EVANGELISM

This is my first research paper for the school year and thought I would share enjoy!

        Evangelism is the spreading of Christian Gospel by public preaching or personal witnessing. Romans 10 :17 tells us So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Many believe it’s not only about showing love or caring for others,  But we as Christians and followers of Jesus Christ have a duty to spread the Gospel wherever we go.  Evangelism reaches across all denominations and is the responsibility of the entire Body of Christ.  With out Evangelism the Gospel would have never been able to reach the four corners of the Earth and with stand the test of time.

       An Evangelist is a person who shares the Gospel in order to bring others to Christ and the Christian faith by speaking and teaching the Word of God.  By claiming to be a Follower of Christ you are obligated to share his Gospel so that makes us all Evangelist.  Most Evangelist believe the Trinity and the Bible alone is the ultimate standard.  That salvation is by grace and faith that Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh and we are wiped clean of our sins by his ultimate sacrifice and resurrection.  Although there are other beliefs,  ultimately we all have the same goal which is to bring others to God by sharing the Gospel.

      Christianity found it’s roots through Evangelism but varies between denominations and communities.  We were told to go out and speak clearly,  fearlessly,  graciously and respectively when given every  opportunity.   Evangelism it’s self began with Jesus and his ministry,  he would travel and speak to large crowds wherever he went. His death, resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit are set in the very foundation of  it’s core. After the Resurrection, The Apostolic Era started with Paul and the other disciples as they went out to spread the Word as instructed by Jesus in Mark 16:15   And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

      When looking at the message being communicated it’s important to know who your audience is.  The earliest Evangelist more commonly known as the Apostles,  such as Peter and Paul just to name a few were always able to adapt to different circumstances and cultures. Both were able to effectively preach to Jews and Gentiles by knowing what needed to be said and how to say to it.  Although the message it’s self was never compromised the Apostle’s were able to share the very foundation of Christianity, the Crucifixion and Resuscitation of Jesus Christ.  

       Next let’s take  a look at the Evangelist themselves who were communicating the message.  We can classify them into two groups Formal and Informal, Formal being those who started the Churches and kept them going from day to day and the Informal were ordinary men who heard the calling of God and chose to travel never staying in one place too long.  The Bible  mentions many others who helped spread the Word and aren’t as well known.  Women being an important part of Evangelism such as the Mother of  John, Dorcas who became known for her Charity and the four daughters of Phillip who prophesied,  wives have also been an instrumental part of Evangelism by supporting their husbands.  We also need to take in consideration the vast number of  wondering teachers who are briefly mentioned in  Mark 1:38  And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also:  and in the letter Paul wrote to the Church of  Corinth where he warns them to be careful not giving heed to deceitful workers and false teachers.  Even after the Apostolic Era, for centuries Christians evangelized through informal conversations,  work,  friends and neighbors continuing the work of Jesus.

       Last when looking at the early Church we need to take a quick look at the method used by those evangelist.  For example Paul’s entire missionary strategy is in the Book of Acts.  But in reality we don’t have much to go on besides that.  The early church did not keep records of their  methods of evangelism due to being an “illegal religion” in most parts of the World.   There weren’t any classes like today to teach men how to do this.  Most of the time it was done in secrecy to avoid the persecution and even death.   But we do see evidence of charity drawing people to Church. We are told in Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  The early Church would feed the poor, tend to the elderly and visit those imprisoned just as we do today, once again proving Love conquers all and being an example of  the Love of  Christ.

       It has been centuries since the Apostles have walked the Earth and today’s modern Church faces many obstacles and has tried to keep up with the times.  Although the message has stayed the same for the most part,  we have seen changes in the methods used and who is delivering those messages.   We have gone from the Church services of your grandfather’s days to an atmosphere that seems like a rock concert in some ways.  This way of  preaching has brought many to God,  but is it the right message?   Services have gone from preaching from scripture to more like inspirational seminars. This is defiantly an obstacle the more conventional church’s face when trying to keep members as more move from traditional sermons to the new aged meetings.  

      As we start to take a look into modern Evangelism we notice a change in how things are done in order to deal with new obstacles that have arisen over the last few decades. We as a society have had a turning away from God and many have become unaware of his promises either by choice or because no one has taken the time to tell them.  Today Modern Evangelist have to  be ready to debate and try to defend our beliefs.  This has been escalated by the Internet and the amount of  information that is available.  Online conversations are constant and some even look for Christians to attack in the hopes of starting a debate.  But not all online activity has a negative result,  since so many people are now surfing the web daily,  many evangelist have taken to the internet.  You tube and Facebook have been instrumental in bringing the Gospel to millions and this will only increase.   

     Although faced with these new challenges, The Church has not forgotten how our forefathers would spread the Gospel and still use the methods Evangelist have used for centuries.  Many men and women still go out daily door to door,  bus ministries are still strong,  tracts are still being handed out and we still feed the hungry, care for the elderly and visit those incarcerated

      Everyone in the Body of Christ has a responsibility to help spread the Gospel.  All members,  deacons,  teachers,  bus drivers,  even the lady that bakes cookies for the homeless ministries.  We all as followers of Christ must be ready at any moment to proclaim the Love of Christ and be an example and strive to be more Christ like on a daily basis. This is the only way our belief has stood against the test of time, Faith and Determination to tell all of his Great Love and Ultimate sacafirce winning souls for our Father which lives in heaven! 

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DISTRACTIONS

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it

dis·trac·tion
noun: distraction; plural noun: distractions
  1. 1.
    a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

 

I want to begin with an apology, I had been posting verses daily on Facebook then decided to post on my Blog and Share on Facebook, well it seems I haven’t done either for several weeks and I am Sorry not so much to you as the reader(although you are one of the main reasons I do this) but most importantly to God and myself. I am being honest here I have 4 maybe 5 people who read my post,  so in reality I am posting to keep a promise I made with God and myself over a year ago. But, sometimes Life happens and Good intentions get pushed aside even when you don’t mean to let them.  Any number of reasons can become a distraction Work, School, and Kids seem to be the most prevalent now a days. 

But, Sometimes in our lives we start to reach a point in our Spiritual growth where the Devil starts to worry, he begins to fear he will loose us to God. He begins to panic and tries to make you fail and sends every stumbling block to bring you back to him and away from God.  But when you become strong enough to Resist the Devil and tell him to Flee as in James 4:7  

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He has one more trick up his sleeve DISTRACTIONS They can come in many forms. We must be alert so we can spot a distraction immediately. Our power as Christians comes directly from spending time with God. The enemy will do anything within his power to distract you from that time.  So when you are trying to spend quality time with God expect text messages, phone calls, emails, emergencies, sickness even death of loved ones. He will use anything to distract you from God’s presence, which is where you get your power. He will even send people into your life disguised as something good and positive. The tricks of the enemy are many times filled with enough truth and good that it appears to be something desirable. This is a common practice of the enemy. It could be an intentional or an unintentional, but the result is often times the same. Satan is working day and night to get to you and he will use anyone that he can to do this. Recognize what it is and pray for them. 

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The Devils main purpose is to distract you from God’s word. All the enemy has to do is to get you interested in something else. It will become a higher priority than God’s Word. By distracting you, you become interested in doing the wrong things. It could be any sort of Temptation, TV, Music, Social Media, hanging out with the friends, it could even be doing good things like feeding the poor. Whatever, it takes to distract you from what your purpose is and from God’s Word, that is what Satan will use to set a trap for you. Recognize where your priorities are right now. Evaluate yourself and examine what you think is important. Prioritize your life and make God and His Word number one and strive to keep Him at the top of your priority list

PSALM 46:10

Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
PSALM 46:10

Sometimes we let life take over and unconsciously take a step back from God. He tells us in Psalm 46:10 to BE STILL and lately I have struggled with this. I haven’t studied for a week, haven’t shared any verses,  I couldn’t tell you I prayed daily, I certainly know that I haven’t spent any time with the Lord just being still. He tells us not to be conformed to this World as in Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. I think we all need  to be  reminded of this daily,  not to be caught up in a moment or situation that only last for a little bit and loose focus on the bigger picture, spending eternity with  our father in heaven. This next week I will be focusing on getting back to my routine and truly spending time with my father and being still, listening, absorbing and realizing he is God.  Our lives should be built around him and everything we do, say or think must be centered around him and his Glory not our own, no one else’s and we certainly need to stop focusing on things of this World.

Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

All of Zechariah 13:9 teaches us of God’s grace and mercy that he has towards believers. The first part tells us God will bring us out of the fire. The second part of this verse says that God will refine us as silver. The word “refine”in the Hebrew language comes from a word meaning to make pure. This means we will go through a time of correction, that he is preparing us.
This verse also teaches us that God has promised to bring us through the fire, just as He brought Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the fire.
It also shows us that the gold that is tried in the fire is Christ Himself. Gold is pure faith that is able to withstand the trials and temptations of Satan.  The Christian must endure the “trial of our faith,” as we see from 1 Peter 1:7: “…that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold.

Romans 8:28

All good things work together for good for them that Love God

There are no accidents with God, and He is never surprised by anything or anyone’s actions. Everything we go through has a purpose good or bad. God can use the ugliest circumstances for our good and His glory. While we cannot go back and change our past, we can change the way we respond to our past, and determine how much power it has in our lives today.

Only God can take the broken pieces of your life and make something beautiful out of each one. He is waiting for you to let go of your pain and trust Him. And you really can. No one loves you the way He loves you – unconditionally, completely and with no strings attached. Just come as you are.

1 SAMUEL 16:7

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

In this verse God is trying to explain to Samuel that Saul the former King no longer had the blessing of God to rule over Israel. Saul had started out as a man passionate for the Lord but soon was distracted by things of this World, Greed, Power and Stature. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this World but a renewing of the mind and may prove what is Good in the sight of the Lord. God explains to Samuel in Verse 7 that he refused Saul because he focused on who he was instead of how he got there he placed more importance on who and what instead of how and why. God continues to tell Saul that while man looks at the outer appearance and only sees what one has and who one is. God looks on the inside at a Man’s heart and soul. That God places value on what a man does and how he serves him and not the World. God doesn’t care what you drive, what you wear and how nice your house is, he cares about what’s in your heart. The Bible tells us the in Matthew 20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. God didn’t choose the Pharisees to bring his word and love to the World he used Tax Collector’s, Murderers, liars, thief’s and fishermen to introduce the Gospel.  So my question is How are you serving the Kingdom of God? Are the things that you are doing today helping spread the Word of God? Are you bringing other’s to Christ by your actions?  Are you more worried about what you have, what you are wearing and how you are living in compared to the World or to what God wants and expects?

Matthew 5:4

Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Even if we are assured that our loved one is in a better place, we still experience the pain of their absence on earth. It is okay to grieve the loss of your loved one. Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus, even knowing He would bring Lazarus back to life. God is not afraid of our emotions or our questions. We can pour out our burdens on Him and trust in His love to provide us reassurance and comfort (1 Peter 5:7).

JOHN 14:16

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

In a John Chapter 14  Jesus tells the  disciples if he is to go away that God will send some one else to be with them always. He is referring to the Holy Ghost which is a living person that resides in the heart of every believer. He is the third person of the God Head, the Trinity the Father, the Son and the Holy ghost. 2 Corinthians 13:14 Tells us The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen

 As believers we are to Yield to the Holy Spirit and his purpose in our lives in doing so his influence with empower change within us. Christians that understand his role in their lives will grow and become an example of his power to others.

It is important to view the Holy Spirit has a person in doing so we can build an important relationship with him and understand his purpose. The Holy Spirit lives in us, he has emotions, he is our comforter, he reproves us for our sins, he empowers us, guides us, becomes our Intercessor between us and God.  Knowing all these things the Holy Spirit can do for you why would anyone turn him away? He never leaves us and is always there for us, we just have to accept in him and believe the things he can do for us as promised.

MALACHI 3:11

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field saith the Lord of Hosts.

This verse is about God promise’s to protect and provide for us if we tithe has he commanded. God would not only give a fruitful season, so that the crops sprang up well, but would guard them from everything that could injure them before they were gathered in. It is in this context that God makes the promise to rebuke the devourer (the locust of the field) on behalf of the people of Israel. If they would repent and return to Him, He would pour out blessings upon them. If they would bring into the storehouse the grain offerings that are rightly His, He would open the heavens and pour out blessings upon them for their obedience. Their crops would produce so abundantly that there would scarcely be room enough to store them (Malachi 3:10).

Some have tried to compare God’s rebuking of the devourer with Christians’ rebuking of the devil. But this is a misinterpretation and takes the verse out of context. The “devourer” is not Satan; it is literally the locust who would eat up the fields. The church is not Israel; we are not under the Old Testament Law; We are under Grace and Jesus released us from the Law by his sacrifice. Of course, we do have a spiritual enemy. Satan prowls around seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), but even if it were referring to Satan, which it is not, the verse is clear that it is God who does the rebuking ( Zechariah 3:2 and Jude 1:9). The Bible does not give Christians the authority to rebuke the devil or to speak to him at all. We are told to resist him and he will flee from us (James 4:7).

This verse along with verse 10 simply tells us we are to tithe and in doing so God will protect us and provide for us as a father should.

 

 

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RESPONSIBLITY

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Proverbs 28:13

Definition: Responsibility
noun: responsibility
the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something
“women bear children and take responsibility for child care”
the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.
Accepting personal responsibility – which is taking ownership of your own behavior and the consequences of that behavior. Until you accept responsibility for your actions or failures, it’ll be very difficult for you to develop self-respect or even have the respect of others.
It’s a simple truth that all human beings make mistakes and poor choices. The same goes for when we fail to act the way we know we should especially to certain situations or others reactions.  So, you should first understand one thing – you’re not the first person nor will you be the last who has fallen short in the personal behavior department from time to time
The real difference between being responsible and being irresponsible is an indication of how  we’re managing our lives when the opportunity to make a good or bad choice presents itself. Accepting responsibility  is one of the most important factors in defining a person’s true character. When that responsible moment comes, what you do – or don’t do – is an indication of the type of person you really are
Sometimes  we may need to have tough Love and receive reality checks from those around us. It doesn’t mean we aren’t Loved or that the other person isn’t being Unchristian like. It simply means that maybe it’s time the to accept some Responsibility for your actions, learn to be grateful and become unselfish.  If someone is willing to help you and goes out of their way to do so learn to be grateful and open minded. The alternative may be worse than the help being offered. Maybe it’s not ideal for you or you may not like all the details but keep in mind if you are in need of help there has to be some personal responsibility and acceptance that decisions you made are the reason why you are in need of help to begin with. 
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It’s only when you accept that everything you are or ever will be is up to you, that you are able to get rid of the negativity of excuse making that can so often prevent you from succeeding. You may find yourself in your current position and remain convinced that if all’s not going well, then it’s ‘so and so’s fault’. However, we all have free will which means that we are completely responsible for all of own actions and must accept the consequences.