BOOKS WRITTEN TO PREACHERS ABOUT PREACHING. TO EVANGELISTS ABOUT EVANGELIZING.
The charge to evangelists to evangelize and to preachers to preach, is summarized in a series of letters written by the inspired apostle Paul and addressed to two younger preachers or evangelists, Timothy and Titus. In these letters, Paul, by inspiration, tells preachers and evangelists what to preach and how to preach it. These are not general letters of Paul to all Christians, they are specific letters to a specific kind of Christian who will be doing a specific type of work--the work of an evangelist. We have mistakenly made these epistles and the man they describe to be all things to all men, but "the" work of an evangelist is specific. We must read the Bible books on "the work of an evangelist" as written primarily to describe that specific work.
DO "THE" WORK OF AN EVANGELIST.
The English definite article "the" points a specific finger at a specific work -- "the" work of an evangelist. Paul does not say to do any work or some work in general, but "the" work of an evangelist. "The" work of an evangelist is like "the" work of an elder, it is a definitely pinpointed work which can be clearly specified as "the" work God charges an evangelist to do. It is a mistake to generalize this work which God has specified, just as it is a mistake to generalize "the" specific gospel to be preached. "The" work of an evangelist must be kept definite and specific. Paul, in 2 Tim. 4:5, calls it "your ministry" (literally, "the" ministry of you). Timothy had been given a specific ministry to fulfill.
FULFILL THY MINISTRY.
Timothy had a "ministry" (or service) to fulfil -- a specific job to do. He would either do it or fail to do it. It would either be fulfilled or unfulfulled. Paul tells Archippus (another evangelist), "Take heed to thy ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it", Col. 4:17, obviously because Archippus was not fulfilling his ministry. He was not doing the work of an evangelist. How shocking it is to compare, (or should I say contrast?) the Bible's strongest charge to do the specific work of an evangelist with how few preachers today are really fulfilling that exact job, perhaps because they have not clearly understood what it is to do "the work of an evangelist"! They must see how the Bible specifies their ministry and do exactly that work. ( In this study on Evangelism and Evangelists, I am adapting many thoughts from another of the books from the late Jim Massey. JWS.
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