The Work of An Evangelist

Even though Timothy may not have been an evangelist, Rabbi Paul told his disciple: “Do the work of an evangelist.” This instruction was not just for Timothy; it’s not just for Christians and Messianic Jews who are in full-time ministry. It’s a command for each individual Christian and Messianic Jew.

I am telling each one of you the same thing: Do the work of an evangelist! Make it your priority to proclaim the Good News like an evangelist would – to as many people as you can, to everyone around you.

The Lord has been making it increasingly clear to me that one of our primary responsibilities as individuals and as a community is to do the work of an evangelist, to regularly engage in evangelism, to be involved in proclaiming the Good News on a daily basis, as part of our life.

There are reasons for this:

Humanity’s greatest need is the Good News – more than money, social justice, politics or more education. Here’s why: In the beginning, Adam and Eve joined the rebellion of the fallen angels. As a result, they were alienated from the Creator. After the Fall, when they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, instead of getting closer to God, they ran away from Him and hid from Him.

Not only was the image of God marred, and their relationship to God damaged, but Adam and Eve’s destiny was ruined. They were not allowed to eat from the Tree of Life and were exiled from the delightful Garden of Eden. They were no longer headed toward life but death – the First Death – physical death, followed by the even worse Second Death – Gehenna, Hell, the Lake of Fire.

The Catastrophe of Eden affected every aspect of the humanity of Adam and Eve – their bodies, their souls, their wills, their minds, their emotions, their spirits, their relationship to God, to nature, later their relationship to other humans, their destiny. Every aspect of who they were became damaged, broken, corrupted. As a result of the Fall – sin, the sin nature, domination by the demons and death took control of humanity.

What happened in Eden didn’t stay in Eden. Damage to the human body, soul, will, mind, spirit, sexuality, relationship to others, relationship to God, loss of eternal life – all of it was passed on like a horrible disease, infecting all of their descendants – you and me.

The answer is not laws to control the worst of our behavior. Better education and better politics and more social justice are good, but not enough to help us where we need help the most!

We are not just a little sick and in need a little healing. We are dead in our trespasses and sins. Sin has killed all of us – Jews and Gentiles included.

We have no spiritual life. Just as the physically dead can’t give themselves life – they are dead, so the spiritually dead can’t give themselves spiritual life. They are spiritually dead.

Not only are we spiritually dead, but our nature has been ruined. We need a new nature. But we can’t give ourselves a new, godly nature. We need help from outsides ourselves, outside humanity. We need divine intervention.

And the Good News is that divine intervention has come!

The Good News is that what we are utterly incapable of doing on our own, God is completely capable of accomplishing! To overcome the real and ruinous forces of Satan, sin and death, and the corruption of human nature, we simply need to understand and accept what the Three-In-One God has done to rescue us.

Here is what He did. God the Father sent His Son on a great rescue mission to save human beings from Satan, sin, death and a ruined nature. The Son of God left Heaven and through the incarnation, came into this world and became a human being. The Son of God was born into the Chosen People. The young carpenter from Nazareth became Israel’s Messiah – our ultimate Prophet, Priest and King and Savior.

Rabbi Yeshua lived a perfect, sinless, Torah-observing God-honoring life. He taught us great truths, was used by His Father to do tremendous miracles, showing He was very close to God, and would be the miraculous Healer and Savior of humanity and the rest of creation.

Then, Yeshua accomplished His greatest work of all. The Son of God willingly allowed Himself to be whipped, beaten, spit on, humiliated, stripped naked and crucified! By dying in this way, the Messiah became the ultimate sacrifice to completely atone for all of humanity’s sins, and end our alienation from our Creator.

When we understand this, and transfer our loyalties to the Three-In-One God, we are saved! All our sins are forgiven! Our relationship to God is restored! We are freed from the control of Satan and the demons! We become born-again! We receive a new nature! We will not die, but live, and live forever!

We must know this Good News, act on this Most Important Message ourselves, and then communicate it to everyone we can! Do the work of an evangelist!

Why should we do the work of an evangelist? Because humanity’s greatest need is to hear, understand and act on the Good News.

Why else should each one of us see ourselves responsible to do the work of an evangelist? Because we have been entrusted to carry on Messiah’s mission. Before He ascended to Heaven, He entrusted us with the responsibility to continue His mission. Messiah’s parting words to us were: Go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Going and teaching is a duty, a responsibility entrusted to each one of us.

Why should each one of us see ourselves responsible to do the work of an evangelist? Because we will be in the most serious kind of trouble if we don’t proclaim the Message of Salvation to the people around us. Messiah sternly warned us: What I have whispered in your ear, shout from your house-top. If you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father. Do you think the Son of God is giving us an empty threat?

Look, what keeps most people from proclaiming the Good News is fear – fear of rejection, fear of punishment. It seems like we’ve got to fear somebody. So, who would you rather fear – weak mortals, or the Son of God who is able to deny you before His Father so that you don’t enter His very real and eternal Kingdom?

Why should each one of us see ourselves responsible to do the work of an evangelist? Because healthy Christian and Messianic Jewish communities and individuals engage in evangelism. When we proclaim the Good News to others, we get closer to God.

We are doing what Yeshua and His Representatives, the Apostles, did; we are being faithful; we are being obedient. When we declare the Message of Salvation to others, we learn; we grow; we get spiritually stronger.

Those individuals and communities who do not make it part of their life-style to proclaim the Good News lose spiritual vitality. Their religious focus is off-center. They are in danger of becoming in-grown, self-centered, self-absorbed, unhealthy.

I hope I’ve convinced you, if you were unconvinced, of the need to proclaim the Good News, and that it’s the duty of each one of us to do the work of an evangelist. Now, I want to give you some practical ways of doing so.

Try to engage people in a conversation and ask them this simple question: Who do you think Jesus is? Where they are right, agree with them. Where they are wrong, correct them and instruct them. Asking this simple question helps you take the evangelistic initiative and stay focused on what is essential – Yeshua.

Use Social interactions. In ancient times, God’s people greeted each other, pointing people to God. Here is an example from the book of Ruth. Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers (men who worked for him), “May the Lord be with you.” And they said to him, “May the Lord bless you.” This was a meaningful greeting and prayer that directed people to God.

Today, we don’t do that. When meeting someone, people routinely say something like: “Hi. How are you?” The reality is they really don’t want to know. It’s a social nicety. Take advantage of social interactions to redirect people to God and tell them the Good News.

I am blessed. I am blessed by the Three-In-One God of Israel who rescues human beings when they know who Messiah Jesus is and transfer their loyalties to Him. How are you?

I am thankful to the God who created me and then redeemed me by sending the Messiah and making me aware of what Yeshua has done for me. How are you?

I am grateful to God for helping me in this life, and helping me live beyond this life in a beautiful New Universe He is going to make. How are you?

I am blessed. I am blessed more than I deserve by a gracious, loving God.

I am blessed. How can I not be blessed knowing that all my sins are forgiven, and that I’ve been reconciled to God because of what Jesus the Messiah has done for me?

Use the end of a conversation: At the end of a conversation, people used to say – God be with you, which eventually was shortened to “good-bye.” Today they use, “Have a good day.”

When people tell you, “Have a good day”, try responding with something like this: How can I not have a good day knowing that I am right with God, and that I will live forever with Him throughout eternity?

When a customer service representatives or bank teller asks, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”, try responding: Yes. Thank you for asking. I want you to know that the purpose of life is not to make a lot of money working for (fill in the name of the company), but the purpose of life is to be reconciled to your Creator before you leave this world, and you do so by knowing who Jesus Christ is and transferring your loyalties to Him. I want you to know that, and experience His reality, and that’s what you can do for me today.”

Instead of resenting sales calls, use them as opportunities to proclaim the Good News. When someone calls you, try saying something like: Thank you for calling. I’m not sure I want your product or service, but I would like to tell you that the purpose of life is not to make a lot of money selling (fill in the name of the good or service), but the purpose of life is to be reconciled to the Creator before you leave this world, and you do so by knowing who Jesus Christ is and transferring your loyalties to Him.

Take advantage of special times when people may be thinking more about God, times like Christmas, Passover, Easter, Rosh HaShana:

Send greeting cards to friends, family and co-workers. If you buy a store-bought card, add your own prayer or thought to it. Make it personal. Even better than a store-bought card, send your own hand-made cards or letter. In it, remind them about God, about the true meaning of the holiday and add a pray for them. Regular mail (snail mail) isn’t used as much today, so its impact is more personal and meaningful.

Add a prayer or Bible verse to birthday cards, anniversary cards, graduation cards.

Write a letter to friends or family telling them the Good News. I knew a woman from this area who was a Messianic Jew. Edith was a college graduate when most women didn’t go to college. I think she may have become a believer after graduating from college. As she was getting up in years, she wrote a letter to all of her graduating class who were still alive, telling them the Message about Messiah. She wanted to make sure that all of them heard the Good News before they died.

Use social media: Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, email or other social media. Include a Bible verse or a thought that points people to God and their need for God.

Have some good pamphlets available: I love the L’Chaim booklet, and the What Is Messianic Judaism pamphlet. There are other good pamphlets available. Include them when leaving a tip, paying your bills, getting into a conversation with someone who shows some spiritual interest.

Wear a Jesus Made Me Kosher t-shirt in public: The slogan is funny, true, gets people thinking and starts conversations. Wear it while doing errands, while shopping, working out at the gym, on a walk or run.

Join us when we engage in public evangelism by handing out pamphlets and wearing our Jesus Made Me Kosher shirts at places like the Ann Arbor Art Fair, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and other events.

Use buttons, decals on your car, special jewelry, like a star with a cross combined, or that new symbol of a fish star and menorah that merge together.

Host a neighborhood discussion group: I am concerned for my neighbors. This summer I hope to send the following letter to my neighbors, inviting them on three consecutive Saturday afternoons to a discussion group at my home.

Greetings. This is Rabbi Loren Jacobs. I’m a “Jews for Jesus” Rabbi. I’m the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shema Yisrael. We meet at Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church, on Telegraph north of Long Lake.

You might recognize my house as the one that has the crocuses and miniature irises in the front yard. Or, you might recognize Martha and me as the ones who walk Cider, our Jack Russell terrier, around the neighborhood.

I’m writing to you because you are my neighbors and because truth is important. Jesus said: The truth will set you free. I have experienced the “setting free” results of truth and want everyone else to as well.

I’m writing to invite you to our home on three consecutive Saturday afternoons for a discussion of the following topics:

  1. Five Reasons For God’s Existence: Saturday, July XXX
  1. Ten Evidences That Demonstrate That The Bible Is Unique Among All The Religious Books of the World, And That It Is The Divinely Inspired Word of God: Saturday, July XXX
  1. Six Evidences Why Jesus Is The Messiah: Saturday, July XXX

Come to any one of them, or all of them. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by emailing me at LJacobs777@aol.com or calling 248-539-3073.

I hope you can join us! If you can’t, you might want to see my story at https://shema.com/kosher-kosher-1229/

Sincerely,

Rabbi Loren Jacobs

Consider sending the same letter to your neighbors.

Name Your Wireless Router: A lot of us have a wireless router. They broadcast a signal to your immediate neighbors. They can be given a name that points the neighbors to God. Mine is named “Messianic Salvation.” Other possibilities: John 3:16, Isaiah 53, etc.

Have Lunch With A Co-Worker: If you are in a work environment where it is difficult to share your faith, invite a co-worker to lunch and talk with him over a meal.

Be able to give your story how God made you aware of His reality: It can be powerful to share with others how God has worked in your life revealed Himself to you. Articulate your story so you can give it in a clear, compelling way in 3-5 minutes. Write it out and practice it.

Of course, the very best thing to do of all: invite people to Shema, or arrange for them to meet me or Rabbi Glenn!

These are some practical ways to do the work of an evangelist. I’m sure that there are other things to do as well.

Remember, even though Timothy may not have been an evangelist, Rabbi Paul told him: “Do the work of an evangelist.” This instruction was not just for Timothy. It’s for all of us.

I am telling each one of you the same thing: Do the work of an evangelist! Make it your priority to proclaim the Good News like an evangelist would – to everyone around you.

Do so because humanity’s greatest need is to hear, understand and act on the Good News.

Do so because it’s a command that we are required to obey.

Do so because we have been entrusted to carry on Messiah’s mission.

Do so because we will be in trouble if we don’t proclaim the Message. Messiah warned us: If you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father.

Do so because we will be better off if we are faithful to do the work of an evangelist. God will be honored and a lost and dying people will get what they need the most.

So, do the work of an evangelist!