
The evangelist must have no fear of man. He must be ready to speak the word in humility.
In Peter there is a Scripture that says,
Sanctify the Lord God in your heart, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks a reason of the hope that lies within you, with fear and in trembling, in humbleness, not in arrogance.
Be ready at all times so that when somebody asks you concerning your commitment you are ready to tell them. You are ready to tell them in humility, not in boasting. You don’t say,
“Well I accepted Jesus and I don’t sin anymore. I’m not bad like everybody else.”
You are like the Pharisee on the street. You acknowledge that you were once a sinner too. You are not afraid of people. You are not afraid to tell them the truth and to bring them out of their bondage.
Inspires Others to Win Souls
The evangelist is able to inspire other people to go out and win the lost. People very often need a leader. They need someone to motivate them to get out and reach the lost.
The evangelist is not only able to get out and do the job himself, but to get everybody stirred up and excited about it. He is able to train soul winners on the job by taking them out and showing them how to do it.
Opens Blind Eyes
The evangelist is someone who is anointed to open blinded eyes. He has the ability to get people to see the truth. When he speaks suddenly the light goes on.
He does not have to use fancy words. He just has that anointing. He can use very simple words, but they are so effective that as he begins to share suddenly people see the truth.
It is the anointing that God has given him. When you see a person who has that ability, you know that the evangelistic ministry is being manifest.
Brings Conviction and Leads to Jesus
The evangelist has the ability to bring conviction of sin without condemning people. When he speaks the pure Word of God people start to tremble and become aware of their sin.
The evangelist has the ability to release and to lead people to Jesus anywhere. Wherever he goes people start being saved.
I have a younger brother who used to be able to do that. He would be at school and he would go to the sick bay because he was not feeling well.
He would meet someone in the sick bay and lead them to the Lord. It just seemed that wherever he went he was leading people to the Lord. It seems to happen automatically. Evangelists do that as a matter of course.
Applies the Gospel to Peoples’ Lives
An evangelists should have authority over demons, because he is going to set the captives free.
He is somebody who operates in the gift of healing and the gift of faith (the power gifts), because he is not only going to preach the gospel but he is going to apply it too.
We are all called to preach the gospel, but the evangelist has a particular gifting for it. Many of the fivefold ministry also have this anointing especially if you look at the apostle. But the evangelist uniquely carries that special anointing.
He is not only able to preach the good news, but he can make people understand it, see it, accept it and receive it. Then he takes the power of the gospel and applies it to their lives.
When you see all these things manifest in the life of a person, then you know that you are seeing all the signs of the evangelistic calling.