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Leaven Like Evangelism

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This course is part of the Harvestime International Institute, a program designed to equip believers for effective spiritual harvest. The basic theme of the training is to teach what Jesus taught, that which took men who were fishermen, tax collectors, etc., and changed them into reproductive Christians who reached their world with the Gospel in a demonstration of power.

This manual is a single course in one of several modules of curriculum which moves believers from visualizing through deputizing, multiplying, organizing, and mobilizing to achieve the goal of evangelizing.

For further information on additional courses write:

Harvestime International Institute
3176 A Via Buena Vista
Laguna Woods, CA 92637
©Harvestime International Institute



How To Use This Manual

Suggestions For Group Study


Course Objectives


Introduction To Part One

Leaven-Like Evangelism

The Mandate

The Message

The Messengers

Communicating The Message

Recipients Of The Message

The Methods:  New Testament Principles

The Methods:  New Testament Parables

The Methods:  Personal Evangelism

The Methods:  Dealing With Difficulties

The Methods:  Saturation Evangelism

The Methods:  Mass Evangelism

Decisions Or Disciples?

Planning For Evangelism

Networking For Evangelism


Introduction To Part Two.

An Introduction To Healing And Deliverance

Variables That Affect Healing

"As You Go, Heal"

"As You Go, Deliver"


Introduction To Part Three

Church Planting: The Model

Church Planting: The Methods

Church Planting: The Multiplication

APPENDIX:  A Final Word.

Answers To Self-Tests



Each lesson consists of:

Objectives:  These are the goals you should achieve by studying the chapter.  Read them before starting the lesson.

Key Verse: This verse emphasizes the main concept of the chapter.  Memorize it. Chapter Content: Study each section. Use your Bible to look up any references not printed in the manual. 

Self-Test: Take this test after you finish studying the chapter.  Try to answer the questions without using your Bible or this manual.  When you have concluded the Self-Test, check your answers in the answer section provided at the end of the book.

For Further Study: This section will help you continue your study of the Word of God, improve your study skills, and apply what you have learned to your life and ministry.

Final Examination: If you are enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination along with this course.  Upon conclusion of this course, you should complete this examination and return it for grading as instructed.


You will need a King James version of the Bible.



Opening:  Open with prayer and introductions.  Get acquainted and register the students.

Establish Group Procedures:  Determine who will lead the meetings, the time, place, and dates for the sessions.

Praise And Worship:  Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into your training session.

Distribute Manuals To Students:  Introduce the manual title, format, and course objectives provided in the first few pages of the manual.

Make The First Assignment:  Students will read the chapters assigned and take the Self-Tests prior to the next meeting.  The number of chapters you cover per meeting will depend on chapter length, content, and the abilities of your group.


Opening:  Pray.  Welcome and register any new students and give them a manual.  Take attendance.  Have a time of praise and worship.

Review:  Present a brief summary of what you studied at the last meeting.

Lesson:  Discuss each section of the chapter using the HEADINGS IN CAPITAL BOLD
FACED LETTERS as a teaching outline.  Ask students for questions or comments on what they have studied.  Apply the lesson to the lives and ministries of your students.

Self-Test:  Review the Self-Tests students have completed.  (Note:  If you do not want the students to have access to the answers to the Self-Tests, you may remove the answer pages from the back of each manual.)

For Further Study:  You may do these projects on a group or individual basis.

Final Examination:  If your group is enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination with this course.  Reproduce a copy for each student and administer the exam upon conclusion of this course.

II. MODULE: Evangelizing  

COURSE: Leaven-like Evangelism


·         Almost two-thirds of the world's population has never heard the Gospel message. 

·         Over a thousand people groups have never been  penetrated for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

·         Many tribes have never received their first missionary.

·         There are approximately 1,700 languages without the written Word of God.

·         The world's population will double in less than 50 years.

·         When we think of statistics like these in terms of fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to take the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to every creature, we realize we are faced with a great task. This course is written to mobilize and equip believers to fulfill this great challenge.  It is a tremendous task, but it is not impossible.

Most courses on evangelism focus only on the command to "go" into all the world with the Gospel. They emphasize preaching and teaching the Gospel message. This course differs because it also focuses on what Jesus said to do "as you go" and the New Testament Church pattern of what to do "while you are there."  The course is divided into three sections: 

Part One is entitled "Go."  It focuses on the mandate given by Jesus to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to all creatures.  It includes instruction on the message to be shared, the messengers, how to communicate the Gospel, and the recipients of the message. Methods of evangelism are also taught, with emphasis on those used in New Testament times. Both personal and mass evangelism methods are discussed, with specific instruction on how to deal with difficulties and the follow-up care of new converts. Instruction also is given on planning and mobilizing spiritual resources and networking with others for evangelism.

Part Two is entitled "As you go."  n the New Testament Gospels, Jesus never commissioned anyone to preach the Gospel without also commanding them to minister healing and deliverance. He told them "As you go...heal the sick, cast out demons . . ." (Matthew 10:1,7-8). As the multitudes came for healing and deliverance, the spiritual harvest began to multiply so rapidly that new laborers were required.  It was not long until 70 more disciples were needed and were sent out to preach, teach, heal, and deliver. It was this demonstration of power "as they went" that resulted in the rapid spread of the Gospel throughout the world. For this reason, Part Two of this course focuses on the healing and deliverance ministry that is to accompany the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.

Part Three  focuses on the pattern revealed by the New Testament Church of what to do "while you are there."  It proposes that evangelism is not complete unless a church is planted among a group of new believers. Evangelism without establishing local churches is like bringing children into the world and not claiming responsibility for their subsequent care. A person should not be considered "evangelized" until he becomes a functioning part of a local church fellowship.  To accomplish this, there must be a local church. An area should not be considered evangelized until a church is planted. This three-part approach to evangelism is called "leaven-like evangelism" because it will spread the Gospel throughout the world rapidly even as leaven permeates a lump of  bread dough. The leaven may be small and hidden, but its impact is unlimited.


Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

·         Define leaven-like evangelism.

·         Explain the mandate of evangelism.

·         Summarize the message of evangelism.

·         Identify the messengers of evangelism.

·         Identify the recipients of the message.

·         Communicate the Gospel to others.

·         Summarize New Testament principles of evangelism.

·         Summarize New Testament parables of evangelism.

·         Do personal evangelism.

·         Deal with difficulties you encounter in evangelism.

·         Reach an entire area by saturation evangelism.

·         Conduct mass evangelism.

·         Follow up new converts.

·         Make plans for evangelism.

·         Network with others for evangelism.

·         Summarize what the Bible teaches about healing and deliverance.

·         Explain variables that affect healing.

·         "As you go, heal."

·         "As you go, deliver."

·         Describe the New Testament model for church planting.

·         Follow New Testament methods to plant churches.

·         Follow New Testament methods to multiply churches.



Part One focuses on the command to "go" into all the world and evangelize every living creature.

In this section you will learn about the mandate given by Jesus to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and receive instruction on the message to be shared, the messengers of the Gospel, how to communicate the Gospel, and to whom it is to be communicated. You will learn many methods of evangelism, with emphasis on those used in New Testament times.  Both personal and mass evangelism methods are discussed, with specific instruction on how to deal with difficulties in evangelizing and the follow-up care of new converts. Instruction is also given on planning and networking with others for the purpose of evangelism.

And now . . . are you ready to "GO"?





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verses from memory.

·         Define "leaven-like evangelism."

·         Explain "the definition of the lost."

·         Explain "the destiny of the lost."

·         Identify six steps in the evangelism process.

KEY VERSES: And again He said, Whereunto shall I liken the Kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures  of meal, till the whole was leavened.  (Luke 13:20-21)


This lesson discusses the need for evangelism, explains the process of evangelism,  and defines terms that are important for you to understand as you begin your study of this subject. In Old Testament times when the temple was built, the sound of a hammer, axe, or any tool of iron was not heard while it was being constructed (1 Kings 6:7).   The silence with which those great natural stones were put into place is a natural example of a great spiritual truth.  A "greater than Solomon" is now building a greater spiritual temple.  This spiritual temple is made up of "living stones" being laid by the Lord Jesus Christ.  This temple also is being erected silently, with each stone perfectly fitted together.  It is occurring through the silent but powerful process of "leaven-like evangelism."


And again He said, Whereunto shall I liken the Kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.  (Luke 13:20-21)

This passage reveals that God's work does not proceed with a lot of clamor and publicity.  You might expect the Kingdom to spread by external means like subduing armies and conquering continents.  But the spreading of the Kingdom of God is as leaven in a lump of bread dough. The leaven may be small and hidden, but it has unlimited potential.  Like leaven, the power of the Kingdom is not external but rather internal. In another example, Jesus compared the spread of the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed: Unto what is the Kingdom of God like?  and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden, and it grew and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.  (Luke 13:18-19)

In a previous parable, Jesus compared faith to a mustard seed. He said nothing was impossible with even a small amount of faith.  Similar to the way leaven spreads, a tiny mustard seed develops into a great tree.  This example also illustrates the silent, yet powerfully effective way the Kingdom advances. There are many new methods that can assist in spreading the Gospel.  These are called "technology."  They include things such as printing presses, computers, radios, televisions, audio and video tapes, and satellites.  New methods of transportation also help people travel rapidly to spread the Gospel.  These new technologies are all useful  but the real power of the Gospel is still internal.  By this we mean the power is in the Gospel itself.  This is what the parables of the leaven and the mustard seed illustrate.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God will multiply to spread throughout the whole "lump" of the world because of the internal power of the Kingdom which is like leaven in bread dough.  This means that the extension of the Gospel is not limited where people do not have advanced technology.  With even a small amount of faith, the Kingdom will advance.  This is leaven-like evangelism.


The word for "evangelism" (or "evangelization") comes from a Greek word "evangelion."  There are actually four forms of this basic word. One word means "good news," two words mean "to proclaim the good news," and one refers to the "evangelist" or person doing the proclaiming.

Evangelism is not just a series of meetings or church services.  Evangelism is not the same as revival.  Revival is the Lord at work in the Church.  In revival, the emphasis is on the presence of the Lord restoring life to His people.

Evangelism is the church at work for the Lord.  In evangelism the emphasis is on the new birth experience, the beginning of spiritual life.  The renewal resulting from revival, however, sets in motion the forces of evangelism which result in "new creatures in Christ" so the two are tightly linked together in terms of spiritual life.

Evangelism is: "Communicating the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit in such a way that men and women have valid opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and become responsible members of His Church." Let us examine this definition in detail.  The "Gospel"  is the message to be communicated.  The basic Gospel message is summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, but the "Gospel of the Kingdom" actually includes all that Jesus taught (Matthew 28:18-20). Biblical conversion is brought about by truth.  The Gospel is an encounter between truth and unrighteousness, Christ and sinners, and Heaven and Hell. It is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which is to be shared, not the traditions of man or denominational beliefs.  The goal is not to attack political systems or other religions.  The goal is not to change society, but to see people changed through the power of the Gospel.

The goal is not even the "good works" of educational, medical, or care and feeding programs.  These things are beneficial in  fulfilling the Great Commission only as they are done within the context of evangelism.  The presentation of the Gospel must be the end goal or they become only social programs.

Jesus ministered to the physical needs of people in the feeding of the multitudes, healing, and deliverance.  But these works were done within the context of evangelizing. They were accompanied by the teaching and preaching of the Gospel. To "communicate the Gospel" means that it must be shared in a way that leads people to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  When you share the Gospel in this way, you are evangelizing.  If you are to evangelize, you must be in contact with those who are spiritually lost in sin, so evangelism must take place out where the sinners are. "Through the power of the Holy Spirit" means that the message must be communicated not only verbally, but through the demonstration of power.  Paul said: And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

"Through the power of the Holy Spirit" also means that the anointing of the Holy Spirit must be upon the communication of the Gospel, for it takes the work of the Spirit to win converts: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. (John 6:44)

"Accepting" means that the hearer responds to the message.  Information without invitation is instruction.  It is exhortation, but it is not evangelism.  In true evangelism, there must be an opportunity for response.  Giving someone your testimony of conversion is a method of evangelism called witnessing, but it is not evangelism. Witnessing is not winning.  Witnessing is important, but it does not assure salvation. True evangelism means introducing people to Christ in such a way that they will see the necessity of a personal decision.  Evangelism results in the born again experience which is also called "conversion" or "salvation."

"Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord" means not only a response to receive salvation, but a process which leads to Jesus becoming Lord of a person's life.  This implies that the new convert moves on into discipleship becoming a responsible member of the Church.  Note that it is "His Church," meaning the true Body of Christ, not just a specific denomination or organization.

A "valid opportunity"  means the message  must be sustained long enough in a way that can be understood by an average person. This means communication must be adapted to the language, educational, and cultural levels of an individual.  This also means that we cannot conclude that a person or village has been evangelized simply because we preached there one time. The witness must be sustained long enough that understanding and opportunity for response results.  Individuals, a family, tribe, or nation can be said to have been evangelized when they have come into contact with the Gospel enough to have had opportunity to respond to it by faith. This "valid opportunity" also implies a powerful message which provides opportunity for people to see the visible demonstration of the Gospel through healing and deliverance.


Why does the world need to be evangelized?  To answer this question you must understand two things:  The definition and the destiny of the lost.


Read about the creation of the world and man in Genesis chapters l and 2.  Then read Genesis 3 about how sin entered the world. When Adam and Eve were first created, they had a perfect sinless nature.  After they sinned that nature was corrupted.  As Adam and Eve began to reproduce and have children, these new additions to the human race were born with a basic sin nature.  Man was no longer good as God had created him. His natural thought and action patterns were evil.

Genesis 4:1-6:4 describes the pattern of sin as it began to spread throughout the world.  These chapters record the first murder, the first lie, and how the wickedness of man grew until every thought, as well as action, was evil. Finally, the whole world was so sinful that God actually repented that He had made man (Genesis 6:5-6).   Because of the rapid growth of sin, God decided to destroy the earth with a flood but saved one righteous man, Noah, and his family.  (Read the story of Noah and the flood in Genesis 6:8-9:17.)  After the flood, Noah's family began to reproduce. Almost immediately, the pattern of sin reoccurred.  This is why all people everywhere are called "sinners": For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

All people who have not repented of sin and experienced the new birth described by Jesus in John chapter 3 are considered "lost" because they have lost the sinless nature with which God originally created man.  We may also say they are "unsaved" or "unbelievers" because they have not been saved from their sins through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.


Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve, death entered into the world and because of this eventually everyone dies physically.  After physical death comes judgment: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.  (Hebrews 9:27)

After death, we will stand before God for judgment. People who have not repented of their sins will face a second death.  They will die the "spiritual death" of eternal separation from God.  Their destiny is Hell: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were  written in the books, according to their works. . .And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:12, 15)

When you really understand the destiny of the lost, you realize the urgent need for evangelism. If people are not reached with the Gospel, they will die in sin and be destined for eternity in Hell.


Evangelism is a process that includes the presence and proclamation of the Gospel, persuasion, planting, perfection, and participation. Let us examine this process:

PRESENCE: "Presence" evangelism is that which radiates the qualities of Jesus through demonstrating Christian character and concern.  he world will not be reached for Jesus without an authentic Christian presence. Believers must learn to build relationships, identify with, and serve unbelievers.  You cannot win sinners if you have no contact with them.

PROCLAMATION: Many believers remain "secret-service" Christians, so to speak. They think their presence among unbelievers is enough to fulfill the Great Commission to evangelize the world.  But the command of Jesus is that we verbally communicate the Gospel through preaching, teaching, and witnessing.  We must also demonstrate the power of the Gospel through healing and deliverance. These are ways the Gospel is proclaimed.

PERSUASION: Proclamation of the Gospel does not end the process of evangelism. The Gospel must be presented in such a way that people are persuaded to become believers in Jesus Christ.

PLANTING: The  new convert who has been persuaded to follow Jesus must then be "planted" in a local church fellowship or a church must be "planted" among a group of new believers.

PERFECTION: As a result of this planting, converts  mature spiritually  as discipling is accomplished within the context of the local church.  (Spiritual maturity is called "perfection" in the Bible).

PARTICIPATION: The process of evangelism is complete when new believers become active in the task of evangelism themselves and begin to reproduce spiritually.



1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Define "leaven-like evangelism."

3. What is meant by "the definition of the lost"?

4. What is meant by "the destiny of the lost"?

5. List six steps in the evangelism process.

 (Answers tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. In this introductory chapter you were introduced to the definition of "evangelism":

Evangelism: Evangelism is communicating the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit in such a way that men and women have valid opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and become responsible members of His Church.

Here are some other terms with which you should be familiar:

Evangelize Or Evangelizing: These terms are used for the process of doing the work of evangelism. 

Evangelized: Individuals, a family, tribe, or nation can be said to have been evangelized when they have come into contact with the Gospel long enough to have had an opportunity to respond to it by faith.  The completed process of evangelization includes integrating a convert into a local church fellowship or the planting of a church among a group of new believers.

Evangelist: An evangelist has a special leadership gift from God which is an ability to share the Gospel with unbelievers in a way that men and women respond and become responsible members of the body of Christ. The meaning of the word "evangelist" is "one who brings good news."  Although all believers do not have the special leadership gift of being an evangelist, all are to do the work of an evangelist.

Witnessing: A believer telling an unsaved person about his personal experience with Jesus Christ. Personal Evangelism: Personal evangelism is an individual believer communicating the Gospel to an unsaved person.

Mass Evangelism: Mass evangelism is also called "group" evangelism.  It is communicating the Gospel to a group of people.  It includes such activities as mass crusades, evangelistic rallies, and Gospel concerts.

Lay Evangelism: This term refers to any evangelistic work done by laymen (people who are not in full-time leadership positions in the church).

Saturation Evangelism: Saturation evangelism refers to "saturating" a certain geographic area so every person is reached with the Gospel.

Convert: A convert is a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.  He has been converted from his old life of sin to new life in Jesus.

Disciple: A disciple is a convert who is established in the basics of the Christian faith and capable of raising up new converts and discipling them.  The word "disciple" means a learner, a pupil, someone who learns by following. 

Follow Up: Follow up is the process of training new converts and bringing them to maturity in Christ, resulting in spiritual stability, growth, and  reproduction. This is also called "discipleship" because it involves taking a new convert and making him a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. In Old Testament times, God told Abraham that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed.  But with this blessing came a great responsibility.  Abraham had to leave his country, his own people, and his father's household to go to a land God would show him (Genesis 12:1).

Abraham first went to a place called Haran and settled there (Genesis 11:31). He was tempted to stay at Haran, but to receive the blessing he had to obey God and leave this place.  Abraham could not become the father of a great nation and fulfill his own selfish ambitions at the same time.  Crossing the city limits of Haran and moving on to fulfill God's plan was a great decision for Abraham.

Did you know that you are a believer today because of Abraham's decision?  Because Abraham left Haran, God blessed him.  Through Abraham, all men and women of all nations everywhere are blessed with the Gospel. They are blessed because salvation through Jesus Christ came from the family of Abraham because of his obedience.  Like Abraham, when you receive the blessing you also receive a great responsibility. To those who have been blessed with salvation and the Holy Spirit, evangelism is not an option. It is an obligation (Acts 1:8).

Spiritually speaking, every believer eventually faces a "Haran" in his life. This spiritual "Haran" is the place where God asks, "Are you willing to lay down your own ambitions for the sake of the Gospel?  Are you willing to leave your homeland, your people, your father's house should I ask it"?  You cannot fulfill your own selfish ambitions and bless the nations at the same time.  You must cross the line and leave Haran behind.

3. The Bible says "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9).  You learned in this lesson that the Kingdom of God will multiply like leaven. Evil also multiplies in the same way.  Study the following verses:  Matthew 16:6-12; Mark 8:15; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.  In the New Testament, leaven can speak of the permeating quality of the Gospel or the apostasy (backslidden condition) of the Church.  In the Old Testament, leaven apparently had similar meanings.  It  was not permitted in some offerings, as it symbolized evil.  In other offerings, such as the thank offering, it was permitted.

4. If you are a pastor or leader in the local church, use the following questions to evaluate the current status of evangelism in your fellowship.  Record your answers on a separate sheet of paper:

(1)  Who is responsible for planning for evangelism in your church?

(2)  How many persons were converted and became part of your church fellowship in the last five years?

(3)  What does your church presently do to reach the unsaved?  Be specific in your answer.

(4)  What programs do your church presently have that are not effective in terms of evangelism and producing new converts?

(5)  How does your church help members discover their spiritual gifts and use them in the task of evangelism?

(6)  What plan does your church have for reaching your community with the Gospel?

(7)  What plan does your church have for reaching your nation with the Gospel?

(8)  What plan does your church have for reaching other nations with the Gospel?

(9)  How often in the past five years has your church provided specific training for personal evangelism for your membership?

(10)  How often do your services include a focus on evangelism, i.e., messages aimed at reaching the unsaved, providing people opportunity to respond to the Gospel, etc.

(11)  When was the last time your church participated in mass evangelism efforts, such as a crusade, rally, or concert, etc.?

Evaluate your answers and consider the following:

(1)  If you do not have a specific person responsible for planning for evangelism in your church, is it possible to appoint someone?

(2)  If the number of people who were converted and became part of your church fellowship in the last five years is low, how could this be changed by a greater emphasis on evangelism?

(3)  What could your church begin to do immediately to reach the unsaved?

(4)  What ineffective programs do you presently have that could be eliminated to provide opportunity for new, more evangelistic efforts?

(5)  How could your church help members discover their spiritual gifts and use them in the task of evangelism?  (The Harvestime International Institute course "Mobilization Methodologies" can assist you in this task.)

(6)  What could your church begin to do to reach your community with the Gospel?

(7)  What could your church do to reach your nation with the Gospel?

(8)  What could your church do to reach other nations with the Gospel?

(9)  How soon could the church offer specific training for evangelism for your membership?  (You could use this course to train your members. Determine an appropriate time and who will teach the sessions.)

(10)  How can you target the unsaved more in your regular church services and provide them with an opportunity to respond to the Gospel?

(11)  What could your church do in the area of mass evangelism?  Could you plan an evangelistic rally or concert or join with other churches to conduct an evangelistic crusade?





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify five principles upon which the mandate for evangelism is based.

·         Identify three things necessary to fulfill the mandate of evangelism.

KEY VERSE: When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (Ezekiel 33:8)


People get involved in evangelism for different reasons.  New converts are usually evangelistic because of their excitement about their recent conversion.  Some people are forced into evangelism by guilt.  Others  are involved because a school or training program which they are taking requires it. The Scriptural reason for involvement in evangelism is because it is a mandate from the Lord Jesus Christ.  A "mandate" is a commission or order given from one person to another.  The mandate of evangelism is the subject of this lesson.


The mandate of evangelism given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His followers is based upon five principles taught in the Word of God.  These are the principles of command, condition, concern, competition, and consummation.


The mandate of evangelism is first based on the principle of command.  Evangelism is commanded by Jesus in several passages that have come to be known as the "Great Commission."  The following references concern the mandate of evangelism.  All of the passages explain the task, but they each differ.  They do not contradict, but supplement each other by revealing different aspects of the mandate. Matthew and John record the authority for the task of evangelism. Matthew, Mark, and Luke explain the extent of the mission.  Matthew, Luke, John, and Acts reveal the Holy Spirit as the power to accomplish the task.  Mark mentions the message and Luke adds details. These references reveal that the mandate of evangelism includes making disciples, preaching the Gospel to every creature, preaching repentance and remission of sins to all the world, forgiving and retaining sins, and witnessing about Jesus: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  (Matthew 28:19-20)

Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.   He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:15-18)

And said unto them, Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.  (Luke 24:46-48)

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you:  as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain they are retained.  (John 20:21-23)

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:  and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8) The seriousness of these commands is confirmed by the following verses: When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  (Ezekiel 33:8)

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His
Father's, and of the holy angels.  (Luke 9:26)


The mandate for evangelism is also given because of the condition of the harvest fields of the world.  We see hundreds of thousands of people lost in sin, without hope, headed for an eternity without God.  The urgent conditions of the harvest should motivate us to action.  Jesus said the harvest was ripe, but the laborers are few: Therefore said He unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.  (Luke 10:2)

Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?  Behold I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  (John 4:35)


The mandate of evangelism also rests on the principle of concern.  Evangelism must be done with a heart of compassion for lost souls.  Paul was filled with this divine compassion for the lost.  He was willing to be accursed from God himself if only his Jewish brethren could be saved.  He went to them even when they threatened to kill him and when he suffered at their hands.

The compassion of Jesus made Him willing to face the cross of Calvary.  Jesus wept over the blindness of religious leaders in Jerusalem.  If there were more tears of compassion in our eyes, perhaps there would be less weeping in Hell among the lost.  Argument will not save souls. One may have the truth, but if it is not spoken in love and compassion it will kill rather than quicken.  Compassion leads to untiring effort in evangelism, because love suffers long,  bears all things, and never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4,7,8).   Such loving compassion is imparted by the Spirit of God.  It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that grows from His presence within you.


The mandate of evangelism also rests on the principle of competition.  If we do not win our global neighbors who hunger for change, other competing political and religious forces will win them.  Spiritual hunger causes men and women to search for truth: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord;  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.  (Amos 8:11-12)

Although spiritual hunger leads to a search for truth, it can result in accepting evil political systems, cults, and oppressive religious powers if the void is not filled. The principle of competition is taught by Jesus in the parable where the enemy sows  tares (weeds) in the harvest field.  If we do not sow and cultivate the good seed of the Word of God, the enemy will sow the tares of evil.  It is the competition of such evil spiritual thorns and weeds that choke the Word of God and hinder the spread of the Gospel.


The mandate of evangelism also rests on the principle of the consummation (the end) of all things.  Jesus said global evangelism was a precondition of His return to earth and the end of time as we now know it: And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)


The Church is the agent of the Kingdom of God in the world and is commanded to take the Gospel message to all peoples of the earth. When we look at the priorities, programs, and activities of an average church today however, we may wonder if we have forgotten or become confused about our mission as believers. We are busy, but busy doing what?  How many of our programs, meetings, and activities are actually producing new converts?  We have many flashy evangelists with fancy sermons and funny stories. In Bible times, one public sermon resulted in three thousand conversions. Today it often seems there are three thousand sermons resulting in very few conversions.

There is a lot of beautiful religious music, much of which only demonstrates the talents of the choir, soloists, and musicians. But how many souls are won?  How many lives are changed?  When we add to this the thousands of carnal Christians with no concern for spiritual harvest, we may question, "How will the task of evangelism ever be accomplished"? 


Three things are necessary if we are to fulfill the mandate of evangelism:


Evangelism must have first priority.  We must put the task of getting the Gospel to every person in the world in first place.  Our preaching, praying, studying, planning, programming, teaching, training--everything must center around this objective. The Church must become a sending station instead of a place for rest and recreation.  All of the activities of the Church must contribute directly towards mobilizing soul winners.  Church leaders must become mobilizers of the Body of Christ, inspiring and training believers to do the work of evangelism.


Evangelism in the New Testament is not a bland or neutral activity.  It is power encounters between the Holy Spirit and the forces of evil. The Holy Spirit, with all of His fruit, gifts, and power, must become a reality in our lives.  The Word must be preached and taught with the demonstration of power.  The Gospel must be proclaimed, not apologized for, watered down, altered, or disguised.  The resources of every spiritual gift of every member of the Body must be mobilized to complete the task of evangelism.  We must exchange our carnal natures for Christ-like conduct which will enable us to bear
witness to the truth of the Gospel.


If we are to fulfill this mandate, we must begin to recreate the New Testament pattern of evangelism:  Everyone, everywhere, every day witnessing and winning souls.  As in New Testament times, evangelism must become a natural part of everyday living.  Every denomination, every local church, every Christian leader, every home, and every individual must be mobilized to the task.



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. List five principles upon which the mandate for evangelism is based.

3. Identify three things necessary to fulfill the mandate of evangelism.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. The call  to evangelism is not an option or a suggestion.  It is a command.  Study the following chart which compares the various Biblical records of the Great Commission.  Look up each reference in your Bible.  Note the authority you have to fulfill the command.  Observe the extent of your ministry, its message, and the activities in which you are to engage in the multiplication process.


The Authority

The Extent

The Message

The Activities

Matthew 28:18-20

“All authority

All nations

All things Jesus commanded

Disciple by going baptizing, teaching.

Mark 16:15

Name of Jesus

All the world, to every creature

The Gospel heal the sick

Go and preach

Luke 24:46-49

Name of Jesus

All nations beginning at Jerusalem

Repentance and the forgiveness of sins

Preach, proclaim, and witness

John 20:21

Sent by Jesus as He was sent by the Father

(The extent of the ministry, the message, and the activities are to be the same “as Jesus”)

Acts 1:8

Power of the Holy Spirit

Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the most remote part of the earth



2. Given the clear mandate of evangelism in the Word of God, why is it that so many Christians hesitate to  fulfill this great commission?  Here are some common hindrances to evangelizing:


Many people do not evangelize because they feel they lack the ability to do so. They may lack formal education or knowledge about the Bible and evangelism methods.  Some people do not really lack ability at all, but have a poor self-image or false humility.  Always remember that God calls weak people to do great things.  Read the story of Gideon in Judges 6 through 8.  When Gideon was called to fulfill a great mission for God, he was in hiding because he was afraid of the enemy.  His response was "How can I do this?  My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family."

Moses gave a similar response when he was called to lead the nation of Israel.  He said "Who am I?  I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue" (Exodus 3-4). The prophet Jeremiah claimed he was just a child and totally incapable of being used by God (Jeremiah 1:4-9).

People who feel they lack the ability to evangelize should ask God for the wisdom He has promised (James 1:5). They should also understand that God uses those without natural ability so that He can receive all the glory (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). 


Many people do nothing because they feel their efforts would be insignificant since the harvest to be reaped is so great.  How can one person do anything about the millions lost in heathen darkness?  You will remember that the size of Gideon's army was reduced so God would get the glory instead of man (Judges 7).  God delights in taking insignificant efforts and using them for His purposes.  You will learn later in this study how just one person, winning and training one person each year, can literally raise up thousands of believers in just a short period of time.  One light may not pierce the darkness by itself, but many little flames, lit one at a time, eventually produce a great light.


People fear they will be rejected by those to whom they witness. If they are not familiar with evangelistic methods, they fear the unknown. They are afraid they will be embarrassed by a situation they cannot handle or a question they cannot answer. Fear of evangelizing often stems from questions such as these:

·         What will I say? You will learn about the message that is to be presented in Chapter Three of this course.

·         How shall I say it? You will learn how to communicate the message in Chapter Five of this course.

·         How shall I deal with difficulties? Chapter Ten of this manual explains how to deal with difficulties that may arise as you are evangelizing.

·         What if I cannot answer a question? If you cannot answer a question, admit it. Tell the person you will study more about it and get back to him with an answer. 

·         What if I offend someone? What usually offends people is not honest talk about God, but the pretense of having all the answers, anger, or quarreling. If you are loving and honest in your approach and people are still offended, then just remember: You are the salt of the earth. In the natural world, when salt is rubbed into a wound it causes an unpleasant reaction at first, but it results in healing. The same is true in the spiritual world.

·         What if I fail? It is better to try and fail than not to try at all.  Success and failure are not the main concerns of evangelism. You are called to faithfulness. Three types of failure are recorded in the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20). Later in this same chapter, Mark tells us that it is the soil itself, prepared by the Holy Spirit, that produces the grain, not the sower. This should not be used as an excuse to refrain from calling for commitment, however. We are called to fish for the souls of men and catch them, not just influence them!


Evangelism is often hindered because we do not have contact with unbelievers.  If all your friends and contacts are Christians, you will not be able to win the lost. You cannot reach unbelievers if you have no contact with them.


Insufficient time and motivation hinder people from fulfilling the mandate of evangelism.  Always remember, however . . . You find time to do what you want to do and what you feel is urgent.  If you do not have time to share the Gospel, then you either do not want to do it or you do not feel it is urgent.  You need to reevaluate your priorities.  Loss of motivation usually results from loss of experience.  Have you ever noticed how new
Christians are always excited about sharing their faith?  This is because their experience is fresh and exciting.   If you are not careful, you will lose this later on if you do not keep a fresh and vital relationship with the Lord.


Paul told believers that they should be able to teach the Gospel to others, but because of  spiritual immaturity they were not able to do so (Hebrews 5:12).  Spiritual immaturity is revealed when believers have friction among themselves (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).  When you are busy fighting your brothers and sisters in Christ, you do not have time to evangelize.

3. Now that you have studied common factors hindering evangelism, read the following statements and check those which describe your own feelings:


_____I do not know what to say.

_____I do not understand the Bible very well.

_____I am not very good at talking to others.


_____I feel like I cannot make a difference because I am only one person.

_____The task of evangelism is so great it overwhelms me.


_____I am afraid I will offend others.

_____I am afraid I might fail.

_____I am afraid I will not know how to answer questions.

_____I am afraid I will be embarrassed.

_____I do not know what to say.


_____I do not have contact with unbelievers.


_____I do not have time to spend in evangelizing.

_____I am not motivated to evangelize.


_____I do not feel I am mature enough spiritually to share the Gospel with others.

_____I often have problems with other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

4. Review the items which you checked above.  Next to each item you marked indicate whether you can deal with the hindrance by training, study, practice, prayer, or by changing your priorities.

5. Which items on the list are  hindrances to you?  How might you overcome these?





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verses from memory.

·         Define "Gospel of the Kingdom."

·         Summarize the basic elements of the Gospel.

·         List four ways the Gospel is universal.

·         Explain why the Gospel is powerful.

KEY VERSES: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)


God has a special plan for reaching the world with the Gospel.  Jesus revealed this plan when He told His disciples. . .Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)  This verse reveals several things about God's plan of evangelism:

·         Jesus Christ is the content of the message.

·         Disciples are the messengers of the Gospel enabled by the powerful force of the Holy Spirit.

·         The whole world is to be the recipient of the message.

In this lesson you will learn about the content of the Gospel message.  In Chapter Four you will learn about the messengers of the Gospel who are believers empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Chapter Five explains how the messengers are to communicate the message and Chapter Six concerns the people who are recipients of the message.


Jesus said: And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14) The message of evangelism is the Gospel of the Kingdom.  The word "Gospel" actually means "good news."  When we speak of the Gospel in a Biblical sense, it refers to the good news of the Kingdom of God and salvation through Jesus Christ.   In Romans 1:1 the Gospel is called the "Gospel of God."  In Romans 2:16 it is called "Paul's Gospel."  In Romans 1:16 it is the "Gospel of Christ." There is no contradiction in these verses because God is the author of the Gospel, Christ is the theme, and man is the recipient.


In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the basic elements of the Gospel are given by Paul: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The basic Gospel message is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried, and He rose again according to the Scriptures. In its narrowest sense, the Gospel can be summarized in the message of John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

In its widest meaning, it includes all that Jesus taught His disciples: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. . . teaching them to observe all things,
whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:18 and 20)

Men must be told about the Kingdom, challenged to enter it, and trained how to live as Kingdom residents.

The Gospel we preach is not a social gospel to reform society, but the Gospel of God to redeem sinners.  The message of the Kingdom must include a call to repent from sin: Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand:  Repent ye, and believe the Gospel.  (Mark 1:14-15)

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent:  for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  (Matthew 4:17) (If you do not understand the basic principles of the Kingdom of God,  obtain the Harvestime International Institute course, "Kingdom Living.")


The most important word in the Gospel is the word "whosoever."   It was used by Jesus (John 3:16), Paul (Romans 10:13), and John (Revelation 22:17).  The Gospel is for all men of all races, cultures, tribes, and nations.  It is a universal message for four reasons:

1.  Sin is universal:  Romans 3:23

2.  The offer of salvation is universal:  1 Timothy 2:4

3.  The command to repent is universal:  Acts 17:30

4.  The invitation to believe is universal:  Romans 10:9-11


There is great power in the Gospel message.  Paul said: For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, the just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be know of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  (Romans 1:16-19)

These verses reveal why the Gospel is powerful.  It is powerful because:

·         It is the revelation of God's power to man.

·         It brings salvation to all men, regardless of race, color, or creed.

·         It reveals that which may be known by men about God.

·         It reveals the judgment and wrath of God against sin.

·         It reveals the righteousness of God.

·         It shows how to be justified (forgiven, restored in right relationship to God) by faith.

·         It is the basis of the faith by which we live.


The Gospel must be preached and taught, but it must also include the demonstration of the Kingdom of God in action. Jesus told His followers: As ye go, preach saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.   (Matthew 10:7-8)

The message of the Kingdom is not in words only. The demonstration of God's power must accompany the verbal presentation. This was evident in the example set by Jesus: 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.  (Matthew 9:35)

And the people, when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the Kingdom of God, and healed them that had need
of healing.  (Luke 9:11)

The demonstration of power--miracles and healing--is the Kingdom of God in action. It is to be part of the message of evangelism. Paul said: For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)



1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Define the "Gospel of the Kingdom."

3. What are the basic elements of the Gospel?

4. List four ways the Gospel is universal.

5. Explain why the Gospel is powerful.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. For further study about the Kingdom of God, obtain the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Kingdom Living."

2. Read 2  Kings 4:29-37.  This is the story of how Elisha raised a child from the dead.  Read the background of this story in 2 Kings 4:8-17. This child was a miracle baby, given in answer to Elisha's prayer and the request of a woman of Shunem who had shown the prophet kindness.  The record of the child's death is given in verses 18-20.  The exact cause of death is not given.  It is possible it was from some type of stroke since the child complained of his head.  This story is a natural example from which spiritual truths regarding evangelism can be drawn.  Evangelism is like raising the dead because you save people from the eternal destiny of spiritual death.  The Bible says the soul that sins will die, that the wages of sin is death, and that sinners are dead in transgressions and sin.  The following spiritual applications can be drawn from the story in 2 Kings 4.  To raise the dead:

I. You Must Have Faith:

A. (Verses 20-21) The mother did not just accept the child's death. The tendency would be to weep, call professional mourners, and prepare the body to lie in state.

B. Instead, (verse 21) she laid him on Elisha's bed, shut the door, and went to get the prophet. To understand this, you must read the account in 1 Kings 17:17-24 where Elijah raised a child from the dead.  Taking the child to the prophet's chamber was an act of faith recalling the miracle done by Elijah. She did not wait for the prophet to take him in.  She took him in, expecting a similar miracle.

C. God has raised dead men from the beginning of time. Take unsaved people, just as they are, to the place of a miracle.

D. (Verses 22-23)  Note her faith when she said in answer to her husband's  questions, "It shall be well."

E. When you begin to act on faith, it increases.  By the time she neared the prophet, her faith had increased. (Verse 26)  When Elisha sent his servant Gehazi to question her, she no longer said it "shall be well."  She said, "It is well."

II. You Must Make Haste:  Note in verse 22 the woman said,  "That I may run."  You must make haste to raise the dead because souls are dying in sin.

III. You Must Break With Tradition:

A. (Verse 23) Her husband questioned, "Why are you going?"  It was not the traditional time to go to the prophet.  It was not the new moon or Sabbath. 

B. You may have to break with tradition to evangelize in the demonstration of power.  People may tell you, "This is not the way we do things."

IV. You Must Have Compassion:

A. (Verses 25-27)  The dead will never be raised by "Gehazis" who have no  compassion.  When the woman came in search of life, he had no compassion and would have sent her away.

B. The prophet showed concern.  He asked, "Is it well with you and your husband and the child?"

C. There are people who have struggled "up the hill" to get to us. They are vexed and falling at our feet, yet we thrust them away.  We send them to secular counselors, drugs, or rehabilitation centers.

V. You Must Go Where They Are:

A. (Verses 29-31)  To help those dead in sin, you must go where they are just as Elisha went to the young child. 

B. We cannot send powerless men (like Gehazi) or substitute measures (represented by the staff).  To raise us from the death of sin, Jesus came into this world.  He came where we were.

C. The mother would settle for no substitutes.  Dying men and women can settle for nothing other than the power of God that is able to breath new life into a dead soul.

D. When the woman shared her need, Elisha first sent Gehazi to minister to the child.  But again, the dead will never be raised by "Gehazis"—even  "Gehazis" who hold the staff of God.  Gehazi went ahead of Elisha and the woman, and laid the staff upon the child, but there was no response. 

E. If you are to raise the dead, you must follow the master's example. Read 1 Kings 17:17-24.  Elijah, who had been Elisha's master, set the example for raising a dead child.  If Elisha had followed that example, he never would have sent Gehazi with his staff to try to do the job.

F. Elisha thought that God's power could work without his personal presence and efforts.  We take doctrinal or practical truth and lay them upon the spiritually dead, but we do not personally become involved with them.  We try many methods apart from personal involvement, but we will have no more effect upon a lost soul than did Elisha's staff.

G. The letter of the law without the Spirit will never raise dead men.  Life will  not flow as long as leadership is placing an indifferent hand and staff upon dead men and women.

VI. You Must Recognize The Seriousness Of The Condition:

A. (Verse 31) Gehazi did not really believe the child was dead. He reported back, "The child is not waked."  But the child was not asleep.  It was dead. Gehazi was not really convinced but spoke as if it were only asleep. 

B. (Verse 32)  Elisha knew the child was dead.

C. Unbelievers lost in sin are not just sleeping.  It is a serious condition.  It is spiritual death, and they will never be raised until we recognize this.  

VII. You Must Not Be Defeated By Failure: (Verse 31. . . "The child is not awakened.")  The first attempt to raise the dead failed.

When you fail in one attempt, do not give up.  Do not infer from failure that you are not called to the task.  The lesson of failure is not withdrawing from the mission, but changing the method.  You must follow the method of the master.

VIII. You Must Resurrect Life In The Inner Chamber: (Verse 33)  You must go into the "inner chamber" of prayer, shut the door, and intercede for dying humanity.

IX. You Must Be Endued With Power:

A. As he entered into that inner chamber, Elisha already knew the source of his power.  Some time before this event, the mantle of Elijah had fallen upon Elisha. He knew his source of power.  It was tried and proven. 

B. By yourself, you cannot bring the dead hearts of men and women back to life. God is the source of your power.  The mantle of His Holy Spirit has fallen upon you with a baptism of power.

X. You Must Know The Objective: Your objective is not to cleanse a dead body, embalm it with spices, or cover it with fine linen. These are all improvements, but you still have a dead body. Your objective is not to teach morality, self-improvement, cover sin, or change society. Your objective is new spiritual life!

XI. You Must Be Alive Yourself:

A. (Verses 34-35)  After prayer, Elisha stooped over the corpse and placed his mouth upon the mouth of the dead child.  He placed his eyes upon its eyes, his hands upon its hands. The warm body of the man of God covered the cold body of the child.  If you are to raise the dead, you must come into contact with death.  When Jesus would raise us from death, He  died Himself.  If you will raise the dead, you must feel the chill and horror of that death.

B. One would think the grown man would have to contract himself on a child, but instead it says he stretched himself.  Reaching out to dying men and women is a stretching experience.  You must leave the comfort of your home and security of your Christian friends and environment. You must go out of your way.

C. As he covered death with life, the warmth of his body entered the child. If you are dead yourself, this will not happen.  Placing one corpse upon another is hopeless.  It is vain for dying people to gather around another dead soul.

XII. You Must Settle For Nothing Less Than Life:

A. Verse 34 indicates that the flesh of the child became warm. But Elisha did not just settle for this sign of life.   It is not lukewarmness we are after, but life!  Not mere emotionalism, but true revival.

B. Elisha walked back and forth, waiting and no doubt calling upon God. Then he stretched himself upon the child again. This time, the child sneezed seven times.  (The word "sneeze" actually means"gasped").  As he gasped, new life entered his body, then his eyes opened. When dead men and women gasp into their beings the convicting and renewing power of the "mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit," they too will experience the new life that flows from the resurrecting power of God. 




Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Summarize the role of God's Word in evangelism.

·         Explain the role of God in evangelism.

·         Identify the role of Jesus in evangelism.

·         Summarize the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelism.

·         Explain the role of prayer in evangelism.

·         Identify your role in evangelism.

·         Define the word "witness."

·         Define the term "laity."

·         Define the term "clergy."

·         Explain what is meant by the calling of the laity.

KEY VERSE: For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)


You are studying God's plan of evangelism for reaching the world with the Gospel as revealed in Acts 1:8:

·         Jesus Christ is the content of the message.

·         Disciples are the messengers of the Gospel empowered by the Holy Spirit.

·         The whole world is the recipient of the message.

In the last lesson you learned about the content of the Gospel message. In this lesson you will learn about the messengers of the Gospel.  The Word of God, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and prayer all combine their spiritual forces to enable the messengers of the Gospel to bear powerful witness to the Gospel.


The Gospel has the power within it to accomplish spiritual birth in a receptive soul: For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (Romans 1:16)

You do not have to be a gifted speaker to be a messenger of the Gospel. All that is necessary is that you share the Gospel message which alone can save man.  When you share God's Word, the hearer's faith does not rest on your wisdom or skillful delivery (1 Corinthians 2:5). You can also be assured that God's Word does not return void. It will accomplish God's purposes (Isaiah 55:11). The Word releases the powerful demonstration of signs and wonders which convince unbelievers of the truth of the Gospel (Mark 16:20).


God is the one who changes a person's life through the born-again experience. You can witness, preach, and teach the Gospel to the best of your ability, but only God can convert a soul. Once you understand this, much of your worry about evangelizing is relieved. You are simply the messenger, a human instrument for the divine workman. It is impossible for you to convert someone. The born-again experience is conceived and birthed by God. When a person is born again, he is "begotten of God": Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him. (1 John 5:1)


Jesus is the one who gave the mandate of evangelism and sent the Holy Spirit to equip you for the task. He is the one who works with you with confirming signs and wonders: And they went forth, and preached  everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. (Mark 16:20)


In New Testament times, the Holy Spirit drew the crowds to the messengers of the Gospel.  How else can we explain the throngs that followed their ministries?  There were no newspapers, radio, or television advertisements in those days. Instead of using worldly methods to attract the masses, we should take time to tarry in our upper rooms like the early Church did until we, too, are endued with power from on high.  It is the Holy Spirit that convicts men and convinces them of the necessity of salvation.  Proven evangelistic methods are useful in spreading the Gospel, but God does not want you to depend upon them. You must depend on the convicting power of the Holy Spirit: Nevertheless, I tell you the truth;  It is expedient for you that I go away:  for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.  (John 16:7-8)

It is the power of the Holy Spirit that energizes evangelism.  The disciples became effective, active witnesses after they experienced that power (Acts 1:8 and chapter 2).


Nothing in the realm of the spiritual can succeed without prayer.  As a believer, you are part of the Body of Christ sent out to a lost and dying world to share the good news of the Gospel.  But this spiritual body is directed, controlled, and energized by the head, functioning like a natural body which is guided by the head.

Just as a natural body must be attached to the head in proper alignment of nerves, bone, and muscle in order to function, the spiritual body must be in contact with the spiritual head, the Lord Jesus Christ.  This contact is made through prayer.

To use another illustration:  Jesus is the vine and we are the branches where the fruit is borne.  Jesus is the stalk and root that gives life to the branches.  The picture is one of mutual dependence.  He depends on us to bear the fruit, we depend on Him for spiritual life and energy (John 15.).  This relationship cannot exist without proper contact between you and the Lord.  There is an example of this in the account in Matthew 17:14-21.  The disciples were unable to minister to a young boy because of lack of prayer.  Prayer is not a preliminary to the actual work--it is the work.

Prayer should precede evangelism.  In Luke 10:1-24, Jesus tells His disciples to pray (verse 2), then He tells them to go (verse 3).  Praying precedes the going. Perhaps if we prayed more we would win more.  In Acts 2 they prayed 10 days, preached for ten minutes, and 3000 were saved. Today, we pray for ten minutes, preach for ten days, and only a few get saved.

Praying "evangelistically" means that you pray for:

(1) Laborers in the harvest (Luke 10:2).

(2) The Gospel to have "free course" (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2).  "Free course" means to "run or swiftly advance."

(3) Opportunity:  In Colossians 4:3, Paul asks for prayer for himself that God would open a "door of utterance" that he might share the Gospel.

(4) Boldness:  Paul asked the Ephesian Church to pray that he might share the Gospel boldly (Ephesians 6:19).

(5) Salvation:  It is Biblical to pray for people to get saved.  Romans 10:1 indicates Paul prayed for Israel that they might be saved.

(6) Peace:  In 1 Timothy 2:1-4,  Paul tells us to pray for those in authority so we can lead a peaceful life.  He says to do this because it is good in the eyes of God who "desires all men to be saved." The Gospel spreads more rapidly in peaceful conditions when it is not hindered by persecution, war zones, travel restrictions, etc.

A measure of success may follow our prayerless undertakings for the Kingdom of God, but our efforts fall short of what could be accomplished if we were to recognize the vital function of prayer. 


The messengers of the Gospel are born-again disciples. God's method is for each disciple to bear "witness" of the Gospel message.  To "witness" is to tell what you have seen, heard, or experienced. In a court of law, a witness is one who testifies about someone or something.  As  a witness, you are to testify  about Jesus and His plan for the salvation of all mankind. 
There are two kinds of evidence presented by witnesses in a court of law. One is testimony which is verbal witness about the subject. The other is evidence which is visible proof. The Holy Spirit helps you bear witness to the Gospel both verbally and through the visible demonstration of God's power.


God's plan is for each disciple to be a witness of the Gospel. The early Church grew as they followed this plan. Each believer shared the Gospel and reproduced spiritually. As the Church grew, God called  some people to serve full-time as pastors, evangelists, prophets, teachers, and apostles. Over a period of time,  believers became part of one of two divisions in the Church.  They were either clergy or laity.

The word "laity" comes from a Greek word which means "belonging to the chosen people of God."  The basic meaning of the word is "all the people of God." The terms "layman" or "laity" came to be used for those who were not serving in special full-time functions in the church. The term "clergy" developed to identify professional ministers in the church. Clergy refers to those who consider the ministry their profession or who are employed full-time by the church. Over a period of time in church history, a gradual separation developed between clergy and laity. Many laymen stopped reproducing spiritually. They began to leave the challenge of reaching the world to the full-time clergy. No professional clergy can ever accomplish what the entire Church was commissioned to do. This is one of the reasons we have not yet reached the world with the Gospel.  Believers have shifted their responsibility to the clergy. The Bible does teach division of labor in the Church, but every person is to be involved in the spread of the Gospel (Acts 6:1-6).

As the church at Jerusalem multiplied, it became necessary for a division of labor to meet all the needs in the church. The leaders gave themselves full-time to study of the Word and prayer. Laymen performed duties like ministering to the widows and other such tasks of serving. But although believers served in different offices in the church, they were all involved in the spread of the Gospel:

·         Stephen was one of the laymen chosen for serving tasks, yet he bore powerful witness to the Gospel (Acts 6:8-11).

·         Philip was another layman chosen for serving tasks.  He shared the Gospel with the Samaritans (Acts 8:5-12).

·         When persecution came in Jerusalem and believers scattered to other cities, they continued to be witnesses of the Gospel (Acts 8:4).  For true believers, there is no division between sacred and secular because Jesus is Lord of all.


If you are to really understand the spiritual call of the laity you must go back to the Old Testament.  God's plan was for the entire nation of Israel to be priests or ministers: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. (Exodus 19:6)

As priests, each person in Israel was to be a witness of the one true God to unbelievers around him.  The establishing of an official priesthood did not change God's plan for Israel.  The priesthood was like the clergy of today with special leadership roles. But the entire nation was still to serve as ministers of the message of God to heathen nations. In the New Testament, believers are given a similar calling. They are to be priests or ministers of the Gospel: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praise of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  (I Peter 2:9) 

The calling of believers is to bear witness of God who has brought them out of spiritual darkness into the light of Jesus Christ (John 9:5). Believers are told to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called" (Ephesians 4:1). There is one calling and that is to bear witness to the Gospel.  It is the vocation of all believers. The call to be a messenger of the Gospel is not based on education or natural ability. God uses ordinary laymen so that He alone may receive the glory: For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. That no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)


Some messengers of the Gospel are given a special gift from God to be an evangelist. The gift of evangelism is an ability to share the Gospel with unbelievers in a way that men and women respond and become responsible members of the Body of Christ. The word evangelist is used three times in the New Testament.  In Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul says that God gives men and women who are gifted as evangelists to the church.

No one can decide to become an evangelist just because he speaks well, has a good personality, or relates well to different kinds of people.  God calls and equips men to be evangelists. There should be no competition between the ministries of pastor, teacher, and evangelist. The evangelist is part of the Church, not independent from it. The gift of being an evangelist is one of the five leadership gifts given to the Church, whose main purpose is to equip others for the work of the ministry. This means an evangelist not only has the ability to communicate the gospel to sinners, but also to equip saints to evangelize. 

Although God gives some the special gift of being an evangelist, all believers are to do the work of an evangelist and share the Gospel with others. Timothy is urged to do the work of evangelism in I1 Timothy 4:5. You may not have the special gift, but you do have the responsibility to do the work of an evangelist.


But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (I1 Corinthians 4:7)

The treasure of which Paul speaks in this passage is the Gospel. Even though you are an earthen vessel--common, crude, and unrefined--your human vessel is the temple of God. You may not be well known by man. You may not be well known in your community, church, or denomination. You may be an ordinary person who works at ordinary tasks. But God can use you in evangelism. Read the story of the healing of the lame man in Acts 4.  When Peter and John appeared before the Council, it was obvious that they were uneducated, common men: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled;  and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. (Acts 4:13-14)

These common men had received new life through Jesus Christ. The life within them resulted in powerful, life-changing evangelism. Jesus entrusted the laity with the responsibility of spreading the Gospel. He took fishermen from their boats and made them into fishers of men. He believed that ordinary people could become extra-ordinary when empowered by the Holy Spirit. Gideon was a farmer. Paul was a tentmaker. Moses was a  shepherd. Luke was a doctor and Joseph was a great political statesman. Whatever your education or occupation, God can use you in His plan. 

Where you are and who you are is not important.  It is what you are doing where God has placed you. The key to effective evangelism is to be God's man or woman, in God's place, doing God's work, God's way.



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Summarize the role of God's Word in evangelism.

3. Explain the role of God in evangelism.

4. Identify the role of Jesus in evangelism.

5. Summarize the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelism.

6. Explain the role of prayer in evangelism.

7. Identify your role in evangelism.

8. Define the word "witness."

9. Define the term "laity."

10. Define the term "clergy."

11. Explain what is meant by the calling of the laity.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. Philip had the gift of being an evangelist.  He is called an evangelist in Acts 21:8.  His tendency towards this gift was evident from early in his experience with Christ.  When he met Jesus, the first thing he did was to share the news with Nathanael (John 1:45-46). Later, Philip directed spiritually hungry Greeks to Jesus (John 12:21-22).  Philip was ordained by man as a deacon (Acts 6:1-6), but set by God as an evangelist in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-12).  Study the ministry of Philip to expand your knowledge of the special gift of being an evangelist.  Study about:

His message:  Acts 8:12,35

·         The demonstration of power in his life:  Acts 8:5-8

·         The role of baptism in his ministry:  Acts 8:12, 36-38

·         His home life:  Acts 21:8-9

·         His travels:  Acts 8:4-5,26,40

·         His ability to persuade groups:  Acts 8:6

·         His ministry to individuals:  Acts 8:27-38

·         His sensitivity to the leading of God:  Acts 8:26,39

·         His knowledge of the Word of God:  Acts 8:3-35

·         The response of people to his ministry:  Acts 8:5,6,8,12,35-39

2. The following list of qualities are important in order to be an effective soul-winner:

(l)   You must be sure of your own salvation.

(2)   You should be filled with the Holy Spirit.

(3)   Your lifestyle should not contradict your verbal testimony. 

(4)   You should have a working knowledge of God's Word.

(5)   You should be a person of prayer.

(6)   You should have a concern for the lost, realizing that all men apart from Christ are destined for Hell.

3. Since the Word of God is necessary in evangelism, it is important for you to learn verses that  lead people to salvation.  Here is a plan to help you do this:

(1)   Write the verse to be memorized on one side of a small card or paper. 

(2)   On the opposite side of the card, put the reference.

(3)   When you look at the reference side of the card, try to say the verse by memory. 

(4)   When you look at the verse side of the card, see if you can recall the reference.





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify six important principles for communicating the Gospel.

·         Identify a Scriptural reference which provides a formula for communicating the Gospel to people of other cultures.

KEY VERSE: That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Philemon 6)


In Chapter Three you studied about the content of the message of evangelism and in Chapter Four you learned that you are the messenger of the Gospel.  This lesson focuses on the process of communicating an evangelistic message. Effective communication is the art of transmitting a message from one person to another in such a way that it is received without distortion.  The greatest concern of evangelism is that the Gospel is shared in such a way that it is understood and accepted.


Here are six important principles of communicating the Gospel. Evangelistic communication must:


Evangelistic communication is different from other types of communication because the Word of God, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are involved in the process. Sharing the Gospel is not just talking or chatting with others. It is  divine communication enabled by powerful spiritual resources which are at work to convince and convict the recipients of the message.


Evangelistic communication must be to all classes of people: rich and poor, educated and uneducated, civilized and uncivilized. Paul confirmed this when he said. . . I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise, and to the unwise. (Romans 1:14)

When he said he was a debtor he meant that because he had received the Gospel he owed it to others to share it with them. He felt this responsibility towards all men everywhere. There were no class distinctions in Paul's mind. Everyone needed the Gospel. There was no one too poor or rich, too religious or pagan, too near or far. You cannot be prejudiced in communicating the Gospel. If you show partiality, you are sinning (James 2:1-4).


The tendency among many believers is to be satisfied with the multitudes.  Pastors spend most of their time behind the pulpit in front of the group.  The individual is lost in the crowd.  This is especially true in many cultures where mass communication is possible by media like television and radio.

There is no substitute for personal contact.  Paul often ministered to great crowds but his illustration of ministering to the Thessalonians was like a mother nursing a child and as a father with his own children (1 Thessalonians 2:7,11).  He balanced his efforts between groups and individuals. Jesus evangelized the multitudes, but He also shared the Gospel with individuals such as the woman of Samaria, Nicodemus, Zachaeus, and others.


Different cultures have different ways of doing things. This was true even in Bible times.  For example, Lystra was a remote pagan place.  Athens was a highly civilized city and was very difficult to reach with the Gospel.  Berea received the Word of God gladly. They were looking for the truth.

The many cultural, linguistic, political, educational, and national differences present a challenge but they can be overcome and the Gospel expressed in an acceptable way.  To understand another culture requires a willingness to adjust your thinking and behavior.  Of course, you must never change your thinking or behavior contrary to the standards revealed in the written Word of God, but you can change in other ways that help to more adequately communicate the Gospel.

The Gospel must be presented in a way that it is understood by the hearers.  Vocabulary, language, and style of delivery must be adjusted in order to make the Gospel understood.  Paul recognized and practiced this (Acts 21:37-40; 22:2). Acts 26:18 provides a pattern for effective communication of the Gospel to people of other cultures. God sent Paul to the Gentiles. . . To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)

The Gospel must be presented in such a way:

1.   That it opens the eyes of the people.

2.   That they may turn from spiritual darkness to light.

3.   That they may turn from the power of Satan to God.

4.   That they may receive forgiveness of sins through salvation.

5.   That they may receive a spiritual inheritance through sanctification by faith.

The culture in which a person is raised determines five areas:

·         His Language:  How he expresses and receives communication and ideas.

·         His World View:  How he views and understands the world.

·         His Beliefs:  Religion, beliefs in supernatural; ways of thinking; thought processes.

·         His Values:  The worth, merit, or importance which he assigns to things.

·         His Behavior:  How he acts and behaves; socially and culturally acceptable behavior.

You will note on the following chart that Acts 26:18 addresses each of these:




Open their eyes:

Language: Message is effectively communicated, understood, and received.

Worldview: Biblical worldview is communicated.

Beliefs: Message of faith, Gospel of the Kingdom changes their beliefs.

Values changes.

That they may turn and receive:

Behavior changes



Words are basic to communication.  Through the written Word, God revealed His will to mankind.  But if you are to follow the example of New Testament leaders, you must go beyond verbalization, especially in cultures that are more oriented toward experience.  It is God's desire for people to experience the truth of the Gospel, not just hear about it. This is why Jesus said "As you go heal the sick and cast out demons."  The communication of the Gospel is more than a verbal presentation.  It is the demonstration of power.


Paul told Philemon to live so . . .That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Philemon 6)

Paul was encouraging Philemon to let his faith be communicated by Christian character and conduct which reflected Jesus to others.  No amount of words can overcome the power of hypocrisy, nor will words alone accomplish what the power of a positive example can achieve.  The communication of the Gospel must be in harmony with your lifestyle if it is to be effective.



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. List six important principles for communicating the Gospel.

3. What Scripture reference provides a pattern for communicating the Gospel to people of other cultures?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. Part of good communication is being a good listener. Here are some basic principles of listening:

·         Give yourself wholeheartedly to the task of listening to what the other person is saying. Listening is not interrupting. It means controlling your desire to speak.

·         Give priority to what he is saying. You may think you have an answer, but wait until you are sure you know what the question is.

·         Be sure you understand precisely what the speaker means.  If not, ask questions.

·         Questions are important to the listening process. They help clarify what is being said.

·         Recognize non-verbal communication. Be sensitive to facial expressions and actions, not just words. A person may be saying one thing, but his expressions and actions may reveal another.

2. Paul's preaching varied between races and countries. Compare his sermon in the synagogue at Antioch in Acts 13 with his preaching to the Athenians in Acts 17.

3. Jesus was a good communicator:

·         He had both historical and Biblical knowledge:  Matthew 12:38-42.

·         He used objects and pictures that were familiar to the people:  Luke 21:29-32; Mark 4:21-34

·         He was simple, making speeches about light, bread, the good shepherd, and the vine: John 6:35; 8:12; 15:1

·         He did not always give answers, but presented many of His teachings in parables and questions.

·         He used humor.  For example, comparing a speck in your brother's eye to a plank in your own:  Matthew 7:3-5

·         He used reason:  Matthew 12:1-32





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain God's process for multiplying believers.

·         Name two New Testament men used as examples of this process.

·         Identify the priorities for evangelizing.

·         Identify four types of sinners described in the Bible.

·         Begin to evangelize.

KEY VERSE: 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.  (2 Timothy 2:2)


You are studying God's plan for reaching the world with the Gospel:

·         Jesus Christ is the content of the message.

·         Disciples are the messengers of the Gospel enabled by the powerful force of the Holy Spirit.

·         The whole world is to be the recipient of the message.

Today we live in a growing world.  Thousands of new human beings are born each day.  The population of the world is increasing rapidly. There are millions of people who have not heard the Gospel message.

The challenge of Jesus to believers is to reach the entire world with the Gospel.  In the previous two lessons you studied about the message and messengers of evangelism.  But with such a great multitude waiting for the message, where is the messenger to begin?   What is the priority and where do you start?  Who is to be the recipient of the message?


In the Bible, God reveals a special process to enable believers to fulfill the mission of evangelizing the world. It is based on the principle of spiritual multiplication.  Multiplication is a basic principle of all growth in the natural world.  Growth does not take place by adding one unit to another.  Living cells multiply.  This means each new cell produced has the ability to reproduce. God's plan of evangelism is based on multiplication similar to that of living cells in the natural world. Paul summarized it when he wrote these words to Timothy: 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. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Paul told Timothy to select faithful men and commit to them the things he had been taught.  These faithful men were to have the ability to teach others.  Through this organized plan of reproduction, the Gospel would spread throughout the world. To see how this process works, study the chart on the following page.  This chart uses the period of a year as the average time necessary to convert someone to the Gospel and train him to be a reproductive Christian.  In reality, it could take more or less time, depending on the person involved, so it is not possible to set a firm time limit.  But if a believer would reach just one person and disciple them each year and have them pledge to disciple one person each year, the world could easily be reached with the Gospel message.

Observe on the chart that during the first year the believer is discipling one person.  At the end of that year, there are now two faithful men, the believer and the new convert he has discipled in basic principles of the Christian faith.

During the next year, each of them reach one person with the Gospel and disciple them.  At the end of the second year, there is a total of four people, each of whom will disciple one person the following year.




Year 17 -  65,536



Year 16 -  32,768



Year 15 -  16,384



Year 14 -  8,192



Year 13 -  4,096



Year 12 -  2,048



Year 11 -  1,024



Year 10 -  512



Year 9 -  256



Year 8 -  128



Year 7 -  64



Year 6 -  32



Year 5 -  16



Year 4 -  8



Year 3 -  4



Year 2 -  2



Year 1 -  1




Now, take an average church membership of approximately 100 people.  Increase this chart to 100 people each reaching one person with the Gospel and training them to be reproductive and you can see how we could easily reach the entire world with the Gospel. When you train each one to reach one to teach one, disciples are multiplied rapidly and multiplication is faster than addition. 


The following diagram shows the first stages of evangelism by multiplication resulting from Andrew, one of the first disciples of Jesus:

Andrew -> Peter -> Others ->







                  Pentecost ->

1. Andrew shared the Gospel with his brother, Peter.

2. Peter shared the Gospel on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.

3. Peter continues to share the Gospel with others who also become reproductive.

4. Thousands of believers  scattered from Jerusalem continue to spread the Gospel.

5. Each person they reach becomes reproductive and the process continues.

This diagram shows the first stages of evangelism done by the Apostle Paul:

Ananias ->







Timothy ->




Faithful Men ->




Others ->


1. Ananias is used of God to raise up Paul.

2. Paul disciples Timothy.

3. Paul continues on to disciple others.

4. Timothy disciples faithful men who can teach others.

5. Faithful men reach others.

6. These "others" continue the multiplication process.

7. Each person in the network continues to multiply.


The Word of God identifies several priorities in evangelizing.  These priorities are:


The New Testament reveals that the Gospel spreads the most rapidly along existing social networks.  By this we mean that you can spread the Gospel easiest to your own social group of friends, relatives, and coworkers. For example, Jesus called one fisherman named Andrew.  Andrew shared the Gospel with a relative named Peter.  They shared with other fishermen with whom they worked.  Soon a whole group of fishermen were following Jesus.

Your relatives, friends, and co-workers, the world of work, school, family, and community is your arena of ministry.  Use the diagram on the following page to help you begin to evangelize.  Write your name in the circle at the bottom of the diagram.  Now think about those with whom you work and socialize, your neighbors, and family members. Think about those who attend your church who still may be unsaved.  In the circles located around  you  write the names of at least three relatives or friends with whom you are in close contact and who are unbelievers. 

Now look at the diagram.  Notice the arrows that point from your friends and relatives to YOU.  You are the ambassador of the Lord to these people.  They may never enter a church.  They may not ever come in contact with the pastor of your church.  But YOU know them well.  It is through these existing networks of social relationships that you can begin to evangelize.


The family is a divinely created social unit and is a universal social institution. There are more instructions about the family in the Bible than any other institution. For this reason, household evangelism deserves close attention as a Biblical priority. Moses was faithful with all his household, while Joshua exclaimed "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). Rahab, a harlot of Jericho, turned to the Lord and saved herself and her entire family from destruction (Joshua 2).  When Jesus visited the home of Zaccheaus, he declared, "This day is salvation come to this house" (Luke 19:9).  When Jesus healed the nobleman's son, he believed along with his entire household (John 4:46-54).

The entire family of Cornelius came to the Lord (Acts 10), as did the household of Lydia (Acts 16) and that of the Philippian jailer (Acts 16), Crispus (Acts 18:80), and Stephanas (1 Corinthians 1:16).  Similar references are made to Onesiphorus and his house (2 Timothy 1:16) and Philemon (Philemon 2).

While Jesus said there would be division in families because of  the Gospel, sometimes this occurs  because of the methods of evangelism rather than the Gospel itself. When evangelism occurs within the family unit, the healing and restoring power of the Gospel can work within the home. 

When individual members of the family are contacted with the Gospel outside of the home, they are drawn out of family relationships and separated from the divinely ordained social unit to which they belong.  The family fears the intrusion, may become the enemy of the convert, and resists the Gospel.  Evangelism of an entire family honors the social unit God has created.  The family itself becomes a strength to the new believer rather than opposition.


People yet unreached by the Gospel are also an important priority. There are millions of villages of the world that have never been reached with the Gospel. There are many people who have never had the opportunity to read God's message to them in His written Word because it has not been translated into their language. If we view the world in terms of nations, then we could say all the world has been reached because there presently exists within every nation some sort of Gospel witness. There are now believers and organized churches in every country on earth. But this is by no means the same as "every tribe, language, and people and nation" as referred to in Revelation 5:9.

When Jesus spoke of going into  all the world He was not referring to nations alone. The term Jesus used when He spoke of the world was the Greek word "ethne." This word means "ethnic" or "people groups." Jesus viewed the world in terms of "all people" or "people groups."

A people group is defined as: "A significantly large group of individuals who have a common bond to one another. Such a bond may include like language, culture, customs, and geographic location."

A people group is the largest possible group within which the Gospel can spread without encountering problems in understanding and acceptance.  Because a people group speaks a common language and has a common culture, the language and cultural differences which hinder the presentation of the Gospel are eliminated.

There are over 19,000 different people groups in the world which have been identified to date. Some have as few as 3,000 members, while others are as large as 30 million.  Each continent of the world is made up  not only of different nations, but of different people groups. For example, on the continent of Africa there are 1,000 languages and hundreds of people groups.

A reached people group is one with an adequate number of believers and resources to evangelize their own people without outside assistance.

An unreached people group is a people group among which there is no native community of believers with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their people without outside assistance. There are some 17,000 ethnic or people groups without a vital, witnessing Gospel church. Within these ethnic groups are millions of people. These unreached people groups can be grouped together in five major categories, including tribal people, Muslims, Chinese, Hindus, and Buddhists. Paul indicated that priority should be given to unreached people: Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation; But as it is written, To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see; and they that have not heard shall understand.  (Romans 15:20-21)


Jesus taught His disciples that they were not to minister to unreceptive  people.  If the Gospel was rejected, they were to move on and concentrate their energy on areas of greatest receptivity. The Apostle Paul also followed this strategy.


You will learn later how Paul established churches in great centers of civilization. Change usually starts in cities and then spreads to rural areas.  Cities are centers of trade and tourism and as people who visit are reached with the Gospel they take the message with them when they return home.


Although people differ greatly from culture to culture, the Bible reveals certain characteristics of all people everywhere.  All men apart from God are sinners.  The following are four types of sinners described in the Bible:


Romans 1:18-32 describes the rational sinner.  The rational sinner may believe there is a God, but this fact alone does not save.  The rational sinner is very intelligent, and when you try to present the Gospel he will often bring up an intellectual problem.  This is why you must know the Word of God. The Bible says: be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.  (I Peter 3:15)


Romans 2:1-16 describes the reformed sinner.  The reformed sinner believes God exists because we learn from Romans 2:3 that he thinks he is capable of judging the sinner described in Romans 1:18-32.  He also believes he is going to escape the judgment of God.  The reformed sinner thinks he is as good as anyone else and that there are only hypocrites in the church.  He is the type of person who tries to reform, start over, and improve himself.


Romans 2:17-23 describes the religious sinner. The religious sinner is one who trusts in his religion or denomination for salvation.  He trusts in ceremonies and rituals, but does not know the true God. Nicodemus was a Pharisee  (John 3:1). He was religious, but he did not understand the true meaning of salvation and being born again.


The woman at the well in John 4 is an example of the rejected sinner. She was a social outcast. She was divorced, and obviously not accepted by the other women of her village because normally women came to draw water together and it was a time of great socialization. This woman came alone.

The rejected sinner is more concerned about his own personal problems than with spiritual issues. The best way to deal with him is as Jesus did with the woman at the well. You must begin by dealing with their personal needs.



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is God's process for multiplying believers?

3. What two New Testament men were named as examples of spiritual multiplication?

4. What are the priorities for evangelizing?

5. What four types of sinners are described in the Bible?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. Prayerfully complete the following pledge and begin to act upon it:

"Realizing that evangelism is the responsibility of every believer, I hereby dedicate myself to pray for one person, doing all I can to share the Gospel with him/her, and to bring them into fellowship with Christ and the Church."

The person I will pray for and evangelize is: _______________

Signed: ______________

Date: ____________

2. In Luke 16:19-31 read the story of the rich man who went to Hell. This man wanted to return to share the Gospel with his family but it was too late.  Do not wait until it is too late to share the Gospel with those in your own family.

3. Learn more about spiritual multiplication by obtaining the Harvestime International Institute course,  "Multiplication Methodologies."

4. Here is how to raise up laborers for the harvest:

·         Pray for workers:  Matthew 9:38; James 4:2; Luke 11:9; John 14:14

·         Preach for workers:  Isaiah 6:8

·         Personally enlist and prepare them as Jesus did:  Matthew 20





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from Memory.

·         Summarize basic principles of New Testament evangelism.

·         Explain the results of New Testament evangelism.

KEY VERSE: These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (Acts 17:6)


This lesson begins the first of several that focus on evangelism methods.  A method is an organized way of doing something.  If you are to be successful in the task of evangelism, you must use Scriptural methods.  Practical methods that have been proven by experience are also helpful.

This lesson focuses on New Testament methods of evangelism. Chapter Eight concerns additional principles revealed in parables about evangelism recorded in the New Testament. Chapter Nine explains how to do personal evangelism and Chapter Ten deals with difficulties encountered in the process.  Saturation evangelism is discussed in Chapter Eleven and mass evangelism in Chapter Twelve.

As you begin this study on methods of evangelism, it is important to remember that while there are certain proven approaches that have been effective in evangelism, God may have a different method for you to follow in each situation. In doing the work of an evangelist, always ask the Holy Spirit to give you His anointed touch. He knows the heart of the person you are dealing with. It is the role of the Holy Spirit to guide and anoint you, to give you understanding and compassion, and to convict the unsaved of sin and draw them to respond the Gospel.


When a movement grows from a dozen peasants in an unimportant corner of the world to be the official religion of the civilized world within 300 years, it is wise to examine it and learn from its approaches.  That movement is Christianity, and its methods are recorded in God's Word, the Holy Bible.  Review of the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles reveal several basic methods of evangelism. In New Testament times evangelism was:


Prayer is one of the most important Scriptural methods of evangelism.  As Jesus viewed the natural harvest fields which represented the spiritual harvest fields of a world lost in sin, the first thing He commanded was to pray.  Jesus did not say:

·         "The fields are ready for harvest, go."

·         "The fields are ready for harvest, organize."

·         "The fields are ready, so make plans."

·         "The fields are ready, so raise funds for evangelism."

·         "The fields are ready, so educate people."

·         "The fields are ready, so appoint a committee to study them."

He said:  "The fields are ripe unto harvest, PRAY YE . . ." In the New Testament we learn that the early church was constantly in prayer (Acts 1:14). 
The first missionary journey developed from prayer (Acts 13:3).  Paul insisted that the churches pray for him as he evangelized (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

We need to stop depending on all we know about missions, unreached people, and ways to communicate the Gospel.  These are important, but we need to concentrate more attention on the first command:  "PRAY YE."


Evangelism was not just one of many activities of the early Church, it was the main priority.  Today, evangelism and missions comes far down on the list of priorities of many individuals and churches.

In New Testament times, evangelism was a natural, spontaneous sharing of the good news.  It was engaged in continuously by all believers.  The practice was to go where people were and disciple them.  Today, we invite people to church and hope they will come. In modern times the church invites, while the first church invaded. Everyone did the work of evangelism (Acts 1:8). Each believer took the Great Commission as a personal command to evangelize. They did it everywhere, not just in the church building (Mark 16:20). They did it every day (Acts 5:42), not just periodically during an evangelistic campaign.  Every church reproduced, every member reproduced, and every home was a center of evangelism.

When necessary, believers even worked to support themselves in order to spread the Gospel.  The Apostle Paul did this.  It may seem foolish that a man of Paul's ability, education, and spiritual gifts should do manual labor to support himself.  He had the right to claim full support from the churches (1 Corinthians 9:7-15; 1 Timothy 5:17-18;= Galatians 6:6), but at the same time he was prepared, if necessary, to support himself in order to spread the Gospel. He did this on several occasions. (1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8).

In many nations today the custom is that pastors and evangelists are fully paid for their efforts. This has blocked the spread of the Gospel and the planting of new churches.  Believers also tend to leave the task of evangelism to the full-time ministers because they are "getting paid for it."  There are also many churches without pastors because they are not able to support a full-time pastor and the possibility of working has not been considered.

If we are to impact the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must return to evangelism as our first priority. We must do it everywhere, every day, and if necessary, get a job and work in order to get the message out.


In every evangelistic advance recorded in Acts, the Holy Spirit is the motivator and energizer. In the modern church, especially in western nations, managerial skills and committee meetings often replace dependence on the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the director of evangelism. There are many passages in Acts that illustrate the Holy Spirit at work, but the following are central in terms of evangelism.

·         Acts 1:8:  The Holy Spirit is to empower the witness of believers.

·         Acts 2:  The gift of the Holy Spirit was given and promised to all believers.

·         Acts 4:  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, testified regarding the miracle experienced by the lame man in Acts 3.

·         Acts 4:31:  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness.

·         Acts 5:52:  Peter declared that we are witnesses along with the Holy Spirit.

·         Acts 7:51: Stephen charged Jewish leaders that did not accept the Gospel with resisting the Holy Spirit.

·         Acts 9:17:  Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit after his conversion.

·         Acts 10: The Holy Spirit fell upon the house of Cornelius, bringing them to conversion.

·         Acts 11:12:  Peter explained that he went to Caesarea because of the Holy Spirit's instructions to him.

·         Acts 13:2:  The Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas into evangelistic work.

·         Acts 16:6:  The Holy Spirit forbid Paul to minister in Asia.

The Holy Spirit directs evangelism through the Word of God, by supernatural guidance, by calling and enabling workers, and by correcting our plans to bring them into harmony with God's purpose.


When Jesus first began His ministry, He announced a six point plan: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)

Jesus followed this plan throughout His earthly ministry, and the first church continued with this pattern. Jesus later gave a plan for the extension of the Gospel to the nations of the world (Acts 1:8).  The disciples were to first evangelize Jerusalem, then go on to Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world.  This is still the Lord's plan for evangelism.  You are to start right where you are and continue in ever-expanding circles until you are touching the nations of the world.

Your "Jerusalem" is the community in which you live. There are thousands of Christians who give to and pray for missions, but have never walked across the street to tell a neighbor about Jesus.  Some churches have tremendous missions programs overseas, but are doing nothing to evangelize their own city, except for those who happen to come into their church building.


Satanic opposition was actually used by God in New Testament times to further the cause of evangelism. Study the following passages:

·         Acts 12:1-24:  Herod killed James, then imprisoned Peter. This was political opposition.

·         Acts 16:16-40 and 19:23-41:  Evangelism conflicted with business interests in the cities of Ephesus and Philippi.  Persecution arose from the economic world.

·         Acts 4-7: In these chapters there is a record of persecution from the religious leaders of the time.

·         Acts 11:  This passage records opposition from within the church itself because of the tradition of the Jews. This is internal opposition.

·         Acts 8, 13, and 16: These chapters record direct Satanic opposition through Simon, Elymas, and a demon possessed girl.

When you are invading Satan's kingdom with the good news of the Gospel, you must expect opposition from the political, economic, and religious worlds.  You must also expect internal attacks from within the church and direct attacks from Satan.  Rather than permitting these attacks to stop you, use them as opportunities to further the Gospel as they did in New Testament times.


All New Testament evangelistic methods can be considered under either personal or group evangelism.  The ministry of Jesus, the disciples, Paul the Apostle, and others demonstrate the importance of both formal and informal approaches. Jesus ministered to many large groups while He was on earth. These occasions stand out in our minds because of the excitement that marked these events.  But from the beginning to the end of His ministry Jesus also invested His life in winning men and women one by one through personal evangelism.  In the parable about the lost sheep in Luke 15:3-7, Jesus was clearly describing His own method of evangelism, for He called Himself the Good Shepherd.  

Peter preached to crowds in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2).  This was group evangelism.  He also shared the Gospel personally with Cornelius (Acts 10).  This was personal evangelism.  Philip preached to great crowds in Samaria (Acts 8:5-6) and personally to the Ethiopian man in the dessert (Acts 8:27-35).   Paul had crowds so great in some of his meetings that they ended in riots!  But he never stopped dealing with individuals. Never get so involved with the masses that you forget the individual.  Jesus was constantly calling individuals out of the crowd to confront them with the claims of the Gospel of the Kingdom.  Both individual and group evangelism are effective Biblical methods.


New Testament evangelism was accompanied by the demonstration of God's power. Jesus commanded His disciples, "As you go. . .heal the sick, cast out demons." The demonstration of God's power takes the words you speak and makes them effective: His word was with power. . .And they were all amazed and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.  (Luke 4:32,36)

The demonstration of power confirms the Word with signs following: And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.  (Mark 16:20). God's power is present to heal as you evangelize: And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.  (Luke 5:17)

The power of God brings deliverance: When He called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)

God's power verifies the Gospel. To "verify" means to prove something. The power of the Holy Spirit proves the reality of God's Word: And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.  (John 6:2)

The demonstration of power directs people to God: And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

You will learn more about the demonstration of power and evangelism in Part Two of this course entitled "As You Go."


Believers in the first church were constantly on the move for the sake of the Gospel, effectively penetrating areas that were ready to receive the Word.  We call this being "strategically mobile" which means being able to move quickly to areas of receptivity. In Acts 8:1, we find that the church was forced into strategic mobility by persecution. When believers were scattered because of persecution in Jerusalem, they "went everywhere preaching the Word."

In Acts 8 there is an excellent example of strategic mobility. When Philip was in Samaria reaping a great spiritual harvest, the Lord called him to go to the desert.  God had a mission for him with an Ethiopian man who would play a tremendous role in evangelizing Africa. Philip immediately left Samaria and went to the desert. If we are to understand strategic mobility, we  must have both a "harvest" and a "soldier" mentality. In Matthew 9:36-38, Jesus compared world evangelism to the natural harvest. 
If we are to reap the harvest when it is ready, we must go where the harvest is when it is ripe.  We must be willing to move or stay in order to accommodate the harvest. We must also have a soldier mentality. When we become believers, we enlist in the spiritual army of the Kingdom of God.  We are called to "endure hardness as a good soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3). A soldier cannot retreat or go on leave just because things get tough. The test of a good soldier is not his appearance during a parade, but his performance on the battle field.

A soldier does not choose his assignment and he does not act today on the basis of orders received 20 years ago. They were good orders then, but have long sense become obsolete. Thus, a soldier of Jesus Christ is open to fresh assignments and revelations from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was speaking of strategic mobility when He told His followers that they were not to continue to sow on barren ground:

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.  (Matthew 10:14)

Paul followed this command of "dust shaking."  In Acts 13:51-52 the ministry the Gospel was rejected in Antioch of Pisidia, so Paul left there and went to Iconium.  Jesus was strategically mobile.  He went from village to village sharing the Gospel.  When the disciples tried to get Him to limit His ministry to one place, He said: I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent.  (Luke 4:43)


Networking is another New Testament method of evangelism.   Networking simply means team effort, people working together for the common cause of spreading the Gospel.  In New Testament times, evangelism was done by believers networking together for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Christians were not separated by denominational lines or busy promoting their own churches or organizations.  We must return to networking in order to make the best use of available resources to reap the great spiritual harvest God promised in these end times.  You will learn more about networking for evangelism in Chapter Fifteen of this course.


New Testament evangelism resulted in the formation of a local fellowship of believers.  This is called church planting.  The work of evangelism is not complete until new believers become a functioning part of the Church.  You will learn more about church planting  in Part Three of this course where you will study in detail the methods used by the Apostle Paul.  In New Testament times converts were turned to disciples within the context of the local church.  You will learn more about this process in Chapter Thirteen, "Decisions Or Disciples?"


The results of these New Testament methods of evangelism were tremendous: And a great number believed and turned unto the Lord.  (Acts 11:21)

A local congregation at Ephesus took the Gospel to every person in the province of Asia within two years (Acts 19:10).  A similar group at Thessalonica evangelized most of Greece (1 Thessalonians 1:8).  When the disciples came to Thessalonica, the tremendous results of their evangelistic efforts were summarized by religious leaders who said: These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (Acts 17:6)

They turned the world upside down--in a wicked and godless society, without printing presses, church buildings, seminaries, denominations,  mass communication, or rapid transportation.



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Summarize the basic principles of New Testament evangelism which you learned in this lesson.

3. What were the results of New Testament evangelism?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. You learned in this lesson that in New Testament times every home was a center of evangelism. Review the following events, all of which occurred in homes:

·         Acts 2: The Holy Spirit was given during a prayer meeting in the upper room of a home.

·         Acts 5:42:  Believers worshiped in the temple and in the home, and went house-to-house visiting, fellowshiping and worshiping.

·         Acts 8:3:  When Saul tried to defeat the Church, he did not concentrate efforts just on the temples of worship.  He entered every house trying to abort the spread of the Gospel.  Each home was a center of evangelism.

·         Acts 9:11,17:  Paul was discipled by Ananias in a home.

·         Acts 10: The first vision of the cross cultural expansion of the Gospel was given in a home as Peter prayed.

·         Acts 10:  The first message to the Gentiles was preached in a home.

·         Acts 12: A home prayer meeting resulted in Peter's deliverance from prison.

·         Acts 20:20 and 28:30-31:  Paul taught both publicly and house-to-house during his ministry.

·         Acts 20:7-12:  Paul was speaking in a home when Eutychus fell out of the window.

·         Acts 21:8-14:  Prophetic revelation occurred in homes.

·         1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3-5; Colossians 4:15; and Philemon 1:2:  Records of churches in homes.

2. The following questions will help you as you consider various approaches to evangelism.  Ask yourself, "Is this method." . .

·         Biblical:  Methods must be based upon principles derived from the Bible.

·         Effective:  The methods should be successful. Success is defined as a positive response to the Gospel by the unsaved.

·         Efficient:  Methods should represent the best use of spiritual resources in terms of people, materials, and finances.

·         Culturally Relevant:  What works in one nation may not be appropriate in another.  What works with one people group may be rejected by another.

3. Conduct your own study of the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles.  Identify additional principles of New Testament evangelism and examples of the principles studied in this lesson.





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define the word "parable."

·         Explain why Jesus used parables.

·         Identify principles of evangelism in parables taught by Jesus.

KEY VERSE: And with many such parables spake He the Word unto them, as they were able to hear it.  (Mark 4:33) 


In the previous lesson you studied New Testament methods of evangelism.  There are many New Testament parables which teach more about the evangelism process.  A parable is a story which uses an example from the natural world to illustrate a spiritual truth.  The actual meaning of the word "parable" is to "lay beside, to compare."  In parables, Jesus compared natural examples with spiritual truths.  A parable is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning. In this lesson you will study New Testament parables which teach principles of evangelism. 


The disciples once asked Jesus why He used parables to teach spiritual truths: And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speaketh thou unto them in parables?  (Matthew 13:10)

Jesus answered: Because it is given  unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.  (Matthew 13:11) Understanding of spiritual truths taught in parables was given to the disciples because they had spiritual minds.  Those without spiritual minds heard the parables and failed to understand them.  Spiritual truths can only be understood by a spiritual mind:

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (1 Corinthians 2:14)   A spiritually minded man is one who has been born again spiritually. Those with spiritual minds understand parables.  Those with carnal, sinful minds cannot understand.



Jesus told many parables which concern evangelism and explain how the Kingdom of God will spread throughout the world.  Study the following parables:

·         The Lost Sheep:  Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7

·         The Lost Coin:  Luke 15:8-10

·         The Lost Son:  Luke 15:11-32

These parables reveal God's concern for the lost and the urgency with which you should seek them.  It does not matter why they are lost.  The sheep wandered away. The coin was lost through carelessness.  The son was lost through his own rebellion.  God is not concerned with how men are lost, only that they be found.  You are to make every effort to find those lost in sin. You are to go where they are, not wait for them to come to you. The Empty Banquet Table:  Luke 14:15-23

Evangelism should not stop just because some refuse to respond to the invitation of the Gospel.  You are to seek the spiritually hungry and bring them into the spiritual banquet prepared by the Lord.

The Barren Fig Tree:  Luke 13:6-9

The fig tree is a natural symbol of the nation of Israel.  God raised up Israel as the nation through which He could reveal the Kingdom to the world.  God tried to get the "tree" of Israel to bring forth fruit among heathen nations by sharing their knowledge of the true God.  But Israel remained barren and unfruitful. Now God has raised up the Church for this purpose.  God nurtures believers in an attempt to make them productive, just as He did the nation of Israel.  His purpose is the same:  We are to bring forth "fruit" among the heathen by sharing our knowledge of the true God. God is not pleased with trees that produce no fruit.

The Talents:  Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27

The Man On A Long Journey:  Mark 13:34-37

The Servants:  Matthew 24:43-51;  Luke 12:39-46

The Watching Servants:  Luke 12:36-38

The Faithful Manager:  Matthew 25:14-30

These "servant" parables emphasize wise stewardship of the Gospel which has been entrusted to believers.  Each believer is given talents or special abilities to use to spread the Gospel.  Whether your abilities are great or small, you must use what God has given you.  When Jesus returns to earth, those who have properly used their abilities will be rewarded (Luke 16:10-12). 

The Sower:  Matthew 13:3-8; Mark 4:3-8; Luke 8:5-8

The Gospel is spread by sowing the seed of the Word of God.  There can be no multiplication without the Word.  The fruit depends on the life that is in the seed itself (the Word of God) and the response of the soil (man's response to the Word of God).  There will be varied responses to the sowing of the Word. Your responsibility is to sow.  As you sow the seed of the Word of God, some soil is ready and yields a harvest.  Other soil is not responsive and yields very little.  Even Jesus encountered unresponsive soils in His earthly ministry: And He could do there (his own country) no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6)

The Tares And The Wheat:  Matthew 13:24-30

As you evangelize and new believers are added to the Church, Satan will try to defeat the process.  He will sow people  described as "weeds" among the good seed of God's Kingdom.  Some of the people who profess to be believers and come into  the church through evangelism are not sincere.  They are "weeds" planted by Satan.  Jesus does not want you to spend time and effort trying to separate the weeds from the wheat.  Keep sowing the seed and evangelizing.  When Jesus returns, the weeds will be separated during the harvest.

The Fishing Net:  Matthew 13:47-50

Jesus compared evangelism to a great net thrown into the sea.  All kinds of fish enter, but when the net is drawn to shore the good fish are separated from the bad.  The Kingdom of God will draw men and women from all nations.  Many will enter.  Some will be sincere, others will not.  In the final judgment when God draws in the net, the good and bad will be separated.  You are not called to separate, you are called to fish.

The Mustard Seed:  Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:31-32; Luke 13:19

The Kingdom of God will multiply like mustard seed.  The mustard seed is very small in the beginning, but in maturity it grows to great size.  The Kingdom of God on earth had a small beginning.  When Jesus returned to Heaven after His earthly ministry, He left behind a small group of followers to spread the Gospel.  That small group of believers has multiplied to thousands of followers in many nations. 

The Leaven:  Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:21

Like leaven in a lump of dough, the Gospel will spread throughout the whole "lump" of the world.  Like leaven, the power of the Kingdom is not external but it is internal.

The Vine And The Branches:  John 15:1-16

This parable describes the relationship between Jesus, us, and the evangelism process.  He is the spiritual vine and we are the branches.  We cannot bear fruit alone.  We are reproductive only as we are attached to the life flow of the branch, Jesus. Jesus wants to prune your life of everything that is not reproductive so you will bring forth spiritual fruit that remains.

The Harvest:  Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 10:2

In this parable, the field is the world. The harvest is the multitudes of men and women ready to respond to the Gospel message.  A great harvest waits to be reaped by the spiritual laborers of God.



Jesus taught other principles of evangelism in brief statements:

Light Of The World:  Matthew 5:14-16; Luke 8:16

The Gospel will spread as believers appear like lights from a city located on high ground which can be seen from miles around.  We are to bring the light of the world (Jesus) to a world filled with spiritual darkness.

Salt Of The Earth:  Luke 14:34

In Bible times, salt was rubbed into meat to preserve it from decay.  Believers are the spiritual salt rubbed into the world with the message of preservation (salvation) which will save them from the decay (spiritual death) of sin.

Treasures In Heaven:  Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:15

Believers are not to be concerned with treasures of the world.  As we share the Gospel, we lay up spiritual treasures in Heaven.

The Broad Gate:  Matthew 7:14

You cannot judge the right way in terms of numbers only.  The way to Hell draws many while the way to eternal life is found by few.

Many Works:  Matthew 7:22

Many wonderful works will be done by some people.  But doing great works is not necessarily the same as doing God's will and accomplishing His purposes.  God's work must be done by His people in His way.

Little Is Much:  Matthew 10:42; Matthew 14:15-21

Everything done in the name of Jesus, even that which seems small, is productive.  The miracle of the loaves and fishes illustrate how God multiplies and uses what little we have to offer.  This is true of the smallest efforts at evangelizing.

Growth Requires Change:  Mark 2:21-22; 7:13

New growth requires change.  You cannot contain the new in old vessels of tradition and sinful lifestyles.  The powerful potential of the Gospel is hindered by men who cling to traditions and refuse to change.

Gain By Losing:  Mark 8:34-37; 10:29-30

Receive By Giving:  Luke 6:38

Worldly principles teach that you gain by obtaining more and more.  Jesus taught that you gain everything when you lose everything.  What appears to be loss in the natural world is gain in the spiritual world.  As you give yourself to the task of world evangelism, you will gain eternal rewards.

Death Brings Life:  John 12:24

To be a reproductive disciple you must die to the desires of your flesh.  You must be dead to sin and abandon your own way to follow Jesus in reaping the spiritual harvest fields of the world.


In relation to evangelism, the teachings of Jesus reveal that He is not pleased with: 

·         Fishing without catching.

·         An empty banquet table.

·         Sowing without reaping.

·         A tree that bears no fruit.

·         Lost sheep not brought to the fold.

·         A lost coin that is sought but not found.

·         Lost sons that do not return.

·         Unproductive servants.

·         Unresponsive spiritual soil.

·         Ripe harvests that are not reaped. 

Our Father, who is not willing that one person should perish, is interested in results through evangelism: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9) 



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Define the word "parable."

3. Why did Jesus use parables to teach His followers?

4. Briefly describe the evangelism principle taught in each of the following parables:

·         The Empty Banquet Table:

·         The Barren Fig Tree:

·         The Lost Sheep, Coin, And Son:

·         The Servant Parables:

·         The Sower:

·         The Tares And The Wheat:

·         The Fishing Net:

·         The Mustard Seed:

·         The Leaven:

·         The Vine And The Branches:

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. Continue your study of principles of evangelism revealed in New Testament parables.  Use the references given in this lesson to study each of the parables of Jesus in more detail.  Can you discover additional principles of evangelism?

2. Examine your own life in light of the teaching on evangelism revealed in these parables: 

·         Are you fishing without catching?

·         Are you sowing without reaping?

·         Are you like a tree that bears no fruit?

·         Are you seeking for "lost sheep"?

·         Are you a productive servant?

·         Is the soil where you are laboring responsive?

·         Are you doing your part in reaping the spiritual harvest in your own community? Your nation? The world?





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define personal evangelism.

·         List three ways personal evangelism is done.

·         Explain how to lead a soul to Christ.

KEY VERSE: Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him, for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.  (John 4:39)


You have learned that New Testament methods of sharing the Gospel included both personal and group evangelism.  In this lesson you will learn how to do personal evangelism.  In Chapter Ten you will learn how to deal with difficulties you may encounter in personal evangelism.


Personal evangelism is just what the name reflects: It is sharing the Gospel personally with individuals.  It is person-to-person, one-to-one evangelism.  Personal evangelism is done in one of the following three ways:


You are a silent witness to the Gospel by your Christian lifestyle.  Your life will be a witness to something, whether intentionally or not.  If your life is not in harmony with your verbal witness of the Gospel, it hinders people from responding to salvation. Although Christian conduct is the strongest silent witness, some people also wear "religious" jewelry or hang Biblical verses or pictures in their home, business, or car. Sometimes these items lead to a verbal witness when an unsaved person asks about them.


Gospel tracts are brief messages from the Word of God usually commercially printed on small pieces of paper.  They are inexpensive and light weight, so large numbers can be carried and freely distributed to those with whom you come in contact. You can give a Gospel tract to anyone--those you do business with, friends, relatives, even people you pass on the street.  You can enclose them in letters you write and leave them in libraries, stores, restaurants, and offices.  You can also place them in bus, train, or airplane stations.   

When you personally give a Gospel tract to someone say, "Here is something good to read" or "Here is something that changed my life and I would like to share it with you."  Statements like these often lead to a verbal witness of the Gospel. When you select tracts for personal evangelism, consider the following questions:

1. Does the tract answer a question someone is really asking?  If it does, people will be interested in reading it.

2. Is it brief?  It must be short and to the point or people may tire of reading it before they complete the message.

3. Does it speak positively without criticizing another faith?

4. Does it use religious language that unsaved people will not understand?

5. Is the print large enough to be easily read?

6. Does the tract share the basic Gospel message? 

7. Does it offer an opportunity to respond and accept Jesus Christ as Savior?

Write your name, address, and telephone number somewhere on the tract so if a person wants additional spiritual help they can contact you.  Many commercially produced tracts provide a blank space for this.  A tract is not a substitute for a verbal witness, but a supplement to it.  The value of a tract is that it can continue its witness after you are gone.


Although a silent witness and sharing the Gospel with tracts are both effective, remember that these are not all the Great Commission requires.  It requires that you verbally share the Gospel.

Verbal witness in personal evangelism is usually done on an informal basis rather than by formal preaching or teaching. It may be done by going house-to-house sharing the Gospel.  It can be done in homes for the aged, hospitals, prisons, schools, businesses, and at special evangelistic events.  You can personally share the Gospel with friends, relatives, neighbors, and school and business associates. You can do personal evangelism by becoming a counselor at a mass crusade or an altar worker in your church.  In personal evangelism, you can share the Gospel with anyone with whom you come in contact.

Personal evangelism can be done in an interview style, like Jesus did with the woman at the well in John 4. You can focus on something you observe a person doing or a visible need you might see they have. You can ask them leading questions that provide opportunity to share the Gospel.

Personal evangelism may be done by sharing with others the testimony of what Jesus has done in your life. In John 4, the Samaritan woman returned to the city and shared her personal experience. As a result, many people came to meet Jesus and hear the Gospel. The Scriptures record that. . .many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him, for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.  (John 4:39)

The woman's testimony was brief, because as yet she knew little about the Lord.  She simply said, "He told me all that ever I did."  What she did know about the Lord was a reality to her.  It was first-hand knowledge and God wonderfully used her words. God will bless the faltering testimony of a new believer who knows personally of what he speaks more than the theologically correct message of one who is preaching things not real in his own heart.

Sharing the story of how you came to know Jesus and what He means to you is a powerful evangelistic tool. Your testimony brings Jesus out of the pages of the Bible, away from religion and the church, and shows Him to be alive and working today. People might be able to dismiss the Bible or religion, but they cannot deny the reality of a true experience.  A person with an experience is never at the mercy of one with an argument! If you are nervous about giving your testimony, it is helpful to write it out and study it before you share it with others. Here are some questions to think about as you prepare your testimony:

·         What led you to start thinking about God?

·         How did you come to know Jesus?

·         What difference has knowing Him made in your life?

·         What difference has it made in your family?

·         How has your life been changed?

·         What wonderful or miraculous things have occurred?  

  (For example, have you been healed or delivered from drugs or alcohol?)

After you write out your testimony, first share it with a Christian friend. Ask them to suggest changes that might help you lead an unbeliever to the Lord.  Then practice your testimony until you can share it without using notes. Personal evangelism can even include sharing a song with someone. The Psalmist David wrote: And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God:  many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.  (Psalms 40:3)

According to this verse, the song of praise to God is a testimony that can result in the salvation of many.


The goal of all personal evangelism is leading men and women, boys and girls, to ask forgiveness of sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.  Over the years, many methods for leading someone to Jesus have been developed which use different numbers of points and various approaches to sharing the Gospel. While such plans can be helpful, there is no one method of personal evangelism that will work in every situation. Each person to whom you witness is different, with differing needs and problems. These differences call for various approaches rather than using routine memorized points. You need to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as He is the one who draws men to salvation.  He knows exactly what the person you are witnessing to needs, for He searches the heart of man.

One thing all unsaved people have in common, however, is sin and the need for a Savior. Because of this, regardless of how the Holy Spirit may lead you to share the Gospel, your witness must always be focused on the goal of leading that person to Christ. To accomplish this, somewhere in the presentation your personal witness must include the following:


Review Chapter Three of this manual which focuses on the message of the evangelism. The basic elements of the Gospel are given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Review this passage in your Bible. The basic message is that all men everywhere have sinned, Jesus died for sin, He was buried, and He rose again according to the Scriptures. Here are some verses helpful in presenting the Gospel:

·         God is a holy God:   I Peter 1:16; Habakkuk 1:13

·         Because He is holy, sin separates men from God: Isaiah 59:2

·         Sin is universal; all have sinned: Romans 3:10-12,23

·         The penalty for sin is death: Ezekiel 18:20; Romans  6:23; Psalms 9:17

·         God is not willing that any should perish: I Peter 3:9; John 3:16; Romans 5:8

·         To provide salvation for all men, God  made a sacrifice sufficient for all: Hebrews 10:10; John 1:29; Galatians 2:20

·         Jesus bore the penalty of sin for all men when He died on the cross: I Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:6,10

·         The offer of salvation is universal: 1 Timothy 2:4

·         The command to repent is universal: Acts 17:30

·         The invitation to believe is universal: Romans 10:9-11

·         The sinner must repent and accept Jesus to benefit  from this sacrifice for sin: John 1:12; 5:24


In the business world, the word "closing" is very important. "Closing" means to conclude a sale with a positive response from the prospective buyer.  Closing is also important in personal evangelism. Almost persuading someone to accept Jesus is not enough to save them from Hell. As in business, delaying the closing by waiting to make a decision later often results in a negative response. 

Leaders in the business world teach that closing starts the minute they begin their sales technique with the prospective buyer. Throughout the presentation they get the person to make little agreements with them. This leads to the final agreement to purchase their product.

This approach can be applied spiritually to evangelism.  As you share the Gospel, lead the unsaved person to small agreements.  This can be done by asking questions such as the following:

·         What do you think?

·         Have you ever thought about. . .?

·         Do you think people feel that. . .?

·         Do you think that is unusual?

·         Have you ever had that happen to you?

·         Have you had that problem?

Keep the person participating in the conversation. Provide a little information, then ask a question that calls for a response. Jesus used this technique with the woman at the well in John 4 and with Nicodemus in John 3. As you conclude your presentation, build upon their own responses to close with a final positive response to the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel without providing an opportunity to respond is witnessing, but it is not evangelism. We are called to win, not just witness. Closing your presentation of the Gospel is asking, in some form, two questions:

1. "Do you understand what I have been telling you?" This provides opportunity to clear up any questions and objections and make sure they understand before you call for the final response.

2. "Would you like to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?" Lead the person in a prayer asking forgiveness of sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. Always remember that in personal evangelism you are doing much more than selling a product or promoting a church or denomination. You are dealing with the eternal destiny of souls. Entrance into the Kingdom of God is similar to accepting a wedding invitation, as Jesus implied in His parable of the marriage dinner in Matthew 22:2-5. Only those who respond positively to the invitation can enter in.  It is not enough to say, "I plan to attend."

When Jesus said to His disciples, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19), He was giving a natural example of a spiritual truth.  No fisherman simply throws in his line or net.  He must also pull it in to make a catch.


In the Great Commission recorded in  Matthew 28:19-20, there are two types of teaching mentioned. The first is the sharing of the Gospel to lead people to salvation.  The second is the teaching of new converts after they accept the Lord.  Evangelism (the first type of teaching) is not complete without discipleship (the follow-up teaching).   All new converts should receive follow-up ministry after they have received Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Immediate follow up includes assurance of salvation, confessing Christ publicly, baptism in water, baptism in the Holy Spirit, developing a devotional life, and becoming part of a local church.  You will learn more about follow-up in Chapter Thirteen entitled "Decisions Or Disciples?"



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Define personal evangelism.

3. List three ways personal evangelism is done.

4. Explain how to lead someone to Christ.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


1. Many unsaved people live in nations closed to traditional evangelistic approaches.  Foreign missionaries are not granted visas and there can be no open proclamation of the Gospel in crusades or similar events. In these nations, personal evangelism is most important. One way believers evangelize in these nations is by something called "tent making."  You already learned how the Apostle Paul worked to support himself through his profession of tent making.

In nations that are closed to traditional evangelism, believers are now entering on work visas, securing jobs to support themselves, and then sharing the Gospel personally with those around them.  Although these believers are doing secular work, their main work is personal evangelism.  This concept of sharing the Gospel is called "tent making."

2. When you are doing personal evangelism, be careful about using religious terms or phrases that an unsaved person may not understand. These might include "saved, born again, filled with the Spirit, Christian, hallelujah," etc.  Many of these words are common to you as a believer, but the unsaved do not understand them.

3. In personal evangelism, do not hesitate to share the Gospel with children.  Make a simple presentation of the basic elements of the Gospel.  If they can understand these, call for a response and lead them to Jesus.

4. You can turn ordinary conversations into opportunities to share the Gospel.  Here are some suggestions:

When someone asks:  "Could you tell me what time it is?"

Answer:  "According to my watch or according to the Bible?"

Continue the conversation:  Give them the actual time, but share that the Bible also speaks of time. It says it is time for all who do not know the Lord to repent and come to Him.

When someone asks:  "What's new?"

Answer:  "What kind of news do you want to hear? Good news or bad news?"

Continue the conversation:  Their response will probably be "Good news"--so share the good news of the Gospel.

When someone bumps you accidentally and says: "Excuse me. I am sorry."

Answer: "That's okay.  Accidents will happen.  Or maybe it wasn't an accident. . ."

Continue the conversation:  "Perhaps this was meant to happen so I could share something very special with you."

When a clerk gives you too much change, return the money and say: "You gave me back too much money."

Continue the conversation:  "There was a time in my life when I would have kept it, but since I became a Christian things have changed."  Then share how the Gospel has impacted your life.

When a store clerk asks:  "May I help you?"

Answer:  "Yes, if you will permit me to help you in return."

Continue the conversation:  The clerk will probably ask, "How can you help me?"  Tell her!

When someone asks for a light for a cigarette, say:  "I do not use them since the explosion."

Continue the conversation:  It is almost guaranteed that the person will ask, "What
explosion?"  Answer, "The one that took place in my life when I became a Christian."

When you answer a telephone and the person says, "Sorry.  I have the wrong number."

Answer:  "No, you really dialed the right number."

Continue the conversation:  They will probably say, "What do you mean.?"  Tell them that perhaps this happened to provide them an opportunity to hear about something that can change their life and eternal destiny.

Can you think of other unique opportunities that every day contacts might provide in terms of sharing the Gospel?  Think about this, prepare some responses of your own, and be ready to use them.  Always remember, however, no one approach is right in every situation.  Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  His approach is always the right one!

6. You will understand the importance of personal evangelism when you consider the following:

·         Mass Evangelism is important, but many unsaved people will not come to hear the evangelist.  There are not enough mass evangelists, and there are many countries where this method is not permitted because of government regulations.

·         Radio Evangelism is effective, but the majority of the people of the world do not have  radios.  When anti-Christian governments are in power, they eliminate this approach.

·         Television Evangelism is effective, but the majority of the people of the world do not have televisions.  When anti-Christian governments are in power, they also eliminate this approach.

·         Literature Evangelism has its place, but many people cannot read, there is not enough literature available, and we cannot get Christian literature into some nations.

·         Church Building Centered Evangelism has its place, but many do not have church buildings.  There is not time or money to erect buildings sufficient to evangelize the world by this approach.  Church buildings are forbidden in many nations. All other methods of evangelism combined will never evangelize the world without personal evangelism.

7. Study the personal evangelism done by Jesus:

·         Andrew, John, and Peter: John 1:35-42

·         Philip and Nathanael: John 1:43-51

·         Nicodemus: John 3

·         The woman of Samaria: John 4

·         The nobleman: John 4:46-54

·         The call of Simon, Andrew, John, and James: Luke 5:1-11

·         A leper: Mark 1:40-45

·         The paralytic carried by his friends: Mark 2:1-12

·         The call of Matthew: Mark 2:13-17

·         The infirm man at Bethesda: John 5

·         The man with the withered hand: Luke 6:6-11

·         The centurion: Luke 7:1-10

·         The widow of Nain: Luke 7:11-17

·         The sinful woman in Simon's house: Luke 7:36-50

·         The Gadarene demoniac: Mark 5:1-20

·         Jairus and his family: Mark 5:21-43

·         The woman with an issue of blood: Mark 5:25-34

·         The two blind men: Matthew 9:27-31

·         The dumb demoniac: Matthew 9:32-34

·         The Syrophenician woman: Matthew 15:21-28

·         The deaf and dumb man: Mark 7:32-37

·         The blind man near Bethsaida: Mark 8:22-26

·         The demoniac boy: Mark 9:14-29

·         The woman caught in adultery: John 8:1-11

·         The three prospective disciples: Luke 9:51-62

·         The lawyer: Luke 10:25-37

·         The man born blind: John 9

·         The woman bowed together: Luke 13:10-21

·         The rich young ruler: Matthew 19:16-22

·         The blind men near Jericho: Mark 10:46-52

·         Zacchaeus: Luke 10:1-10

·         Judas Iscariot: Luke 22; John 13; Matthew 27

·         Pilate: John 18-19; Luke 23

·         Herod: Luke 23; Mark 15

·         The two thieves: Luke 23:32-43

8. Study personal evangelism in the book of Acts:

·         Peter and John with the lame man: 3:1-11

·         Philip with Simon the sorcerer: 8:9-24

·         Philip and the eunuch: 8:26-40

·         Ananias and Saul of Tarsus: 9:10-20

·         Peter a with Aeneas and Dorcas: 9:32-42

·         Peter with Cornelius: 10:1-11,18

·         Paul with Elyman: 13:6-12

·         Barnabas and Saul with Sergius Paulus: 13:7-12

·         Paul and Silas with Lydia: 16:12-15

·         Paul and Silas with the Philippian jailer: 16:23-40

·         Paul's house-to-house evangelism in Ephesus: 20:17-35

·         Paul with Felix and Drusilla: 24:24-27

·         Paul with King Agrippa: chapter 26

·         Paul with Publius and his father: 28:7-11

·         Paul in his own house in Rome: 28:16-31





Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain why people make excuses.

·         Deal with common difficulties that arise in personal evangelism.


For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.  (Romans 1:20)


This lesson provides guidelines for dealing with difficult situations you may encounter in evangelism.  It is not possible to cover every difficulty you might have, but we have focused on the most common problems. Remember that these are only suggestions for dealing with difficulties based on experiences of those who have previously engaged in evangelism.  It is important that you rely first upon the power of the Holy Spirit in difficult situations, as each one is unique.


It is helpful if you understand why people make excuses or raise objections in evangelism encounters.  Sometimes Satan inserts questions or objections into a person's mind.  Always remember that you are in a spiritual warfare for the souls of men and women. Some people raise objections that are not original with them. They have heard someone else bring them up and they are just stalling or trying to get you off of the subject.  Others bring up objections that really are hindering them in making a decision for Christ.  These must be dealt with successfully before they can accept the Gospel. Every excuse or objection can be answered by the Word of God.  Never allow objections to inflame your anger or force you into an argument.  When this happens you lose control of the evangelistic encounter and the excuse effectively accomplishes its purpose. 

The remainder of this lesson is organized by headings describing various responses you might receive while sharing the Gospel. As you study these, remember what God says about excuses:

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power
and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)


Some people feel they are not good enough to come to the Lord and they want to wait to make themselves better.

Show them that God requires faith, not moral fitness.  Jesus came into the world to save sinners, not the righteous (Matthew 9:12-13; Luke 18:19).  Outward reform is not sufficient if the heart remains unchanged.  Use the following verses: Isaiah 1:18-19; Acts 2:38; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 John 1:7; John 6:37; Revelation 22:17; Romans 5:8,16,20.


Show him that the "way of the transgressor is hard" (Proverbs 13:15).  Jesus teaches that His yoke is easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:28).  The pleasures of sin are only for a short time but real and lasting joy comes through salvation (I Peter 1:5 and Jude 24).


Agree with him and share a summary of Romans 7 which agrees with his statement.  Then determine if his problem is he "can not" or "will not."  Explain that when he becomes a believer, he can do all things through the power of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:13).  Emphasize that sin is slavery, and the only way he can escape is through the blood of Jesus  (John 8:34; Romans 7-8).


Ask him if it was possible for it to be changed, would he want that?  Then share Ezekiel 36:26-27 and John 6:37.


This is true, but show him what kind of company it will be using Revelation 22:15.  Share with him that companionship of friends or relatives will not lessen the distress described in Revelation 20:10.


Explain that no one understands everything completely, but the response God requires in regard to salvation is very easily understood.  Explain that there are some things that cannot be understood until he becomes a believer. (See 1 Corinthians 2:14.) See if there is any difficulty in understanding John 3:16; Acts 16:31; 2:38; 3:19; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 22:16; and 6:1-4.  Also use the following verses:  John 7:17; 1 John 5:9-12; Mark 16:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.


Sometimes people have just heard others use this excuse and are only repeating what they have heard.  Ask him to show you one of the contradictions.  Usually the person cannot do this.  If they show you what they think is a contradiction, explain it.  If you do not know the answer, find out!


This may be true in terms of moral standards and good deeds, but we are not saved on the basis of these.  Use the following verses:  Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:7; Acts 17:30; 22:16; Philippians 3:4-7; Romans 2:1; 14:13


A person may use the excuse that a relative or friend would object or laugh at them if they become a believer.  Read the warnings in Luke 9:26; Romans 14:12; and Acts 5:29.   Let him know persecution is to be expected (2 Timothy 2:12; 3:12; 2 Corinthians 4:16,18).  They may also claim they want to wait for someone else, such as their husband or wife.  Use Matthew 10:37.  They may fear losing their sinful friends if they become a Christian.  Share James 4:4, Psalms 1:1-2, and Proverbs 18:24.


Agree with him.  Jesus said this would be so (Matthew 13:25,47).  But this does not affect the claims of Christ on his own soul.  Show him that no hypocrites will be in Heaven (Revelation 21:8).  Perhaps he has been hurt by other believers.  Remind him that 1 Corinthians 2:5 says our faith rests in God rather than man.  Remind him that he will answer for himself at the time of judgment, not others.  Share Romans 2:1-5 and Revelation 20:12.


Point out that the Bible does not command us to join a denomination, but to become part of the one true Church through the born-again experience.  Do not invite anyone to join a denomination, but rather to obey Jesus and become part of the Body of Christ (Acts 2:47).  Remind them that salvation is only in Jesus, not in church membership (Acts 4:12).


This excuse may be offered by someone who considers himself to be a great sinner and/or someone who has lived his whole life in sin and is now quite old.  Remind him that God does not want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9) and that even the thief on the cross was saved in the final moments of his life (Luke 23:43).


Read the following verses to him:  Isaiah 55:6; Matthew 24:44;  Acts 17:30; 22:16;  2 Corinthians 6:2; Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 18:21; Hebrews 2:3; James 4:13-14


God is the answer to difficult problems. Share 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13.


Some people claim they have been seeking an experience with the Lord but have been unable to find it. Share the following verses:  Jeremiah 29:13; Luke 19:10; John 1:12


Share Romans 2:4-5; 2 Peter 3:9-11; John 5:40; Ezekiel 33:11.


People often use the excuse that they cannot forgive someone who has done them wrong, so they cannot be saved themselves.  It is true that this may be impossible with the unregenerated mind, but as a Christian, God can help them do this. Share Mark 11:25 and James 4:6.


Some people use this excuse because they think becoming a believer means they have to give up their job and go full-time in the ministry.  Explain that this is not so.  Ask what business he is in.  If his profession does not conform to Christian principles, then it will be necessary to give it up.  It is better to do that than lose his soul.  Share Mark 8:36.


Compliment him for his sincerity in being concerned about failure, but point out that God has promised power to help him overcome sin. Share Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 10:13; I Peter 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:12; and Hebrews 13:5. Consider the reasons why they may have failed.  Did they try instead of trust in God? Did they cover their sins instead of confessing them?  Did they go the way of the world instead of the Word of God?  Did they read the Bible, pray, and attend church regularly? Create hope and encourage him to try again.  Remind him that the mercies of God are renewed each day and never fail (Lamentations 3:21-24).  Share also 2 Corinthians 9:8; 12:9; 1 John 1:9; Jude 24; 2 Timothy 1:12; I Peter 1:5.  It is trusting, not trying, that brings salvation. Share John 1:12; and Romans 4:3-5.


Sometimes when you have led a person to the Lord he does not have the assurance of salvation.  Tell him that to refuse to believe God's Word is sin (Romans 14:23).  Share the following verses about assurance of salvation: John  1:12; 3:16,18,36; 5:24;  Acts 10:43; 13:39;  Ephesians 1:17-20; 2:8; Jude 24, 2 Timothy 1:12; I Peter 1:5,18-19; 1 John 1:7; 5:13; Hebrews 9:22-10:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 5:1,9; 3:25; 8:16.


Read Luke 10:10-12.  When you are evangelizing and the Gospel is totally rejected, you are to move on to another person or area that is receptive.



1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Why do people make excuses in evangelism encounters?

3. How would you deal with the following common difficulties that arise in personal evangelism? Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

"I am not good enough."

"The Christian life is too hard."

"I cannot give up my evil ways."

"My heart is too hard."

"I will have lots of company in Hell."

"I do not believe in the Bible."

"There are too many contradictions in the Bible."

"I am doing the best I can."

"Others are standing in my way."

"There are hypocrites in the church."

"I am of another faith."

"It is too late for me."

"I would rather not accept Christ now."

"My problems are too difficult."

"I have been seeking, but cannot find."

"God is too good to punish me."

"I cannot forgive someone."

"It is not possible because of my business."

"I tried once and failed."

"I do not have assurance."

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)


Here are some things to remember when you are dealing with difficulties in evangelism:

1. Remember that you are engaging in a spiritual battle over the souls of men and women. Do not fight a spiritual battle with carnal weapons of debate and anger.

2. Do not just dismiss an objection as not important.  It may be very important to the person.

3. Do not spend too much time on an excuse. Deal with it quickly, gently, and effectively, then return to the main point of the discussion which is their commitment to Christ.

4. Do not argue.

5. Do not get angry.

6. Be courteous and tactful.

7. Rely upon the Spirit of God and the Word of God.

8.Keep returning to the main point.

9. Do not criticize.

10. Do not condemn.

11. Do not become discouraged and give up.





Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define "saturation evangelism."

·         Summarize the Biblical basis of saturation evangelism.

·         Discuss the basic principles of saturation evangelism.

·         Discuss the pattern of saturation evangelism.

·         Explain how a local pastor can prepare his congregation for saturation evangelism.

KEY VERSE: Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.  (Romans 15:19)


To "saturate" means to "fill completely with something that permeates."  Saturation evangelism is an approach to spreading the Gospel that functions much like leaven in bread dough.  Its purpose is to spread the Gospel until an entire area is permeated and affected.  Starting first in a local community (your Jerusalem), saturation evangelism spreads to permeate your state or province and eventually your nation.


The phrase "saturation evangelism" is not found in the Bible, but neither are evangelism, personal evangelism, or mass evangelism. The New Testament emphasis is on the work of evangelism although these specific terms are not used.  However, saturation evangelism is well illustrated in the New Testament.  The city council reported that the apostles had filled Jerusalem with their doctrine (Acts 5:28).  The churches in all Judaea, Galilee, and Samaria were edified.  All that lived in Lydda and Saron turned to the Lord and all Joppa was informed of the Gospel (Acts 9:31,35,42).  Thousands of Jews turned to the Lord (Acts 21:20).  In Antioch of Pisidia and in Ephesus, it was recorded that "the Word of the Lord was published throughout all the region"  (Acts 13:49). 

All that lived in Asia heard God's Word, (Acts 19:10), and perhaps the greatest report on saturation evangelism came from the pen of the Apostle Paul: Through mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ. Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation. . .  But as it is written, To whom He was not spoken of they shall see; and they that have not heard shall understand.  (Romans 15:19-21)


Saturation evangelism is based upon the following principles:


The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church: But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  (2 Corinthians 9:6)

Applied to evangelism, this law of harvest means that only the church that works at evangelism can expect to harvest lost souls. No matter how good the seed, how fertile the ground, or how skillful the farmer is, he cannot reap without first sowing. Pastors and churches who do not sow in evangelism do not reap the results of evangelism.   Saturation evangelism requires that you invest time, people, effort, prayer, tears, and funds in evangelism.


The Biblical record reveals that God prefers not to work by many, but rather by few. You will remember that God sent home the extra warriors of Gideon's army and used a small band of 300 men. It only took a few Spirit-filled disciples to "turn the world upside down" (Acts 17:6), and that is all it takes today. Even if every believer were mobilized for evangelism, in some cities and nations, they would still be a minority in comparison to the total population. But this does not hinder saturation evangelism. When God does great things through a few people, all the glory goes to Him instead of man.


Saturation evangelism requires that every believer is motivated and mobilized for the task of evangelism. This mobilization involves a vertical relationship from God to you, motivating you with compassion for a lost and dying world.  It also requires a horizontal relationship from one person to another.  When God moves you by His Spirit, your zeal becomes contagious and spreads to others. Traditionally, evangelism has centered around the pastor.  In saturation evangelism, the emphasis changes from the pulpit to the pew. Yet it is not a movement which sets aside the pastor, for his role as leader is more important than ever.  He is the one to mobilize the local congregation.

Mobilization of the church for evangelism must be based on the Scriptural concept of spiritual gifts, with each member functioning in an area for which he is gifted.  (The Harvestime International Institute course "Mobilization Methodologies" explains "gift based mobilization" in detail.)


In saturation evangelism when we speak of the church, we mean the local congregation, the church as a denomination or group of churches, and the Church as the entire universal community of true believers.

Saturation evangelism should involve the local church, but it should also spread to denominational levels. If every local church and every denomination would give itself to such in-depth evangelism, this would result in the mobilization of the universal community of true believers. Basic to this framework of mobilization is the conviction that the Church is the channel which God has chosen to reveal the mystery of the Gospel to the world (Ephesians 3:9-10).


In modern times many churches have adopted a "come" approach to evangelism.  They open their church doors at service time and wait for the unsaved to come.  But the New Testament teaches a "go" methodology.  The church is to go out into the world with the Gospel.  Saturation evangelism requires that people get out of the pew and into the world.  The major evangelistic thrust is done by the church, but not in the church.


Saturation evangelism requires a united witness with other believers and other denominations.  Such a witness does not require compromise of personal convictions or denominational emphasis.  It is the unity of spirit enabled by God's Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).  Our spirits are united for the task of evangelism. God's people are called the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).  If this is true, then we should act as a body and not as unrelated and uncoordinated members.  (You will learn more about this as you study "Networking For Evangelism" in Chapter Fifteen.)  Saturation evangelism attempts to enlist as many churches, missions, denominations, and organizations as possible to cooperate in evangelism.


The Great Commission was given to all followers of Christ and the command was to every creature.  Saturation evangelism means using every legitimate means available, to reach every person, presenting the whole Gospel to all men. In many cases, our evangelism goals are set too low.  We have thought only in terms of one small geographic area. Working with limited funds and limited vision, we sometimes believe we have fulfilled our responsibility when we have worked in a small portion of a city or country. When Christ commanded us to go and disciple the nations He meant for us to reach whole nations.  Saturation evangelism is global in nature, for as whole nations are reached the world will be reached.


Saturation evangelism takes various forms as it is applied throughout the world.  The cultures of the world differ and it is natural that evangelism in different cultures will assume different patterns.  We must recognize a method that is effective in one culture may not be effective in another. The basic pattern of saturation evangelism, however, is to design an outreach to penetrate every people group of every region of every nation and, ultimately, every nation of the world.  Here is the basic pattern of saturation evangelism:


For total saturation of a nation, there must be a coordinated local, regional (state or province), and national evangelistic effort.  To accomplish this, it is suggested that an evangelism committee be formed in each church.  This committee would concern itself with evangelism of its specific geographic area and individual people groups within that area.

A city-wide committee should be formed by local churches to coordinate evangelism within the city.  This would provide coordination rather than competition between churches at the local level. A regional committee would concern itself with the entire state or province, and a national committee with the national effort. The composition of each committee will vary depending on local, regional, and national circumstances and goals.  But each committee might have at least the following members:

·         Chairman:  Who directs and coordinates the committee.

·         Assistant-Chairman:  Who assists the chairman and substitutes for him in his absence.

·         Secretary:  To handle clerical duties, such as letters, notes on meetings, records, etc.

·         Finance Chairman:  Who handles funds, budgeting, and financial reporting.

·         Prayer Chairman: Who directs coordinated prayer efforts for evangelism.

·         Training Chairman:  Who organizes training for evangelism.

·         Supply Chairman:  Who is responsible for literature necessary for the evangelistic thrust, such as tracts and Bibles, as well as supplies such as maps, visitation cards, evangelistic books, films, tapes, etc.

·         Publicity Chairman:  Who handles advertisement of special events  on radio, television, newspapers, sound-cars, posters and flyers, as well as special mailings.


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