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A Model for Effective Evangelism

Arthur Gonçalves

Sep 11, 2023

In yesterday’s sermon, September 10, 2023 entitled "Three Marks of an Evangelist" about evangelism, I drew inspiration from an unlikely source (or maybe not so unlikely): the character Evangelist in John Bunyan's timeless allegorical tale, "The Pilgrim's Progress." This character embodies the essence of evangelism and offers invaluable lessons on how to share the gospel effectively. As we delve into this literary figure, we'll explore the three marks of evangelism and challenge you to take up the mantle of an evangelist as outlined in 2 Timothy 4:5.

1. Commitment to the Truth

Evangelist, as depicted by Bunyan, is unwavering in his commitment to the truth of the gospel. He understands the importance of guiding Christian, the protagonist of the story, onto the narrow path that leads to salvation. Evangelism, too, demands an unshakable commitment to the truth of God's Word. In Ephesians 4:15, Paul exhorts us to "speak the truth in love." This means accurately conveying the gospel message, without compromise or distortion, while demonstrating love and compassion to those we engage with.

2. A Heart for the Lost

Evangelist's heart is burdened for the lost souls wandering aimlessly in the City of Destruction. He takes it upon himself to point them towards the Celestial City, urging them to repent and find the way to salvation. Likewise, effective evangelism begins with a genuine compassion for those who have yet to experience the saving grace of Christ. We see this compassion for the lost in the apostle Paul when he bears his heart for his lost Jewish kinsmen in Romans 9:2,  he writes,  “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” In Romans 10:1 he writes his prayer, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” A compassionate heart in the light of the gospel drives us to reach out, share the gospel, and actively seek the lost, just as Christ sought us when we were lost in sin.

3. A Life Controlled by the Love of Christ

Evangelist's character exemplifies a life surrendered to the love of Christ. His actions and words are guided by this love, which motivates him to tirelessly assist pilgrims on their journey to salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:14 reminds us, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” A life controlled by the love of Christ is a life of extravagant sacrifice for others, more specifically, the lost around us. Evangelism is not a task to perform but a lifestyle to adopt, rooted in Christ's love. It's about living out the gospel message in our daily interactions and extending grace and forgiveness to others. That can only transpire when the love of Christ controls our lives.

I challenge you to take up the mantle of an evangelist in your own life, just as Evangelist did in "The Pilgrim's Progress." Start by committing to these three marks of an Evangelist:

1. Commitment to the truth:

Study and understand the gospel message thoroughly so that you can accurately and confidently share it with others.

2. A heart for the lost:

Cultivate a genuine concern for the spiritual well-being of those around you, whether friends, family, or strangers.

3. A life controlled by the love of Christ:

Let the love of Christ be the driving force behind your actions, words, and interactions with others.

To gain further insight into the journey of evangelism and the Christian walk, I highly recommend reading John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress." This classic allegory continues to inspire and encourage believers on their own pilgrim journey towards the Celestial City. May you find inspiration in Evangelist's character and embark on a fulfilling evangelistic journey of your own.

“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ ‭

Free PDF of “Pilgrims Progress” by John Bunyan

Three Marks of an Evangelist

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