Before We Evangelize

USS_Arizona_MemorialDate: 4 December, 2015

SUBJECT: Evangelism

TITLE: Before we Evangelize . . .

PROPOSITION: To set forth three prerequisites that all Christians should understand before beginning to evangelize namely we must 1) Recognize that there are souls that are lost, 2) Be willing to make a lasting commitment and 3) Truly believe that the gospel is the “good news.”

OBJECTIVE: That each Christian would examine their life prepare to evangelize.

AIM: To help all of the brethren desire to evangelize and work toward more evangelism in life.


1. On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese Navy launched an unprovoked attack upon the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.

1) This attack resulted in the United States joining the Second World War.

2) It is reported that Admiral Yamamoto said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

2. Read: Acts 8:1-4

3. About the Text:

1) With the martyrdom of Stephen came a great wave of persecution upon the church.

2) Many Christians at the hands of Saul were imprisoned and killed.

3) This caused the early Jerusalem church to be scattered to various other places.

4) Those that were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

5) A sleeping giant had been awakened.

6) This word “preaching” is from the Greek word “euangelizo.”

7) It is from this Greek word that we get our word for evangelism.

8) It is composed of two Greek words, “eu” meaning “good” and “angelia” “message.”

9) Together the word means the good message.

10) In verb form it means proclaiming the good message–or evangelizing!

11) It is most commonly translated, “preaching the gospel.”

12) This is something that the Bible enjoins upon all Christians to do.

13) However, there are certain things that we must understand before we begin evangelizing.

4. Read Romans 1:14-17

1) Paul said that he was a debtor to the lost–he recognized that there were souls that were lost in need of the gospel.

2) Paul said that he was ready to preach the gospel–he recognized that he had to make a personal commitment to preach that gospel to these souls.

3) Paul said that he was not ashamed of the gospel–he recognized that the gospel is the “good news.”

5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: Before we can evangelize we must . . .

I.   Recognize that there are souls that are lost — Be a debtor.

1. Those who enlisted in the service were debtors to the oath that they took when entering.

i. The first part of the oath says, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

ii. The person who makes this oath becomes a debtor to fulfill that oath.

iii. The men at Pearl Harbor gave their lives in fulfillment of their oath.

2. Paul says that he was a debtor to Greeks and Barbarians, to the wise and unwise.

i. A debtor is someone who is in debt–who owes another something.

ii. To whom does Paul owe? There is not one to whom Paul was not a debtor.

iii. All are in sin and in need of the gospel. He owed it to them to preach the gospel.

iv. He wrote in Romans 3:10 “There is none righteous, no not one.”

v. He wrote in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

vi. Do we have this same urgency regarding the gospel about us?

vii. Do we feel indebted to all the lost around us to preach the gospel to them?

3. John 7:37,38

i. In the midst of the last great day of the feast of tabernacles, we find Jesus.

ii. He is surrounded by thousands of fellow Jews — all in need of His salvation.

iii. At the beginning of this feast, priests would go to the pool of Siloam and draw water to be offered as a drink offering to the LORD.

iv. After the pouring out of this drink offering the multitude would together chant the 118th Psalm. Part of this Psalm contains the words, “Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.”

v. At the end of this Psalm there was a pause.

vi. During this pause Jesus raised his voice and cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

vii. Jesus uttered these words because of His realization of all that were lost.

viii. Do we see the souls of men today as Jesus saw the souls of men?

4. Paul was a debtor to the lost; would you be a debtor?

5. We must recognize that we owe the world the gospel.

II.  Recognize that we must make a personal commitment to evangelizing — Be ready.

1. Unfortunately, the brave men of the Navy were not ready for Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

i. Of the U.S. armed forces, 2388 people lost their lives.

ii. 12 Ships were sunk or beached.

iii. 164 aircraft were destroyed.

2. Paul says further in Romans 1:15 that in light of the fact that he is debtor to the gospel, that he is READY to preach the gospel.

i. We don’t want to lose souls, so we must be ready.

ii. Being ready means both being prepared and making a commitment.

iii. It is possible for one to be prepared, but not to make a commitment.

iv. The one talent man is an example of this. He would not have received the one talent if his master did not think him prepared, but he failed to commit.

v. It is also possible for one to make a commitment yet not be prepared.

vi. The parable of the ten virgins is an example of this. They had made the commitment to be at the marriage feast, but they were not prepared.

vii. We must both be prepared and make the commitment to evangelize those around us.

3. Our greatest challenge today lies in the area of commitment.

i. Some of us answer the call to evangelism like Moses. He said, “O my Lord, 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 4:10).

ii. Do you remember what God said to Moses? He said, “Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exodus 4:11, 12).

iii. In Isaiah 6:8 God asks the eternal question, “Who will I send and who will go for us?”

iv. Will we answer as did Isaiah, “Here am I, send me.”

4. Have we made the commitment we need to make to be pleasing to God?

i. Luke 14:27-33 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

ii. We stand before God as those having counted the cost and made the decision to follow through.

iii. Will we live up to the decision we have already made?

iv. Let’s not be hearer’s of the word in this regard, but doers also! James 1:25

5. Before we can start evangelism we must commit ourselves to the effort.

III. Recognize that the gospel is the “good news” — Not be ashamed.

1. One of the great lessons learned from Pearl Harbor had to do with our poor intelligence of the enemy.

i. After Pearl Harbor, new processes were put into place to avoid another such attack.

ii. The intelligence community was ashamed of their failure and sought to correct them.

2. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation . . . .”

i. The word “ashamed” means to be embarrassed by something so that you will avoid it.

ii. Paul said that he would NOT avoid preaching the gospel.

iii. 2 Timothy 1:8 – “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;”

iv. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

3. Do we believe that the gospel is God’s only message of salvation for men?

i. If men are going to be saved today, the gospel is the ONLY way. We must be about the business of preaching it!

ii. Peter said in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

iii. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

iv. Hebrews 2:1-3 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation”

4. When others see us, do they believe that we believe this is the only way to heaven?

i. Phil.1:27 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel.”

ii. 1 Peter 2:12 “Having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

5. Let us behave in such a way so as to reflect that the gospel is God’s power to save!


1. I know of no greater joy than to see a sinner become a saint!

2. What is our attitude toward evangelism today?

3. Do we stand before God today having our minds and hearts prepared to evangelize men?

i. Do we recognize that there are precious souls that are lost and in need of the gospel?

ii. Are we willing to follow through on the commitment we made to Christ?

iii. Do we believe that the gospel is God’s only power for salvation?

iv. Can we state with Paul, “I am a debtor, I am ready, and I am not ashamed?”

4. If we are ready to evangelize, then let’s roll up our sleeves and do it.

5. Invitation – What would it take for us to understand this great need?

i. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, nurses used lipstick to write on the names of the foreheads those who could be saved and those who were going to die.

ii. Can you imagine walking in front of that infirmary and seeing the veritable sea of lipstick marks with the terrible letter “L” on the forehead? LOST!

iii. Imagine every person you meet in your life has a letter on their forehead “S” or “L.”

iv. Would this impress upon us the need to become debtors for the sake of the gospel?