Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why I believe part of fulfilling my role as a pastor is to do the work of an evangelist.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

God instructs all ministers of the gospel to preach the Word and part of fulfilling this calling is to ‘do the work of an evangelist’ [ἔργον ποίησον εὐαγγελιστοῦ] (2 Tim 4.5). Every shepherd preaches the gospel because apart from the gospel of God revealed in Christ and His substitutionary work through the enlightening work of the Spirit he has nothing whatsoever to say. He must proclaim Christ and Him crucified. Regardless of what people want and what the itching hears long for the faithful minister has but one glorious message of salvation that all men must hear if they are to be saved. He preaches both in season and out of season. So, part of the work of the shepherd-pastor is to do the work of an evangelist. Here are some reasons I’ve compiled as to why I commit to doing the work of an evangelist.

1. Because I believe the Bible.
The Bible clearly presents the work of the pastor-shepherd as that of a gospel-preacher. He proclaims Christ and Him crucified, resurrected, ascended, and Lord. The Bible is God’s instruction manual for God’s heralds. The message of the gospel must flow from his lips as he calls men and women to be reconciled to God, to be clinging to their Savior, and to be following Him through the power of the Spirit in holiness. The Bible commands shepherds to do the work of an evangelist. Faithful men fill the pages of Scripture who proclaimed the Word of God to the lost — from Noah, to Enoch, to Moses, to Joshua, to Samuel, to David, to Jeremiah, to Ezekiel, to Amos, to John the Baptist, to Paul, to Peter, and, of course, to Jesus. And because I believe the Bible, I must therefore be an evangelist.

2. Because I love God.
Out of love for God and out of a driving passion for His glory, I must do the work of an evangelist because I want God’s fame to be known. A passionate love for God’s glory must compel the Christian to proclaim the gospel. Anything less is insufficient. When persecution comes and when hardship slams, a love for the glory of God and for His magnificent beauties will propel the man of God to proclaim Him and His gospel of grace to the lost. Consequently, I go and herald!

3. Because I want Christ to receive the full reward of His sufferings.
The Lamb of God came into the world to die for sinners. He came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. He was slain and He purchased for God with His blood men from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. Christ has died for His own. We want the Lamb to be glorified on that final day surrounded by all those whom He purchased, all those for whom He died, and all those for whom He bore their wrath. Thus, out of a zealous love for the glory of Christ and His sovereign reign in glory, we want the Lamb to receive the full reward for His sufferings. For this reason, the minister must go and preach the Word!

4. Because I believe in the Spirit's power to regenerate
The Bible speaks of the third member of the Trinity as the Spirit of Life. He produces life. He quickens dead souls and alone is able to impart life. No man can come to God unless he is sovereignly drawn by God Himself. No man can pick God, choose God. Indeed, no natural man would ever choose God; the unregenerate man hates God, despises God, and rages in his heart against God. But the Spirit of God, by sovereign grace, uses the gospel of Christ as servants of God present the gospel, to awaken dead souls to new spiritual life. For this reason, I evangelize.

5. Because I cling to the absolute sovereignty of God.
There is no other God besides the LORD. There is none other. No other god exists. There are not other gods of other religions or other manmade gods that individuals have fabricated that exist side by side the One, True and Living God. There is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we all exist for Him and there is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. God reigns supremely. He reigns exclusively. All events in all of time are under His sovereign control. He is never out of control and everything that takes place is the outworking of His preordained, sovereign plan. And as a royal King, he executes all of His decrees perfectly, wisely, sovereignly, and actively. God is actively involved in all the affairs of life — including salvation. So then, because I believe that God alone is the one who is worthy of praise and because God alone is the one who imparts eternal life to radically corrupt sinners, I preach the gospel with full confidence, great comfort, and heartfelt joy submitting to God’s sovereign will in and through the faithful presentation of the gospel of grace.

6. Because I believe in hell.
Hell is real. And countless millions now scream in the painful, eternal agonies of hellfire because they never trusted in Christ alone for salvation. Hell is the immediate home of all those who attempt to get to God by their works (=every religion in the world). The pains of hell begin at the moment of death. The torments of hell endure throughout endless eternities in the future. The ferocious wrath of God never lets up for all the everlasting ages to come. I believe in hell — a literal, real, hell where God actively, personally, violently, and fairly sentences all sinners who have broken His law forevermore. Because I know hell exists and countless thousands enter there daily around the world, I’m compelled to present the gospel of grace to lost souls so they may be spared from everlasting agonies under God’s just fury.

7. Because I care for people.
Souls are made in the image of God. Souls will thus live on forever. Since God is an eternal being and all men are made in the image of God, they are, then, eternal beings. People will live on forever. None who reject Christ now would ever embrace him in eternity. All who refuse Christ in this life will remain in unbelief for all of eternity. But those who see the weight of their sin, the wonder of God’s grace, and the sufficient, substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, and who have responded to this message by repenting, that is, turning, from sin and by trusting in Christ alone will pass to heaven and worship the Lamb forevermore! A shepherd cares for sheep. God made all people and, in a sense, loves all the creation that He made. And souls will live on forevermore. I care for people and long for them to think about eternity and consider their souls. Many do not ponder their souls and their eternal destiny. This is the reason why we must go to the lost — indeed, go to them! — and awaken their souls to the reality of eternity. If you care for people, proclaim the gospel to them!

8. Because I'm convinced of the Truth.
God is truth and His Word is truth. God’s Word is the sufficient, complete, perfect, inerrant truth. Never has a man found an error in the Bible. And because the Truth exists in the written Word and is most perfectly manifested in the Living Word who is full of “grace and truth,” we must do the work of an evangelist. Christ came and proclaimed that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. Thus, the evangelist is not engaging with the lost to try and win arguments about the validity of the Bible or the existence of God. God calls us to proclaim the gospel to them so that the Spirit of God awakens their conscience to the Truth and the God that they already know exists. So then, for the sake of the truth, the minister ought to labor for souls and seek to win them to the Savior. The truth is found in Jesus Christ. Every other religion, every other god, every other worldview is a lie and leads to hell. Thus, for the sake of the truth, share this, impart this, declare this, and plead with sinners to hear the best news that can save their souls from hell and take them to glory. Doing this is the most loving thing to do. Knowing the truth and refusing to impart it to others is not love; it’s selfishness and hatred. So then, let us go and do the work of an evangelist! Let us keep on keeping on knowing that our labor is not in vain. Go and win souls!

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