Carrying the GospelBro. David Chancellor
10/11/2009 6:00 PM
2 Timothy 2:1-2
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Paul encouraged Timothy to be faithful. We are to carry the gospel to others, who can teach still others. We have the gospel because it was passed down that way. Each generation must pass it on to the next. It is carried to the world from person to person. This is the work of God’s church.
Each of us has a place in the body. God chooses what we do and puts us in the place to do it. He uses different people in different ways.
Ephesians 4:8, 11
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;
God set free the hearts of men and gives us gifts. "And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers…" These are the gifts he gives to men. They aren’t identical. Apostles, evangelists, and pastors are different. We need all the gifts God gives in the body. Apostles are sent out, like missionaries. They endeavor to carry the gospel where it has not gone. They deal with differences of knowledge, culture and situation.
Peter was the apostle to the Jews and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. We might have set it up the other way around. Peter wasn’t set up to be respected of the Jews. God sent Paul, who had the Jewish upbringing, to the Gentiles. Paul had been awakened to focus his attention on Christ. The law and prophets had little meaning to the Gentiles. He was able to speak to them from their culture and experience to expose them to Jesus. Later he was able to speak to them about some Old Testament things, but he was able to help them from their culture to understand what Jesus was all about.
Evangelists go to people who need God, but it’s to people of their own culture. Many Americans don’t know what the Bible is about. Some literature has lost its meaning because it refers to the Bible. There are people around us that are growing up without God. There’s a need for people to be able to speak to those who have never seen a Bible about the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Matthew, Mark and Luke were evangelists. They were sharing the message of Jesus Christ. People need someone who can connect with them and share the gospel with them.
The work of a pastor is to help saved people get better grounded in the gospel.
Know your audience. Evangelists have to meet people on their level and help them understand things they’ve never heard. Over the last 30 years, people have been stuck on pastors, but have left off the need for evangelists. This has shifted the focus to maintaining but left off the need to speak to people about God. Experience carrying the gospel to people who don’t speak church lingo.
Pastoring is communicating to the church. The work of evangelism is separate and needs to be done. It’s taking the gospel to those who haven’t heard.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The gifts are given by the Spirit of God. They’re not all wrapped up in the same person: Not all have all gifts; not all have the same gift.
The pastor has a job to do, and God supplies what he needs. The body is handicapped if all the gifts aren’t at work. God gives what is needed to support his cause. It’s important that the work he gives gets done. A church without evangelists is like a business without salesmen. God gives a gift that can go out and introduce people to God. They can help the body to grow; to help people want to know Jesus themselves. All the church is to reach to people, but for some this is a special calling and its important to the church.
The bible has the answers, but people need a reason to go look there. Be able to convince people there is a God by the works he has done. The lives of his people should be convincing. Be what causes people to start looking. Evangelism is the church’s mission, but some are more capable at it. If that’s not our gift, we can support and encourage those whose gift it is.
2 Timothy 4:5
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Pastors should do the work of evangelists and support that work in others. Be workers together. It’s not a competition. It’s desirable that some be evangelists and do the job well.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
This hasn’t changed. People are still in this sad state. Pray that people be called to the work of evangelism. Desire that the gospel would reach out to people in other places. We need people to receive it and people to share it. Are you willing to help to carry the gospel? God knows who will be receptive if people will be willing to go. He can open doors to keep you busy at his work.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul wanted them to pray faithfully that he could be able to speak boldly as he ought of the gospel. Pray for the ones that God has sent as evangelists, that they can say what needs to be said so that others can be helped. Pray for effective communication. Introduce people to the mystery of God. There’s a need for the gospel to be communicated to a lost world. Be able to introduce others to Christ. Pray that God send laborers.