The Heart of An Evangelist

my notes from a teaching by Keith Baxter

1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 KJV (1) For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: (2) But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

We need to think of an evangelist as one who preached the gospel and no matter what the cost or what happens to him he keeps preaching. With that definition in mind, one person who ought to come to mind is the Apostle Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:16, Paul writes to Timothy that he is a pattern to those who would believe. So, as a pattern, we need to think about what he went through, why he did what he did, what was his motive for doing so and why all these sufferings came unto him.

When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians he said, ďour entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain.Ē Paul preached the gospel unto them and they had received it.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-9 KJV (6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (7) So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (8) For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (9) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

The Thessalonians had received the word Paul preached unto them and turned to God and stopped serving idols. The Thessalonians followed the Apostle Paulís example and became ensamples to other believers in Macedonia and Achaia. These saints then developed an addiction:

1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV (15) I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

We need to addict ourselves to the ministry of the saints.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

When Paul preached to the Thessalonians, it was not in vain: they received the word and became involved in the work even though they knew that Paul was shamefully treated at Philippi.

1 Thessalonians 2:2 KJV (2) But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
Acts 16:12 KJV And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
Acts 16:19-24 KJV And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, (20) And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, (21) And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. (22) And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. (23) And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: (24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Paul described the being shamefully treated as being beaten and then thrown into prison. Have you ever felt shamefully treated when someone rejects the gospel? We need to realize that it is not you that they are rejecting, but Christ. Paul endured so much more that just someone saying, ďNo, I do not want the free gift.Ē What motivated Paul to continue to preach the gospel?

  1. Heartís Desire
    Romans 10:1 KJV Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
    Philippians 1:7 KJV Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

    Paul was thinking about the souls of those he preached to. It was his heartís desire for them to know his gospel and be saved. So, in order to teach the gospel we need to know what it is. Paulís gospel is basically summed up in the phrase ďChrist died for our sins, was buried and raised again on the third day.Ē

    1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV (1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    This gospel goes beyond oneís initial justification; it empowers us in our daily Christian walk. Paulís gospel is not the same gospel that Peter preached.

    Romans 16:25 KJV Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
    1 Corinthians 2:7-8 KJV (7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
    2 Timothy 2:7-8 KJV Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (8) Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

    Once we understand Paulís gospel, we need to talk to others in order for them to hear the gospel. However, many do not share the gospel because of fear. God has not given us the spirit of fear.

    2 Timothy 1:7 KJV For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    Notice the spirit of the three things Paul says God has given us:

    1. Power: Paulís gospel is the preaching of the cross. The preaching of the cross is the power of God.
      1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    2. Love: Christ died for us. The cross is the perfect example of love; Christ died for us, He took our place.
      Romans 5:8 KJV But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    3. Sound mind: knowing Paulís message: the gospel of the grace of God.
      Acts 20:24 KJV But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
      2 Timothy 1:13 KJV Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    If you want the power of God when you speak to someone about being saved, preach the cross work of Christ. If you want to express the love of God, preach that Christ died for us. If you want what you are saying to be sound, founded in the truth for this dispensation of the grace of God, say the words that the Apostle Paul said.

  2. Boldness

    Have you ever stood in line and looked at someone and wondered if they are saved and then did nothing else? Or did you just decide it was not right to talk to them at that time. Even the Apostle Paul asks the saints to pray that he would have boldness.

    Ephesians 6:19-20 KJV And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (20) For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
    1 Thessalonians 2:2 KJV But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
    Acts 14:3 KJV Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

    It is not you, but Christ in you that does the work. The power is not in you but in Christ. It is not I, but Christ that lives in me.

    Galatians 2:20 KJV I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    We need to get ourselves out of the way and let Christ do the work.

    Ephesians 6:19-20 KJV And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (20) For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

    Things that we should pray for:

    1. Pray to speak boldly.
    2. Pray to understand what Godís grace is.
    3. Pray to understand what Godís will is.

Why Have the Heart of an Evangelist

The main reason we should have the heart of an evangelist is because it is our job.

1 Corinthians 9:16-17 KJV (16) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! (17) For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Paul is no longer here; it is now the Body of Christís job to preach the gospel. God is getting the job done today through the Body of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

The treasure that we have is a message, i.e. the gospel of the grace of God.

2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Do you believe? If so, there should be an urgency in giving out the gospel because we have the rapture in view: if you knew it was going to happen soon; what would you do? Sit back and relax or go out and tell people? Do you feel the urgency to go out and tell someone because you do not know when it will happen?

Living with the rapture in view is thinking about the resurrection, it is rightly dividing the word of truth and understanding that grace not law is what the dispensation of the grace of God is about. Up until 2 Timothy is written, Paul thought the rapture was going to happen in his lifetime. He had a sense of urgency. The dispensation of the grace of God has been going on now for over 2,000 years, we, too, ought to have a sense of urgency.

When you do tell some one you do not need to use scare tactics, i.e. using fear as the motivation because it is the love of Christ that constrains us (2 Corinthians 5:14). When we speak to people it ought to be a labor of love.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 KJV (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We are ambassadors for Christ and we have been given the word of reconciliation. Love is what made Christ come and die for us and it is when we learn more about Him doing that that is what motivates us. Love should be what motivates us to tell other people the gospel because Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for us.

Proverbs 11:30 KJV The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
2 Timothy 4:5 KJV But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.