Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Manna 11)
The Four "Don'ts" of an Evangelist
TOC | Previous | Next

The Four “Don’ts” of an Evangelist

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he exhorted himself, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways, we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Christ’s sake” (2 Cor 4:1, 2, 5). In this letter Paul encouraged evangelists, who are chosen by God for this honourable position in the Gospel, to fulfill the four essential ‘Don’ts’ namely not to lose heart, not to use underhanded ways, not to tamper with God’s word and preaching themselves. Evangelists should strive to observe these “don’ts.”

Do not lose heart.

One must possess courage in serving God. After the death of Moses, God encouraged his successor, Joshua, to lead the Israelites, On numerous occasions, God said to him, “Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither he dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:6,7,9,18). As we serve God more, the Devil will intensify his efforts to hinder and destroy our works. To this end, he places obstacles in the form of trials and physical afflictions. Others may misunderstand us, slander us and become jealous of us. If we lose heart, we can never fight the spiritual battle successfully (ref: Deut 20:2,8). We need to ask God for courage so that we can fight a good fight (Acts 4:29, 30). For God did not give us a good spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control (2 Tim 1:7).

Paul told the Corinthians, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Christ may also be manifested in our bodies.” (2 Cor 4:8-10). Paul’s courage in the face of death enable him to fight the good fight and do much. Indeed, if a soldier views death as returning home, he will be able to fight bravely in the battlefield. In like terms, an evangelist must have sacrificial spirit. He should put the welfare of the church and the battle for righteousness above his personal gains, even above his life. He needs to rely on divine power to destroy strongholds, arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Chr 10:4,5). We pray to God to strengthen our courage so that we will not shrink from battle when faced with difficulties. We pray also that each one of us will follow Christ’s footsteps in serving God loyally.

Do not use underhanded ways.

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord (Prov 11:1). No one who practices deceit shall dwell in Gods house (Ps 101:7). As such, an evangelist should all the more avoid evil intentions and behaviour.

In speech, an evangelist should not be double-tongued, use flattery, cause divisions, harm or judge his co-workers. David in his psalms, said, ‘‘What man is there who desires life, keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.” (Ps 34:12,13). Sincerity in speech is an essential part of spiritual nurture. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt, who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9). Again, he who hates, dissembles with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart (Prov 26:2L1). The saying is indeed true: Never judge a book by its cover. Divine workers should be sincere in their hearts because God looks into our hearts although men will judge our physical attributes (1 Sam 16:7). Co-workers should not harbor hatred and jealousy and slander one another. In church, elders, deacons, leaders and evangelists are co­workers. Therefore, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander he put away from us, with all malice, and be kind to one another, as God in Christ forgave us (Eph 4:31,32).

Honesty is the best policy in our life. We hope every evangelist today would be a modern ‘Nathanael’ receiving the praise of God, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” (Jn 1:47).

Do not tamper with God’s words.

Paul encouraged Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to he ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). And evangelist needs to search and examine the Bible daily (Acts 17:11) so that he can be guided by Gods words and not lose God’s light. This accompanied by prayers for the Spirit’s guidance will prevent him from distorting the truth and destroying the faith of others (ref: 2 Tim 2:17, 18; Gal 1:6,9).

Besides speaking the truth accurately, an evangelist should manifest the truth in his lifestyle. Paul said, “Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain ... We put no obstacle in any one’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labours, watching. hunger, by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left …” (2 Cor 6:1-10).

Today we ask: how much do we practice what we preach from the pulpit? We preach the truth, but have we practiced it? This is an important question which warrants our consideration (Jas 1:22-25; 2:14-20).

Do not preach ourselves.

For the sake of the Gospel, Paul decided to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:1 2).

An evangelist should exalt the name of God and give all glory and praise to His name (Ps 11 5:1 ). After fulfilling our duties, he should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was Our duty.” (Lk 1:10) and magnify God in his heart (Lk 1:46). An evangelist must never preach himself and boast of his abilities neither should he rely on his wisdom to gain fame. An evangelist should not aim to be famous. For a famous evangelist is not necessarily a successful one and vice versa. It an evangelist preaches himself and becomes famous through all his works hut fails in the eves of God, all these become without value.

Evangelists are given ministries by God’s mercy and not by profession (2 Cor 4:1 ). They are servants of God and not servants of men (Phi 1:1). They should rather please God than men (Gal 1:9; 2 Cor 5:9). “Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ” (Col 1:28). Take some time to consider: do we preach Christ as our Lord? The faith of the believers should be rooted in the Rock, Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:11; Mt 7:25), This will indeed make the church united (Jn 17:20-23), without divisions and power struggles. Every member will then he able to work diligently and harmoniously together (1 Cor 1:10) and to submit to one another in the fear of the Lord (Eph 5:1 ). In all matters, we should please God, rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance and pray to the Lord to be with us so that the Gospel will be propagated quickly. With God manifesting signs and miracles in our works, we will be able to accomplish the entrusted commission of preaching the Gospel to all nations (Mk 16:15, 20; Acts 1:8).

PDF Download