The Evangelist's Message
Reprinted with permission from The Office of The Evangelist, copyright 2014 by Michael Lusk.
The evangelist has one central message, one salient theme, one driving passion - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is no mere message. It is not human philosophy. It is alive, empowered by the working of the Holy Spirit. (Heb. 4:12, John 6:63). When it is preached, the Gospel happens. The message of the Cross is the power of God.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
I Corinthians 1:18
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes... Romans 1:16a
The Gospel and the evangelist are so mutually identified that the respective terms used to define them in the New Testament come from the same root word. Proclaiming the Gospel (Gk. euangelion) is the supreme task of the evangelist (Gk. euangelistés). The Gospel is the message of good news; an evangelist is one dedicated to announcing that message.
Back to the Basics
A survey was conducted in the United States by the Barna Group on the prevalence of biblical worldview. To qualify as having a biblical worldview, the subject had to believe in 1) the existence of absolute moral truth, based on the Bible, 2) the accuracy of biblical teaching, 3) the sinless nature of Jesus Christ, 4) the literal existence of Satan, 5) the omnipotence and omniscience of God, and 6) salvation by grace apart from works. Far from controversial, the list above represents what are the most orthodox, time-honored core tenets of Christian faith and teaching.
Interestingly, among adults identified as born-again Christians, only 19% qualified as having a biblical worldview based on the criteria above. Taking into consideration persons in the U.S. of any religious persuasion aged 18-23 years, the same study found less than 0.5% had a biblical worldview.
What is even more disturbing are the results found in the same study among church leaders. Over six hundred senior pastors were surveyed nationwide, representing a random cross-section of Protestant churches. The report demonstrated that only 51% of these senior pastors had a biblical worldview, based on the very minimal criteria of the same questionnaire.
Apparently, the Church has wandered from teaching the most elementary principles of Christianity. We need to reaffirm the basics. If we do not preach them, how can the people hear? And if people do not hear, they can never have the faith to believe.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
As evangelists, it is our God-given assignment to announce incessantly, both to the world and the Church, the most essential, foundational message of the Bible - the undergirding life-seed that supports everything Christians believe - which is the Gospel.
Evangelists cannot afford to make the mistake of assuming the makeup of their audience. Everyone that walks through the doors of our churches is not saved - even those who come to conferences and other “believers services”. As Dr. Edwin Louis Cole stated, “Assumption is the lowest form of knowledge.”
In extended evangelistic meetings, pressure often comes to the evangelist, trying to move him or her from a simple Gospel presentation in order to appease the tastes of the saved.
“You’ll lose your audience.”
“They’ve heard this a hundred times already.”
“You’ll bore them and they won’t come back.”
“They want a newer, deeper revelation - not this simplistic message.”
This is seduction, whatever its source. Stick with the Gospel. If revival ever comes to believers, it comes by their renewed faith in the provisions of the Cross. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “And if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival.”
The truth is that the Gospel is so rich, you can never exhaust its resources. The more it is presented, the more God is revealed to the people. The Gospel is so deep that you can never reach the bottom of it. It is so high that you can never rise above it. It is so wide that it encompasses all of human existence. The Gospel is the central theme of Christian faith, the foundation of Christian doctrine, and the core of Christian life. If the Gospel is lost, all is lost.
Michael Lusk is an international evangelist who, along with his wife, Christina, has ministered in open-air crusades and evangelism conferences around the world. He has preached the Good News while Jesus confirms with miracles in North, Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. You can find out more about Lusk World Outreach at luskwo.com.