SPIRITUAL GIFTS SERIES
The Spiritual Gift of Evangelist
Class of Gift: Speaking
“Some as Evangelists“
Ephesians 4:11, Page 1830
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1.1 Every Born-Again Christian Has at Least One Spiritual Gift. Every born-again believer in Jesus Christ has received a spiritual gift from the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, page 1796). Please recall also that one spiritual gift may have a variety of ministries (“διακονιῶν”), with a variety of spiritual effects (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, page 1796). Therefore, if you have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist, that single gift may result in a variety of ministries and spiritual effects. Although not all believers may have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist, they should all do the work of an evangelist, in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people God sets before them (2 Timothy 4:5, page 1864; Matthew 28:18-20).
1.2 Meaning of the Term “Evangelist.” The term used to describe the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist in Ephesians 4:11, page 1830 means a believer with a special ability to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Evangelist performs specific services to the church. Many passages in the New Testament describe the work of evangelists. We will focus primarily upon the use of the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist.
1.3 Evangelism and the Spiritual Gifts. All believers must know and use their spiritual gifts to the glory of God. All believers, not just the pastors and church leaders, perform the work of evangelism. While all believers must perform the work of evangelism, only some believers have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist, bestowed by the Holy Spirit upon some, but not all, believers as a gift of grace which works according to His power (Ephesians 3:7, page 1829).
1.4 The New Testament Diversity of the Term “Evangelist.” The Greek term translated as “evangelist” has diverse applications in the New Testament. As you read through these varying uses of the term “evangelist” and related words, please keep in mind that I interpret these passages below as examples, on the one hand, of spiritual activities all believers will do at times; but, on the other hand, the person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist in the forms described below will have a special gift from God to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Let us explore some of those uses to gain insight into the different ways God gifts people to serve in His name and in His ministry to the Body of Christ. We will see below that the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist involves different major areas of ministry. We will look at them one at a time.
1.6 The Gospel Defined. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-3, Paul described the Gospel that He preached and how it changed the lives of the Corinthian believers. Paul carefully explained the steps involved in the work of the evangelist. Paul described certain articles of faith as of first importance.
1.6.1 Christ Died for Our Sins. The Gospel centers upon Jesus Christ, and His death for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3, page 1800). Paul taught that the truth of Gospel was according to the Scriptures, which contained prophecies, contemporaneous records, and historical accounts of the life, death, burial and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, and Savior of the world.
1.6.2 Christ Was Raised. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ support the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without a resurrection from the dead, we are still in our sins and of all men the most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:4-19, pages 1800-1801)..
1.7 The Gospel Preached. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17, page 1773). But hearing requires preachers to go and spread the good news. They can only go if they are sent. So, people can only be converted and call upon the name of the Lord if they have a preacher sent to them, who will faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:5-17, pages 1772-1773). Not everyone hearing will believe, but those appointed by God unto salvation will always believe (Acts 13:48, page 1727). Other people hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but repudiate it and judge themselves unworthy of eternal life (Acts 13:46, page 1726).
1.8 The Gospel Received. Jesus proclaimed that as many as “received” (“ἔλαβον”) Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:13, page 1653). Hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be united with faith in those who heard (Hebrews 4:2, page 1872). So, merely hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ profits nothing. In fact, if you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and do not receive Jesus as Savior, then your heart may become hardened, causing you to think lightly of the kindness and patience of God, Who is not wiling for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance and eternal life (Hebrews 4:7, page 1873; Romans 2:4-5, page 1760; 2 Peter 3:9, page 1903). The Gospel of Jesus Christ must be received for what it really is, the word of God, and not the word of men, so that it will perform its work in the believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13, page 1847).
1.9 The Gospel Stand. Paul also described believers as people who “stand” (“ἑστήκατε”) in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1, page 1800; see also 2 Corinthians 1:24, page 1805). Likewise, because of our faith we stand in the grace of God, and exult in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2, page 1764). Believers must put on the full armor of God to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11, page 1834). So, believers who stand firm in their faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ enjoy the blessings of God throughout their lifetime.
1.10 The Gospel of Salvation. Salvation comes only through receiving Jesus Christ as Savior. No other name under heaven that has been given under heaven by which we must be saved. There is no salvation in anyone else (Acts 4:12, page 1705). Jesus alone is the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus Christ (John 14:6, page 1684). Jesus alone has the words of eternal life (John 6:68, page 1667). Paul received the Gospel of Jesus Christ by direct revelation from Jesus Christ, and not from men (Galatians 1:11-13, pages 1819-1820). This Gospel of Jesus Christ, preached by the apostles and others, is the word of the LORD which endures forever (1 Peter 1:25, page 1895; John 6:68, page 1667).
The Ministry of Evangelists: Foundations
2.1 Evangelist: The Scope of the Ministries. The single Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may give rise to a variety of ministries. In the New Testament, we see the many people sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a variety of different ways. From those examples, we can learn about some of the ministries people may have as they employ the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism bestowed upon them by the Holy Spirit.
2.2 Jesus the Evangelist. Jesus came as a leader of Judah, a Ruler Who will shepherd Israel, the people of God (Matthew 2:6, page 1502). Jesus fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah the prophet: “the Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor” (Luke 4:18, page 1602). Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of Kingdom and presented Himself as the only Savior, attested by God through His words and works, proven by the Scriptures and the direct testimony of God the Father and the Holy Spirit and John the Baptist, and with the proof to all men by His resurrection (John 5:33-47, pages 1663-1664; Matthew 4:13-17, page 1504; Matthew 17:5, page 1531; Acts 17:31, page 1735). Jesus promised to build His church, and He does so one believer at a time by individual faith–even when multitudes receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ together (Matthew 16:18, page 1530; Acts 2:41, page 1703) A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may often display the compassion of Jesus Christ, and present the good news of salvation to all kinds of people, in all kinds of places.
2.3 Other New Testament Evangelists. Jesus taught His disciples to beseech the Lord of the Harvest to send forth workers into the harvest, for the fields were white for harvest (John 4:35, page 1660). Jesus sent forth the twelve apostles as His eyewitnesses of His life and resurrection (Matthew 28:17-20, page 1557; Acts 1:21-22, page 1700; Acts 10:37, page 1720; 2 Peter 1:16, page 1901). Some of His apostles had very unsavory reputations before they received salvation (e.g., Paul the persecutor of the church–Galatians 1:23, page 1820). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have come from a very unGodly background, but now has been saved, cleansed and commissioned by God to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2.3.1 Peter the Evangelist. After the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, just as Jesus promised, Peter and others began to preach. Jesus had described a geographical expansion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: begin in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, and then to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8, page 1699). At Pentecost, Peter preached about Jesus and His crucifixion. When the crowd heard the message, they wanted to know what they must do. Peter then explained repentance, salvation, and baptism to them and thousands believed (Acts 2:14-42, pages 1701-1703). Even when faced with opposition from the religious leaders, Peter continued to preach about salvation (Acts 3:11-26, page 1703-1704; see also Acts 6:7, page 1709). The religious leaders arrested Peter and John, but they continued teaching and preaching (Acts 4:1-31, pages 1705-1706). Peter and John also preached salvation in Samaria (Acts 8:14-25, pages 1714-1715). Later, Peter also preached salvation through the entire regions of Caesarea, Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9:32-10:48, pages 1717-1721).The believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who are hated by other groups of people. A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may also travel into new regions, all over the world, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2.3.2 Steven the Evangelist. Stephen, one of the seven chosen to be in charge of the ministry of feeding the widows, being full of grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8, pages 1709-1710). With great wisdom Stephen proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews in Jerusalem and sealed his message by being stoned to death (Acts 6:8-7:60, pages 1709-1713). A great persecution of the church in Jerusalem arose upon the death of Stephen, causing the scattering of many believers, who preached the Gospel to many places, including Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch (Acts 8:1, page ; Acts 11:19, page 1722). A believer with the spiritual gift of evangelist may give that believer’s life as a martyr because that believer did not shrink back from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to hostile crowds.
2.3.3 The Woman at the Well. Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar and presented the Gospel to her. He declared Himself to be the Messiah of Israel. Although the woman at the well may did not have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist, she does present a very good example of reaching an entire city through the ministry of one person speaking to an entire city. This woman apparently had a poor reputation in town, because she had five husbands, and the man she was with at the time was not her husband (John 4:7-45, page 1659-1661). Yet, Jesus chose her to be His messenger to Sychar. Today, Jesus chooses people with highly blemished reputations to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to entire cities. A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may shortly after salvation begin sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an entire city.
18.104.22.168 The Ministry of Sowing. Jesus looked at the people of Sychar coming to Him after the woman at the well went and told that city about Jesus. In turn, Jesus taught His disciples that “One sows and another reaps” (John 4:37, page 1660). Jesus meant that He and others had sown the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Sychar, and now some of those people were coming to meet Jesus and receive Him as Messiah and Savior. A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have the ministry of sowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ among people so that other believers may reap the fruit of that sowing later.
22.214.171.124 The Ministry of Reaping. Jesus told the disciples they were reaping what they had not sown. Even so, the sower and the reaper would rejoice together over the harvest of souls. Jesus meant that His disciples would harvest the fruit sown by the woman at the well when she went into Sychar and told the people about Jesus (John 4:31-28, page 1660; see also 1 Corinthians 3:6, page 1784). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have the ministry of reaping souls who believed because another believer has sown the Gospel of Jesus Christ earlier among those people.
2.3.4 The Gadarene Demoniac. Jesus met a Gadarene man possessed by a legion of demons. After speaking to that man, Jesus cast out the demons and the man returned to his sound mind and sat with Jesus. As Jesus got into the boat to leave, the Gadarene man sought to join Jesus in the boat. Jesus denied the man, saying: “Return to your and house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he left and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him (Luke 8:26-39, page 1814). Although the Gadarene man did not possess the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist, Jesus chose this man who broke chains and lived in tombs to receive the gift of eternal life from Jesus, and then proclaim the marvelous grace and love of Jesus to the entire city. The believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have to confront demons as part of the ministry of evangelism. Furthermore, a believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism may have been demon possessed previously, but now saved and controlled by the Holy Spirit; that believer may spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who knew the evangelist as a demon-possessed person.
2.3.5 Philip the Evangelist. Philip apparently became known as “the evangelist” because of his preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 21:8, page 1742). Philip went through Samaria, proclaiming Christ to them. He left Judea in a wave of persecution, beginning with the death of Steven (Acts 8:4-5, page 1714). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may go to new places, driven forward by persecution behind them. Upon arrival they begin proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people previously separated by religious cultures and practices
The Ministry of Evangelists: New Fields
3.1 Christ Not Already Named. Paul determined to go where Christ was not already named (Romans 15:20, page 1779). Paul loved to be the first to reach new places and people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:14-16, pages 1814-1815). Likewise, only through the word of Christ can a person come to saving faith. A preacher must be sent to unbelievers, who faithfully proclaim the word of Christ, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:15, page 1773). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have a ministry of going to places where Christ has not been preached before.
3.2 Preaching Everywhere. Jesus first sent out His disciples to preach the gospel throughout the villages, and to preach the gospel everywhere (Luke 9:6, page 1615; see the limitation in Matthew 10:5, page 1516–no Gentiles, no Samaritans, only the lost sheep of the house of Israel). During the Tribulation period, God also reveals an angel, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people (Revelation 14:6, page 1930; compare Luke 1:19, page 1594). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have the ministry of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere.
The Ministry of Evangelists: No Cleverness of Speech
4.1 The Cross Not Made Void. Paul did not make the cross void by preaching with cleverness of speech (1 Corinthians 1:17, page 1782). Paul was determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified among the new people hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2:2, page 1783). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have the ministry of preaching Christ and Him crucified, while avoiding cleverness of speech.
4.2 No Persuasive Words of Wisdom. Paul also refused to preach with persuasive words of wisdom like the Greek philosophers, but he preached in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that the new believer’s faith would rest not upon the wisdom of men, but upon the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, page 1783; compare men “forcing” their way into the kingdom of God–Luke 16:16, page 1633). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist will present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that the believer’s faith would rest not upon men, but upon the power of God.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Not a Contrary Gospel
5.1 The Tradition Paul preached the Gospel which he received as a revelation directly from Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11-12, pages 1819-1820). The substance of the gospel truly matters. False teachers will come and preach a gospel contrary to the gospel preached by Paul (Galatians 1:6-10, page 1819; see also Acts 13:32, page 1726). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism will never preach a gospel contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ described in the Bible.
5.2 Entrusted To Preach the Gospel. After Paul returned from his first missionary journey, Paul went up to Jerusalem to confer with the apostles. He confirmed with them that he was preaching the correct Gospel. Jesus had entrusted a ministry of evangelism to Paul for the Gentiles, just as Peter was the evangelist to the Jews (Galatians 2:7-10, pages 1821-1822; Ephesians 3:8, page 1829). A believer with Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have a ministry to a particular group of people entrusted to that believer by God.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Joyful News
6.1 Joy in Heaven. Jesus taught that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7, page 1631). A person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist will bring good news, causing heaven to rejoice over the sinner who repents.
6.2 Joy on Earth. At Pentecost, Peter preached a sermon built upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit. Peter proclaimed salvation by faith alone. As a result of their salvation, the people devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to payer (Acts 2:42, page 1703). They also took their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart (Acts 2:46, page 1703). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist also brings joy on earth to the believers who have been born again and know the joy of sins forgiven, fellowship with God, and fellowship with other believers.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Kept Right On
7.1 Suffering Shame. The apostles rejoiced because God had considered them worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41, page 1709). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may rejoice when that believer suffers shame for the name of Jesus Christ.
7.2 Non-Stop. The apostles also kept on preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ even after they were ordered to stop by the Jewish religious council (Acts 5:40-42, page 1709). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may keep on sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even when ordered not to by religious authorities.
The Ministry of Evangelists: The Waves of Persecution
8.1 The Growth of Persecution. On the day that some Jews stoned Stephen, a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1, page 1713). As a result of that persecution, many believers scattered and began preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they fled to new places far removed from Jerusalem. For example, in Antioch, some believers began sharing their faith with both Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles believed in great numbers (Acts 11:20-21, page 1722). God blessed the believers at Antioch and Paul and Barnabas ministered there and went out from there on their first missionary journey. A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism may ride a wave of persecution and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even when fleeing persecution.
8.2 The Expansion. As a result of continued persecution, believers began preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many places throughout Asia Minor and some islands in the Mediterranean Sea (see Acts 14:5-7, page 1727). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may spread the good news to new places, pushed forward by continuing waves of persecution, using a particular place like Antioch as a home base (Acts 13:1-4, page 1724).
The Ministry of Evangelists: Only Men
9.1 Never Gods. At times, some people hearing a believer spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ may jump to the conclusion that the evangelist is a god (Acts 14:8-18, pages 1727-1728). For example, at Lystra some people identified Barnabas and Paul as the Roman gods Zeus and Hermes. Paul responded that he and Barnabas were just men of the same nature as everyone else and were preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them so that they would turn from those vain things to the living God and receive salvation (Acts 14:13-18, page 1728). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may encounter people who call them a god, but the evangelist must always deny such claims and continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those people.
9.2 Just a Man. Cornelius received an angelic communication to meet Peter. When Cornelius met Peter, Cornelius fell at the feet of Peter and worshiped Peter. Peter replied, “Stand up; I too am just a man” (Acts 10:24-25, page 1719). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may be spiritually directed to meet particular people, who have also been spiritually directed to that same meeting. At times, people may try to worship the believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist. Such worship should be met with a reminder that the evangelist too is just a man.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Ministry Teams
10.1 Jesus and His Teams. Jesus sent out His disciples in ministry teams (Matthew 10:1-11:1, pages 1516-1518; Luke 10:1-24, pages 1618-1619). Jesus instructed them to use their authority to cast out unclean spirits, to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. They were to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and to prepare for the visit of Jesus in Person (Matthew 10:7, page 1516; Luke 10:1, page 1618). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may serve as part of a ministry team, preparing the way for others to follow, or blazing new trails to plant new churches.
10.2 The Later New Testament Missionaries. Likewise, the Holy Spirit selected Paul and Barnabas to go on the first missionary journey from Antioch (Acts 13:1-3, page 1724). God also called other people to join ministry teams in various capacities (e.g., John Mark–Acts 16:37, page 1731; Timothy and Erastus, Acts 19:22, page 1738; Peter and John, Acts 8:14, page 1714). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may be called into a ministry team with other believers. That team may have a variety of spiritual gifts present on the same team (Acts 15:35, page 1730; Luke 8:1-2 provides an example of the vital ministries of some women; Acts 9:36, page 1718; ).
The Ministry of Evangelists: Compulsion
11.1 Compulsion. Paul wrote that he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ “under compulsion” (1 Corinthians 9:16, page 1792). Paul explained that if he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ voluntarily, then he would have a reward; if against his will, then he had a stewardship entrusted to him (1 Corinthians 9:17, page 1792). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist feels a sense of obligation to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
11.2 Woe Is Me. One way or the other, Paul must act to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul summed up the matter: “for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16, page 1792). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may be under compulsion to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and do so voluntarily for eternal rewards, or otherwise because a stewardship has been entrusted to that believer.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Not Partial to Any
12.1 Jesus: Not Partial to Any. Even the enemies of Jesus acknowledged that He was not partial to any (Luke 20:21, page 1641). He ministered to a Samaritan women (John 4:9, page 1659) and a Syrophonecian women (Mark 7:24-30, pages 1571-1572). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may share the Gospel of Jesus Christ without regard to ethnic or social boundaries.
12.2 Philip Preaching. Philip preached in Samaria and people believed the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus had previously forbidden His disicples to preach in any city of Samaria (Matthew 10:5, page 1516). After the Holy Spirit came upon the church in Acts 2 and filled them, it was then time for the witnesses of Jesus to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Acts 1:8, page 1699). Philip also preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the people of Ethiopia (Acts 8:25-40, pages 1715-1716). Philip was not partial to any, but preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Samaritans and others (Acts 8:4, page 1714; Peter and John also began preaching to many Samaritan villages–Acts 8:14-25, pages 1714-1715). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people from all over the world, even as they may meet in desert places.
12.3 Apostolic Preaching. Peter and John brought healing in the name of Jesus Christ to a beggar sitting at the Gate Beautiful (Acts 3:1-10, page 1703). Paul and Barnabas preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Sergius Paulus, a proconsul of Rome and a man of intelligence (Acts 13:7, page 1724). After certain Jews deemed themselves unworthy of eternal life, some apostles began preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46, page 1726; Acts 14:21, page 1728; Galatians 1:16, page 1820). Like Jesus before them, the apostles also preached the Gospel to the poor (Matthew 11:5, page 1518; Luke 7:22, page 1610; Galatians 2:10, page 1821). Paul also preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to governors (Felix and Festus–Acts 24:1-Acts 25:12, page 1750) and to King Agrippa (Acts 25:23-Acts 26:32, page 1753; see Acts 9:15-16, page 1716; Matthew 10:16-20, page 1516; ). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may be called to preach the Gospel to the poor, to the intelligent, to the powerful, to crowds, to Gentiles or to Jews; it makes no difference to the evangelist.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Holy Spirit Filled
13.1 The Holy Spirit and Evangelism. The Spirit of the LORD was upon Jesus to proclaim the Gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18, page 1602; Isaiah 61:1, page 1167). Jesus faithfully proclaimed that Gospel inside and outside of Israel (Tyre and Sidon), to Jews and Gentiles. Even before Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, prophets longed to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. God revealed to them they were not serving themselves, but believers, who would later receive the preaching of the gospel by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven (1 Peter 1:11-12, Page 1894). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may be filled with the Holy Spirit for the specific purpose of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a specific time and place. We can look at a few examples below.
13.2 Peter at Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit filled the apostles at Pentecost, then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit began proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the multitude (Acts 2:4, page 1700; Acts 2:14-42, page 1701-1702). A believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may know from the Holy Spirit working within that believer to start preaching to a group and just the opportune moment.
13.3 Stephen. Stephen, the martyr, was filled with the Holy Spirit, faith, grace and power. The Holy Spirit used Stephen to work great signs among the people (Acts 6:5, page 1709; Acts 6:8, pages 1709-1710). His opponents were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking (Acts 7:10, page 1710). After giving his defense of the faith and presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the high priest of Israel, being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. The crowd listening to him stoned him to death (Acts 7:59-60, page 1713). A person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may speak so that opponents cannot cope with the Spirit and the wisdom they bring, as they share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Specific Area
14.1 The Ministry of Jesus. Jesus declared that He must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities of Israel (and beyond), for He was sent for that purpose (Luke 4:43, page 1604; Mark 1:38, page 1559). A believer with the spiritual gift of Evangelist may have a ministry to a specific geographical area, nation, ethnic group or other specific call.
14.2 The Macedonian Vision. As Paul sat in Troas, the Holy Spirit prohibited Paul and the missionary team from speaking the word in Asia. The Holy Spirit also prohibited them from speaking in Mysia and Bithynia (Acts 16:6-8, page 1731). A man of Macedonia appeared to Paul in a vision standing and appealing for help. Paul concluded that God had called them to go and preach the Gospel to the Macedonians (Acts 16:10, page 1731; see also Romans 1:15, page 1758). A person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have the ministry in one place closed, so that God can call the evangelist into another geographic area where the Holy Spirit has prepared hearts to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Ministry of Evangelists: Today
15.1 The Ministry of Today. God does not desire for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9, page 1903). As part of the ministry, God fixes a certain time, “Today,” to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved (Hebrews 4:6-16, page 1873).
15.2 Peter at Caesarea. God prepared Cornelius, a righteous and God-fearing man, to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ from Peter. An angel directed Cornelius to invite Peter to Caesarea to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him and others. Upon arrival, Peter found many people assembled, ready to hear all that Peter had been commanded by the Lord. (Acts 10:17-48, pages 1719-1721). Peter preached, the people believed, spoke in tongues, and were baptized (Acts 10:44-48, pages 1720-1721).
The Ministry of Evangelists: Crisis
16.1 Philippian Jailer. After Paul received the Macedonian vision, the ministry team went to Philippi, a Roman colony of Macedonia. Paul and Barnabas were arrested and beaten for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While in jail, an earthquake opened the doors of the jail, and caused the chains holding the prisoners to became unfastened. The Philippian jailer pulled his sword, ready to kill himself for fear that the prisoners had escaped. Paul declared that all the prisoners were still there. The jailer then asked what must he do to be saved. Paul replied that he must believe in the Lord Jesus, and he will be saved, including his household. The jailer and his household were saved (Acts 15:11-40, pages 1731-1733). A person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the middle of a crisis, to ears and hearts ready to receive the good news.
16.2 Shipwreck. Paul appealed his incarceration to Caesar in Rome. On his transport from Israel to Rome, he endured shipwreck. As the storm grew and the ship began to sink, Paul proclaimed his faith in the Lord Jesus to save the people on board. A person with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist may have a ministry of sharing the faith during very difficult times of crisis.
Hallmarks of the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist
Evangelist: Understanding the Spiritual Gift. The believer with the Spiritual Gift of Evangelist shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As above, the ministry of the evangelist may take many forms, and produce a variety of effects. I have listed a few of those hallmarks below.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to new fields.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers do not rely upon cleverness of speech, but the power of God.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers do not preach a gospel contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers bring joyful news of salvation.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers keep right on preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers ride waves of persecution.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers never forget they are only men.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers often form ministry teams.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers are never partial to any in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers are Spirit-filled for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers often labor in specific, geographic areas.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers labor today, for it is the day of salvation.
♦ Evangelist-gifted believers often labor during a crisis.
As with many other spiritual gifts, The Spiritual Gift of Evangelist includes spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as something that all believers practice as a part of our spiritual life. Yet, some believers have a special ability as a gift from God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and The Spiritual Gift of Evangelist produces a variety of ministries, and those ministries produce a variety of effects.