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Evangelism in the Early Church:

The early church fathers were concerned with teaching The Great Commission, The Commandments of God and the teachings of Christ it was not a status quota number game on membership like many churches emphasize today. In the early church as defined in the Book of Acts five core values were important to the disciples. These are defined in Evangelism is… How to Share Jesus with a Passion and Confidence:[i]

  1. The apostles did not spend their time trying to keep church members happy.
  2. In fact, the apostles did not seem to value or push church membership.
  3. The apostles did, however, expect every believer to participate in evangelism.
  4. The apostles proclaimed the truth regardless of how it was received.
  5. Overall, the apostles were more concerned with multiplying disciples and growing God’s Kingdom than they were with building individual ministries.”

Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be the trend to today or worse. Some churches I have attended seem more concerned with promoting earthly comforts and teaching that one’s works will lead to blessing from God! What a myth and a misconception! The truth is Jesus is the only way to Salvation. That are Sin is only lessened by studying The Word and by sanctification. Only the Grace of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit can save us. Our deeds are not enough.  In the Book of James it States “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

 

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

 

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder (James 2:14-26

New International Version). ”

We can learn a lot from Jesus’s approach on Evangelism. Jesus was a great teacher who used parables, or stories about life lessons, to illustrate a point. Jesus also would use metaphors from nature, current events or events occurring in one’s life to establish a parallel to explain spiritual phenomenon or the power of God. Jesus also frequently referenced the Scriptures and always gave the credit to God first not himself for his act of miracles. Jesus would befriend the sinner but not belittle the sin. However he would acknowledge the Sin and the grave nature of Sin and the share the Gospel but, would back off if the recipient would become irritated.  He was an excellent listener and finally performed acts of kindness and servitude to show humility. What a great redeemer, teacher and king indeed.

The disciples had several approaches to Evangelism but all of them believed in spreading the Great Commission and the Commandments after the time of the Pentecost (around 30 A.D While Jesus was alive they themselves were not fully convicted. Thus before Pentecost, they basically only spread the message to the Jews, and even then only to a select member of the population.

Paul believed in approaching an individual based on his standing in the community but as one of slightly of lesser ranking. Timothy and Steven were dramatic speakers. Others performed works of servitude or served as church Planters. All the disciples were executed with exception of John who was exiled to Patmos. Since all firmly believed in The Great Commission all the disciples were inspired, spoke and performed deeds from the Holy Spirit.

Some churches today acknowledge and believe in the Great Commission, The unity of The Father Son and, Holy Spirit (as living Entities) and embrace evangelism as the primary focus of ministry work. Other chose to serve as what I term the prosaic Church. Embracing the flock to feel good, creating a false sense of purpose and serving a motivational platform, still worse some seek to promote membership or may even financial gain. One should remember “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12 N.I.V).”

Without the Holy Spirit (Resurrected Christ, Omniscient God Present of this world today) in one’s heart one is not saved. One is lost. One may believe. Be confined but not convicted. The same holds true for a church. Without the trinity present and without a call to Evangelism it is but a building and a fellowship hall. Maybe a place of good deeds at best.

I hope this Thread Enlightens those who read it. May the lost find God, Christ and The Holy Spirit. My Prayer is simple if you are lost or seeking search out your sins, come to know that without Jesus you are lost and your way is no longer works and walk freely into the gates of Heaven.

Go with God,

Trent Rindoks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] Dave Earley and Wheeler David, Evangelism Is… How to Share Jesus with a Passion and Confidence (Nashville: B&H, 2010), 354

 

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