Summary: Now as we look at the Great Commission I hope that we can see that when Jesus spoke it, it wasn’t just to the apostles of that day. It was spoken for us today, the apostle of today, the messengers of today, the evangelist of today, which, if we are Chris
By: Mark Engler, Mt. Vernon Christian Church, Mt. Vernon, MO
How To Be A Good Evangelist
Text: Matt. 28:16-20: But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Before we take a look at all of that, I want to define what an evangelist is. Evangelist haven’t changed since New Testament times, when Jesus was speaking the Great Commission he was giving charge to evangelist, they didn’t use the term evangelist in that day they were disciples and later called apostles.
Disciples are students, like the 12 that accompanied Christ in His earthly ministry, after that though they became apostles. Apostles are what we are, not just like the 12 that were with Jesus. They had miraculous powers that were given to them, which we do not have today, but we are apostles in the same sense that they were. You might be wondering why I call us apostles.
According to Smith in Smith’s Bible Dictionary is says an apostle it, “One sent forth”. In the New Testament, the official name of the 12 disciples whom Jesus sent first to preach the gospel. In a nonofficial sense to designate a much wide circle of Christian messengers and teachers.
So you should see that in a nonofficial sense according to Smith we are apostles, because we all are Christian messengers and teachers. Lets not just take Smiths word for it though, lets see what God says about it. 2 Cor. 8:23 says: As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. Here it speaks of common Christians, brethren as messengers, again in Phil. 2:25 it says: But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need.
Epaphroditus was also just a common Christian, just like we are today and he is called a messenger and minister. So what is an apostle today? An apostle today is simply a messenger, or one sent forth. What we would call an evangelist or missionary today.
Now as we look at the Great Commission I hope that we can see that when Jesus spoke it, it wasn’t just to the apostles of that day. It was spoken for us today, the apostle of today, the messengers of today, the evangelist of today, which, if we are Christians, is who we are. So this message that I have today is for all of us since we all are responsible for the work of evangelism. We have the responsibility to spread the word here locally and worldwide.
Earlier I read the whole Great Commission, now lets work it down to verses 19 & 20, which I think is the core of it, verses 19 & 20 say, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This is one of the most powerful statements in the Bible. Jesus’ last words were a command to us to take action; they were to get us moving in the task He set forth for us to do.
Well, now I want to pick out all the verbs, all the action words. So lets go back to English class a minute and pick out all the verbs in this section.
There is GO, there is MAKE, there is BAPTIZING, there is TEACHING, there is OBSERVE, and there is COMMANDED. So now what is the most important one. GO is important, how are we going to spread the Gospel if we don’t go? BAPTIZING is important, how will we be following God’s word if we don’t baptize or be baptized. TEACHING is important, no one will be able to learn God’s word if they are not taught. OBSERVE and COMMANDED are very important also. But the one that I think is the most important is the on that you probably have already picked out because I skipped it. It is MAKE, MAKE includes all of these other verbs, in doing the going, the baptizing, the teaching, the observing and doing what Jesus commanded is all wound up in MAKE.