FIVE PRINCIPLES OF EVANGELISM Matthew 10:5-16
Once I heard a Catholic priest preach to his congregation on evangelism. At the conclusion of the service, an elderly lady asked him, “Father, isn’t evangelism for the Protestants?”
The point is this: If you call yourself a Christian then you are an evangelist!
JUST LIKE PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY, EVANGELISM IS WHAT WE DO!
Today we are going to look at five principles of evangelism.
I. YOU’RE GOING! (5-7)
The thing that stuck out to me as I began reading this passage was Jesus decisiveness. First he tells them who to go to: the Jews. Second, he tells them who not to go to: the Gentiles. But most importantly he tells them that they are going!
Notice with me the phrase, “As you are going…” He does not say “if you go,” or “when you go,” but “as you go!” In other words, “You are going!”
For any Christian evangelism is not an option: IT is a command!
It is like when you tell your children, “We are going to the store,” and they respond, “But I don’t want to go,” and to that you reply, “I didn’t ask you if you wanted to go, you are going!”
To those who say, “But our little church might get too big that way,” I would say, “Church is not a country club that we go to be comfortable in, but it is a hospital for those who are dying!” Our church is big enough when every sinner in (Fellowsville, Thornton, Newburg) and the surrounding communities have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
That is the mission that God has given us, and until it is accomplished our job is not done! We are here to seek and to save that which is lost!
Jesus tells them to tell people that the kingdom of heaven is near. The message was also to be like the message of Jesus, “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matt. 4:17, NLT).
The urgency of the gospel says that Jesus will be coming in the twinkling of an eye, and so repent while there is still time.
The next principle is… MEET PEOPLE’S NEEDS (8)
Notice that Jesus tells them to do more than preach; they are also to meet people’s needs. Jesus had given them the authority to do these things in verse 1. He tells them to do it freely.
We Must Meet People’s Physical As Well As Spiritual Needs. We cannot just tell people to get saved when they have no food to feed their children. It is hard to hear the gospel when you stomach pangs drown it out. When we give food, money, and other things for the Various Projects and Missions, we hope that people are encouraged to come to church. However, if they do not we know that we are doing what Jesus commanded us to do. We are meeting people’s physical needs.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
III. GOD WILL MEET OUR NEEDS (9-10)
Jesus tells the disciples not to take anything extra with them. He did this in order for them to realize that He will meet there needs. 2 Cor. 5:7 – “We live by faith and not by sight.”
Our God Will Supply
“The will of God will never call where the grace of God cannot keep you.” There is no enterprise that we venture into that God cannot supply the need. We need not worry that there are not enough funds for us to reach out to the lost, because our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
In evangelism as in anything else, we walk by faith and not by sight. Phil. 4:19 – “And this same God that takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (NLT).
There is no need so big God cannot handle it.
IV. RESULTS ARE NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY (11-15)
Jesus tells his disciples that if people don’t receive them or the message to shake it off. He tells them this because it is not the messenger that they are rejecting it is the message. If they reject the message they reject Jesus and His offer of salvation. He tells them it will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for those people.
One of the main ideas that we must keep in mind is that there will be those who reject us.
They rejected Jesus
They rejected Peter and John
They rejected Paul
They will reject you too!
Remember that it is Jesus they are rejecting. Our job is to deliver the message. For those of you who say, “I can’t do that.”
Ezek. 33:1-6 say “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, give a word to the children of your people, and say to them, When I make the sword come on a land, if the people of the land take a man from among their number and make him their watchman: If, when he sees the sword coming on the land, by sounding the horn he gives the people news of their danger; Then anyone who, hearing the sound of the horn, does not take note of it, will himself be responsible for his death, if the sword comes and takes him away. On hearing the sound of the horn, he did not take note; his blood will be on him; for if he had taken note his life would have been safe. But if the watchman sees the sword coming, and does not give a note on the horn, and the people have no word of the danger, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them; he will be taken away in his sin, but I will make the watchman responsible for his blood.
We are not responsible for how they accept our warning, but we are responsible to give them the warning.
V. THERE MAY BE DANGERS (16)
Notice the irony here: Jesus, the Good Shepherd, sends his flock among the wolves. So Jesus tells them to be as “shrewd as snakes.” Snakes in ancient culture were looked on as being sly and cunning. But he also tells them to be as “innocent as doves.” The word “innocent” means “unmixed,” and indicates that the disciples are to be pure in morals and motive.
Doing evangelism means making yourselves vulnerable. So we must be clever and creative in our efforts. Be we must also be people of integrity.
Doing the work of an evangelist is not always easy, but it is our call.
JUST LIKE PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY, EVANGELISM IS WHAT WE DO!
Principles of Evangelism
1. You’re Going
2. We must meet people’s needs
3. God will meet our needs.
4. Results are not our responsibility
5. There may be dangers
Are you doing the work of an evangelist?
When God opens doors for you do enter them, or walk the other way?
“And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”