Important Messages

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hey Stranger!

When evangelism in the Bible took place, what was the primary method? Just as we learn about other biblical disciplines in light of Scripture (prayer, fasting, tithing, preaching, fellowship, reading the Word, etc.), we must also examine evangelism in light of God's Word, in particular, the New Testament. As we do this, we see clearly that the primary method of evangelism in the New Testament is to engage strangers. We should learn from the example Jesus gave us in the Gospels as well as the early Church in the book of Acts.

What we discover is that 87% of the witnessing encounters were to complete strangers. We see one stranger walking up to another stranger and getting into a conversation. Mark 16:15 commands us to "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Since we can't make friends with everybody, and we need to preach the good news to all creation, it makes sense that we see Jesus and the early Church talking to complete strangers almost 9 times out of 10.

Of the 89 instances of Christ and His associates doing evangelism in the four Gospels, 77 happened in the context of confrontational and 12 in the context of friendship/relational evangelism. Of the 46 instances of the early church engaging in evangelism as recorded in the book of Acts, 38 happened in the context of confrontational and 8 in the context of friendship/relational evangelism.

Scripture references for confrontational evangelism in the Life of Christ and the early Church are below:
Matthew: 3:1-17; 4:18-22; 23-25; 5-7; 8;1-4; 5-13, 18; 9:1-8, 9, 18-26, 27-31, 35-38; 10:1-11; 12:1-8, 9-13, 15, 22-30, 46; 13:1-12, 54-58; 14:13-21, 34-36; 15:21-28, 29-31, 32-39; 17:14-21; 16-26; 20:29-34; 21:8; 231-39; 17:11-14; 28:18-20
Mark: 5:1-20; 7:31-27; 8:22-26; 10:1-12; 16:15
Luke: 2:16, 36-38; 5:1-11; 7-16, 24-30, 36-39; 8:1-3; 9:10-11, 51-56; 10:1-16, 25-37; 11:14, 29-36; 12:13-21; 13:10-17, 22-30, 14:1-6, 25-35; 17:11-19; 18:15-17; 19:1-5, 28-44; 22:66-71; 23:42-43, 47-49;24:46-47
John: 1:35-42, 43-51; 3:22-36; 4:1-26, 39-42, 35:1-9; 6:22-59; 7:25-31, 32-36, 8:1-11; 9:1-41; 12:20-26; 18:20-21
Acts: 1:8; 2:5-13; 3:1-10, 11-26; 4:5-12; 5:12-16, 20-21; 6-7; 8:4, 5-8, 26-40; 9:17-19; 10:24; 11:19; 13:5, 6-12, 14-33, 44-45; 14:1-5, 7, 15, 16;11-15, 25-34;17:1-9, 10, 17, 22-34; 18:4-6, 7-11, 19; 20:20; 21:40-22:23; 23:1-11; 24:10-25; 26:1-32; 28:7-15, 17-22

Scripture references for relational/friendship evangelism in the Life of Christ and the early Church are below:
Matthew: 8:14-17; 11:19; 25:34-36; 26:6-13
Mark: 2:15-17
Luke: 7:36-39; 10:38-42; 11:37-44; 15:1-16:13; 19:5-10
John: 2:1-10; 11:1-44
Acts: 9:20-22; 19:8, 9; 20:20; 24:26-27; 27, 28:23, 30-31

Jesus said to "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Hearing this and seeing it lived out in scripture has encouraged me to do what Jesus and the early Church did; namely, talk to strangers about Jesus Christ. I hope you are encouraged as well!

2 comments:

  1. and the great thing about sharing the gospel with strangers is there is nothing to lose. there is no relationship to be affected, no worrying about what they think of you because they don't know you to begin with. if anything they will remember you as the person who told them about Jesus and hopefully come to repentance and faith in him. great post!

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  2. Excellent Jason. You Inspire me.

    TY

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