A friend of mine commented this past week that it is a shame that God and our military don't get the media coverage that Michael Jackson does. To which I say, "Yea, verily!" But then, we shouldn't expect worldly people to give God the attention and honor He deserves. And let's face it, if they did, we probably couldn't trust what they reported. As someone who has been misquoted more than once by newspaper reporters, I am pretty skeptical about the accuracy of anything I read in the newspaper, hear on the radio, or see reported on television.
Thankfully, God has not called on CNN or Fox News to tell humanity about Him. He has called on us – those of us who are His children. We are to EVANGELIZE!
Evangelism means "to bring good news, to announce glad tidings" (Thayer's Greek Lexicon). The word evangelize comes from a Greek word (evangelizo) that is found many times in the original language of the New Testament. It is frequently translated "preach" or "preach the gospel," but that translation might be a little misleading to some folks. Those who think of preaching as speaking in front of a large audience might get the idea that evangelism is only a job for the preacher. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Of the fifty five times the Greek word "evangelizo" is used in the
New Testament, consider how it is used on five occasions in Acts 8.
• In this chapter we are told that the early church was scattered by persecution (verse 1). Acts 8:4 states "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word (evangelizo)." Note that those who were evangelizing were not the apostles, for according to Acts 8:1 the apostles were not among those who scattered; they remained in Jerusalem.
• In Acts 8:12 we learn that those in Samaria believe Philip "as he preached (evanglizo) the things concerning the kingdom of God." Later, both Philip and the apostles "preached" (evangelizo) in other villages in the region. (Acts 8:25, 40). In these references, evangelism could refer either to sharing the good news with large groups at one time, or to sharing it on a more personal level, or both.
• But notice Acts 8:35. Here Philip had just met up with the Ethiopian eunuch on a deserted road. The eunuch was reading from Isaiah, and he asked Philip a question about the text. "Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached (evangelizo) Jesus to him" (Acts 8:35). Philip isn't preaching to a crowd. He is out in the middle of a deserted wilderness speaking person to person.
A lot of the most successful evangelism is one-to-one evangelism. We serve as God's news media by delivering the good news of salvation to one and all. If the world is not getting the message, don't blame the news media. As Michael Jackson might say, take a look at "the man in the mirror!"
By Steve Klein
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