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What is Evangelism?

Strange as it may seem, there are church leaders who do not have the foggiest notion
as to the answer to that question.
D. T. Niles in his book, " The Preacher's Task and the Stone of Stumbling writes
that it is not the responsibility of Christians to confront those outside of Christ with the fact
that they are lost and need with social justice.
To him, evangelism is seeing to it that the hungry are fed, the poor are clothed and housed,
and the sick are provided with proper medical care.
While these are some of the by-products of evangelism, they are not evangelism.

What is evangelism?
Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, gives us a good answer in Proverbs 11:30:
" The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise."
Evangelism is soul winning.
Back through the years we heard this term repeated constantly, but it is seldom mention today.
Nevertheless, it is very expressive and an excellent definition.

What is evangelism?
My professor of evangelism in seminary and formally director of evangelism for the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. C. E. Autrey, wrote in his book, " The Theology Of Evangelism," states
that " Evangelism is the outreach of the church by confrontation with the Gospel of Christ in an attempt
to lead people to a personal commitment by faith and repentance in Christ as Savior and Lord
."

What is evangelism?
Louis Sperry Schafer writes in his " Systematic Theology": "
Evangelism is the act of presenting to the unsaved the evangel or good news of the Gospel
of God's saving grace through Christ Jesus
."

What is evangelism?
William T. Hall in a short article on the subject cries out: " It is the sob of God.
It is the anguished cry of Jesus as He weeps over the doom city of Jerusalem.
It is the cry of Paul when he said: "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren,
my kinsman according to the flesh
."

What is evangelism?
It is the heart ringing plea of Moses:
" Oh, this people have sinned -- yet now if thou wilt forgive their sin -- if not I pray Thee
blot me out of the book which thou has written.
"

What is evangelism?
It is the cry of john Knox when he cried: " Give me Scotland or I die."

What is evangelism?
It is the declaration of John Wesley when he said: " The world is my parish."

What is evangelism?
It is the sob of a parent in the night weeping over a prodigal child.

What is evangelism?
It is the secret of a great church.
It is the secret of a great preacher and a great Christian.

One of the best definitions of evangelism comes from a pastor who told this story
while he was an evangelist and preaching in a revival where I was pastoring.

The story was about a group of students who were homiletics, and they would be required
to preach a sermon in the chapel for all the students.
One student lived in mortal fear of having to conduct chapel and to preach the sermon.

One day, he decided to approach the professor, and said:
" Sir, I am willing to do any menial job I am assigned.
I am willing to wax the floors, clean the pots and pans, polish the silver or weed the garden.
But please, never ask me to conduct chapel and preach the sermon.
I just could not do that
."

Knowing that this is exactly what the young student needed, the professor replied,
" Your assignment for tomorrow is to conduct chapel and preach the sermon."

The next morning and this frightened young preacher stood in the chapel before all the students
and began: " Brothers, do you know what I'm going to say?"
When they all shook their heads in the negative, he said,
" Neither do I. Let us all stand for the benediction."

The professor was infuriated.
He came to the young man and angrily shouted, " I am not going to put up with your tom foolery.
Tomorrow, you will preach the sermon
."

The second day the scene was the same, and the young student began as he had the first day:
" Brothers, do you know what I'm going to say?"
When they all nodded their heads in the affirmative, he with a sigh of relief simply said:
" Since you already know, there is no point in my saying it.
Let's stand for the benediction
."

Livid with anger the professor rushed up to him and screamed, " I'll give you one more chance.
Tomorrow you will preach the sermon, and if you don't, I will expel you
."

The third day the scene was the same, and once again he began as he had the first two days:
" Brothers, do you know what I am going to say?"
Some nodded their heads in the affirmative, and some shook their heads in the negative.
With a smile on his face, he said: " Let those who know tell those who don't.
Let's stand for the benediction
."

What is evangelism?
Lets those who know from the Scripture and by experience the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
tell those who don't.
We could add one more phrase: " in the power of the Holy Spirit," for no man can call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12: 3)

Article developed from several sources