Dr. Jack L. Arnold                                                               Equipping Pastors International

Biblical Evangelism                                                                                                                                                                          Lesson 11

 

THE SAINTS PART IN DECLARING SALVATION

(The Ambassador for Christ)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

                                      Evangelism is declaring the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified to all men. It is one thing to know the definition of evangelism and quite another to be an effective evangelist. NOTE: Every Christian is to be a winsome witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no excuse for being a sloppy, inefficient witness. Many unsaved folks are driven from Christ because Christians are so obnoxious in their witnessing.

Christians are doing the KingŐs business and they are to do it well. It takes time, work and practice to be an effective witness. NOTE:  Christians can best learn how to be a dynamic evangel by practicing and making mistakes. These things sharpen GodŐs instruments.

 

THE AMBASSADOR (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20)

 

Introduction: Every Christian is an appointed ambassador for Jesus Christ. This became his responsibility the moment he received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God has reconciled (changed from an enemy to a friend) all who have trusted in Christ and His death, and each reconciled believer has the ministry of telling others about this reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18,19). NOTE: Christians are to tell the world that they can be reconciled to God if they will receive Christ.

 

Description of an Ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20): An ambassador is one who represents another, usually a government.

 

Biblical Times: To get the full impact of what an ambassador is, we must understand something about the office of ambassador in the Roman Empire. Ambassadors were the emperorŐs representatives to another state. They were chosen by the emperor from the priesthood of the royal palace, and were called Fetiales (those who make a league between states or those who perform a ministry of reconciliation). The Fetiales recognized the emperor as god and their work was to serve the emperor by reconciling the rebellious provinces to the emperor.  NOTE: The Biblical ambassador by analogy is one who represents God to a world in rebellion to Him. Christian ambassadors declare a message to all men, ŇBe ye reconciled to GodÓ (2 Cor. 5:20).

 

Modern Times: A modern ambassador represents his government in a foreign land, so the Christian ambassador, as a pilgrim and stranger on this earth, represents God to all men. Christians are the personal representatives of God to the world, and they are to declare the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The contrasts between an earthly ambassador and a heavenly ambassador are as follows:

1.         An ambassador is appointed to the office by the chief of state. God has appointed every believer to be an ambassador.

2.         An ambassador must go to another country. The Christian must go to the lost with the message of Jesus Christ.

3.         An ambassador represents his government, especially the chief of state. The Christian is a personal representative of God.

4.         An ambassador does not support himself. God will supply all the spiritual needs for His ambassador.

5.         An ambassador does not speak for himself but speaks the mind of his government. The Christian speaks the mind of Christ to the world, not his own thoughts.

6.         An ambassador does not treat an insult as personal. Christians are not to retaliate when opposition comes, and they are to trust the battle into the LordŐs hands.

7.         An ambassadorŐs instructions are in book form. The ChristianŐs instructions are in the Bible.

8.         An ambassador is a diplomat. A Christian is to be diplomatic and winsome in his witness for the Lord.

 

The Duty of an Ambassador: The one task of the ambassador is to get a message across to another. The ChristianŐs sole task to the world is to declare the message of Christ to all men (Eph. 6:19-20).

 

HELPFUL HINTS T0 AMBASSADORS

 

1.         Never witness without first praying, for God must do the work in the sinnerŐs heart.

2.         Sometimes it is necessary to have pre-evangelism; that is, building rapport and Biblical concepts before a definite witness is given. Try to build bridges of contact with the unsaved.

3.         Define all terms and communicate in language that the modern generation can understand.

4.         Be careful about using emotional terms that will put the non-Christian on guard.

5.         Do not be ŇpushyÓ and force the gospel on a person. Learn to declare the message well.

6.         Be concise and do not talk in circles to make a point. Stay on the issue of Christ.

7.         Be real and down to earth. The non-Christian can detect sincerity and honesty in a person.

8.         Be gracious and understanding when the person has questions, and make sure they feel that you are interested in them.

9.         Learn to live with fear in witnessing and do not panic if opposition comes.

10.   Do not get discouraged if folks do not trust Christ right and left. You have evangelized when you have declared the message of Jesus Christ to men and have told them how they may become a Christian.

11.   Be natural around non-Christian people. If Christ is your life, then think and act around the unsaved like you would anywhere else.

12.   Be sure to witness!

 

CONCLUSION

 

                      The main thrust of the ChristianŐs message to the non-Christian world is Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). The zealous ambassador will work at declaring this message until he becomes effective and proficient.

The great need in the Church today is Bible-oriented witnesses, who are willing to pay the price to communicate the message of Christ.  This must be done by all Christians, not just the pastors.