Because God has called us into the ministry of evangelism, our mission is to glorify God by evangelizing unsaved souls and edifying the body of Christ through local churches.
To each evangelist that God calls, He gives a burden as unique as the evangelist. While God requires each evangelist to fulfill his role completely as a preacher of the Gospel, each evangelist’s burden will be slightly different. My burden is that God would use me, through much prayer and preaching, to be a conduit through which revival would awaken believers in local churches that are already established in the United States (I Cor. 15:34). If each believer in Bible-preaching churches were living in revival, there would probably be no need for gospel rallies; each Christian would be winning souls in his own family, work-place, and neighborhood and bringing them into the church. If each believer in Bible-preaching churches were living in revival, there would probably be no need for individuals to go out as church planters; the established churches themselves would be establishing like-minded, soul-winning, Bible-preaching local churches in their region. Therefore, I am greatly burdened that the local churches established here in the United States would leave sin, apathy, and self-reliance behind and depend upon the Lord to accomplish “greater works” (John 14:12) for the glory of God.
PHILOSOPHY OF EVANGELISM
When Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, He left several ministerial gifts to the church (Eph. 4:8) that would help the church walk worthy of the Lord (Eph. 4:1). While apostles and prophets were ministerial gifts for the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20), evangelists, pastors, and teachers are ministerial gifts that remain as long as the church does. The evangelist has two objectives in his ministry, and the first is embedded in the very name evangelist. Above all, the evangelist is to be a preacher of the Gospel; to the unsaved, the Gospel speaks a message of freedom from the penalty of sin, and, to the saved, the Gospel speaks a message of freedom from the power of sin. “…For necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (I Cor. 9:16) But secondly, the evangelist is just as responsible as the pastor and teacher to pursue “…the perfecting of the saints…the work of the ministry…[and] the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12) in God’s local churches. Therefore, every aspect of our ministry in the local church, whether preaching, singing, fellowshipping, counseling, or encouraging, targets these objectives.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE GOSPEL
The “Gospel” in its simplest Greek definition means “good news” or “good tidings.” In other words, the Gospel is information that causes joy and brings a smile to the face and to the heart. But the Gospel is not just any good news; it is a message from the Lord Himself to man (I Peter 1:25). No other news is greater than the “gospel of Christ” (II Cor. 4:4), which is the good news that Jesus died for sinners (Rom. 5:8), was buried, and rose again (I Cor. 15:1-4), defeating the power of sin (Rom. 6:10), the devil (Heb. 2:14), and death (I Cor. 15:55-57). And yet, the Gospel is more than just a message; it is a Person, for without the Person of Jesus Christ, there is no “good news.”
Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), but because of man’s conscious choice to sin (Gen. 3:6), all men are now born as sinners (Rom. 5:12) who will face eternal punishment for their sin (Matt. 25:46). The blood of Jesus Christ alone can remove that sin (Rom. 5:9) and satisfy the wrath of God (I Thess. 1:10). All people are capable and responsible to repent of their sin (Acts 3:19) and put their dependence on Jesus alone (John 3:36) by calling out in prayer to Him to save them from their sins (Rom. 10:13). This is the Gospel to the unsaved soul.
Once a person has received Jesus alone as his Savior from his sins (John 1:12), it is his responsibility as a Christian to walk worthy of his Savior (Col. 1:10) by leaving behind the lifestyle of this world (I Peter 1:14) and living a life of holiness to match God’s (I Peter 1:15-16). When Jesus died on the cross, He accomplished more than acquiring the eternal security of believers’ souls. He removed the authority that sin had in Christians’ lives (Rom. 6:7) and united each believer to Himself (Gal. 2:20) in order that the redeemed might be connected to the Power Source that can enable believers to overcome every temptation (Rom. 8:11, 13) and to fulfill the Great Commission through the local church (Matt. 28:19-20). This is the Gospel to the redeemed soul.
PHILOSOPHY OF REVIVAL
Revival defined is simply “life again.” Many different wonders can happen when God restores His people to “life again,” including the lost receiving Christ and Christians having unhindered, unbroken fellowship with Jesus Christ. But in reality, we cannot fully imagine everything God wants to do in His people (Jer. 33:3, Ps. 81:10, Is. 64:4). No matter how much of God’s working can be seen around us, God wants to do more! Any Christian can know the reviving presence of the Lord in his own personal life if he is thirsty (Matt. 5:6, John 7:37-38, Is. 44:3, Is. 55:1-3), broken (Is. 57:15, Ps. 51:17), and humble (James 4:6-10). God also wants to do a corporate work of revival throughout His church. While God is omnipresent, His manifest presence, which can radically alter a life, is not always seen, but Christians may plead with God to see it. Revival in a person, a church, or a region is not an arbitrary choice of God about which we can do nothing. Revival is an answer from God to the fervent asking of His people (Jer. 33:3, Jer. 29:13, II Chron. 7:14, Is. 64:4, Hab. 3:2). Pleading with God to revive His people right now does not presume upon the sovereignty of God, for God has chosen to bind Himself to His own promises to revive His people (in any dispensation) based upon the fervent prayer of His people. Though believers do not know how, when, in what manner, or to what extent that He will manifest His reviving presence, they can know that God will answer the prayer of His people (Jer. 33:3, II Cor. 1:20). Therefore, my prayer and preaching concur with Psalm 85:6: “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”
PHILOSOPHY OF PREACHING
Biblical preaching requires two equally important elements: The Word of God and the Spirit of God. Why preach opinions, personal rants, or politics when it is the Bible itself that is “…like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces” (Jer. 23:29)? The Spirit of God is just as important to biblical preaching (I Cor. 2:4). If I come to the pulpit with a Word-based sermon that has not been blessed and enabled by the Spirit of God, the preaching will be a waste. When my dependence is totally upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen me (II Tim. 4:17) to speak what He would have me speak (Matt. 10:19-20), the listeners’ faith will be established in the Lord, not in the cleverness of a preacher (I Cor. 2:5).
Biblical preaching should also be fervent, yet Scripturally sound. When I step into the pulpit, I am not merely informing God’s people in order to provoke thought; I am proclaiming God’s truth to bring people to a decision. Every message I preach is soaked with passion (Is. 58:1) and urgency (II Cor. 6:2) that calls people to make a decision for Christ right then and there if He is convicting them (Matt. 11:28). While I believe in strong preaching, biblical truth must temper the preacher’s passion, for fervency in preaching springs from the authoritative truth of God’s Word (Jer. 20:9). I believe that the Scriptures must be interpreted in a literal, historical, grammatical sense, and, after correctly studying and interpreting the Scriptures, the preacher must prepare a sermon that exposits the text, being careful to say what the text says. Because the Bible will meet the needs of today, the preacher, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, must then apply the passage to the listeners (II Tim. 4:2) and passionately urge them to obey God’s Word immediately (Josh. 24:15, 24).