The Apostle Paul’s Bench Mark for Evangelism Efforts

Posted: April 4, 2013 in Personal Evangelism

The apostle Paul gave us a bench mark by which we can measure the joy of evangelistic efforts. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, Paul wrote: “19For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20For you are our glory and joy.”

People who are saved through the evangelistic efforts of believers are the fruit and reward of faithful soul winners. Seeing people saved is the joy and glory of those who faithfully witness – in this life and the next. For the soul winner’s greatest part of Christ’s final coming will be the people led to Christ through our soul winning. 

People led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is always the goal of evangelism. Starting a new church is the result of evangelism. We learn from Scripture that the Apostle Paul’s number one goal in evangelism was persuading people to believe and trust in Jesus, 2 Corinthians 5:11. Starting a new group, “a Church” was the outcome of his intentional evangelistic methods. 

In verse 20 of Chapter 5, Paul wrote that the Thessalonian converts were his “joy and crown in which we glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes.” And to emphasize this point in the Koine New Testament Greek style he wrote it a second time. “Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 

Paul’s point reveals the great value of evangelizing. And why wouldn’t evangelism be of great value for our Lord Jesus Christ “came to seek and to save that which is lost” Luke 19:10. Evangelism is the bench mark of the church. Proclaiming the Name of Jesus and His completed work on the cross and resurrection to lost people is the mandate of the church Matthew 28:18-20.   

Starting churches is not the eternal reward. Jesus came to build His church on earth, the universal church. The church is synonymous with the saints, the “hagios” (Koine Greek) or ‘holy ones.” Jesus was not a contractor seeking to build buildings. He was a Savior of lost souls destined for hell. He is the architect of our faith and not of physical buildings.

Every evangelistic effort should have a component for teaching or maturing disciples in the faith. This group, in New Testament times, was a disciple group and in modern times it is called starting a church. Actually the church is started in each person when the person surrenders by faith in Jesus and is born again.

Part of the Great Commission is teaching new believers “to observe or obey” Jesus’ and the disciple’s teachings Matthew 28:20. Disciple making is when a new group of converts meets in a corporate setting then are them recognized by some as a church.

Should we reconsider our terminology? Should we say let’s carry out the Great Commission and go plant the Church, or instead of saying let’s go plant a church. Jesus is the One who is building the church through our our evangelism efforts.

Are we taking a separate approach from Jesus’ plan when we to start churches? Shouldn’t we be joining Jesus in helping Him build His church? The Greek word for church is a compound word, Ek (out of)and Kaleo (to call) or ekkalsia meaning “the called out ones.”

Every saint was called out of a life of sin and headed for an eternal hell and called to a life of forgiveness, repentance and restoration. We are the redeemed. Think about it , you are someone’s reward for his or her intentional evangelistic effort. You are the cause of God’s joy in heaven. Luke 15:7, 10, 32. 

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