Evangelism In the Early Church, Part 5 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #135)


The purpose of this podcast is to challenge you, encourage you, exhort you, and motivate you to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ right where you are to those who are not believers in Christ. Even though we will share some instructions on how to witness for the Lord from time to time, we believe that most Christians do not need to learn how to witness for the Lord, they just need to go and do it; so our aim is more motivational than instructional.

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Ezekiel 33:8-9 which reads: “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Jack Hyles. He said: “Old-fashioned, Spirit-filled, Christ-honoring, sin-hating, soul-winning, Bible-preaching. It is the hope of the church. It is the hope of the nation. It is the hope of the world.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 118 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler’s book, “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Evangelism In the Early Church (Part 5)

There are at least five basic characteristics of the New Testament Church revealed in Acts 1–4. Each of these principles should serve as a foundation for future generations to follow. We looked at the first four characteristics in previous podcasts, and now we will look at the fifth characteristic.

5. The Early Church Consistently Displayed a Contagious Courage

The earliest Christians fully realized that life is disposable and can be taken away at any moment. They were not driven by the fear of death. A good example of this occurs when Peter and John face the religious leaders in Acts 4:18–20. After sending them out of the court in order to discuss their fate, the religious leaders “called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Evangelism In the Early Church, Part 4 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #134)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 1 Corinthians 1:18 which reads: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Our soul winning quote today is from C. H. Spurgeon. He said: “To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in the world. And with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven here upon earth.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 117 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler from their book “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Evangelism In the Early Church, Part 4

There are at least five basic characteristics of the New Testament Church revealed in Acts 1–4. Each of these principles should serve as a foundation for future generations to follow. We looked at the first three characteristics in previous podcasts, and now we will look at the fourth characteristic.

4. The Early Church Possessed a Convicting Boldness

With this in mind, consider what Scripture says in Acts 4:31–33:

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Evangelism In the Early Church, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #133)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Matthew 10:32 which reads: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Watchman Nee. He said: “If a believer in Christ did not preach in his first two years of his conversion, he may not likely open his mouth again to preach.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 116 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler from their book “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Evangelism In the Early Church, Part 3

There are at least five basic characteristics of the New Testament Church revealed in Acts 1–4. Each of these principles should serve as a foundation for future generations to follow. We looked at the first two characteristics in previous podcasts, and now we will look at the third characteristic.

3. The Early Church Shared a Consistent Message

A close reading of Acts chapters 2 and 3 reveals that the early apostles never compromised the integrity of the gospel message. Even in the face of intimidation and possible death in front of the religious leaders, Peter refuses to back down.

Evangelism In the Early Church (The Soul-Winning Motivator #131)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Mark 16:15 which reads: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Rick Warren. He said: “The way you store up treasure in heaven is by investing in getting people there.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 114 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler from their book “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Evangelism In the Early Church

There are at least five basic characteristics of the New Testament Church revealed in Acts 1–4. Each of these principles should serve as a foundation for future generations to follow.

1. The Early Church Ministered Through Constant Presence

Even a quick reading of the first few chapters of Acts reveals that the early church did not hide or run from the community they were called to serve. They engaged the culture.

Acts 2:46–47 says: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Unlike many contemporary believers who seem afraid of mingling with the unsaved world, the early church was out in the community on a daily basis, thus creating a constant presence for the purpose of spreading the gospel. As a result, God added to the Church “daily.”

Evangelism Is…a Family Affair, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #115)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Exodus 20:12 which reads: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Our soul winning quote today is from John F. Kennedy. He said: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 98 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Depending on the behaviors you wish to promote in your family, you’ll find countless passages in Scripture on which to build your mission statement. The verses below, for example, deal with loving one another, encouraging one another, and sharing your faith.

John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Philemon 6:6 says, “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”

Having reviewed the mission, purpose, and commands of Jesus Christ, you now have a good framework for developing your family mission statement. Remember that this is a family effort; you will want to involve all members, produce something that is meaningful to everyone, and have fun doing it.

Evangelism Is…A Family Affair, Part 2 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #114)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Colossians 3:20 which reads: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Henry Drummond. He said: “The family circle is the supreme conductor of Christianity.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 97 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…A Family Affair (Part 2)

Authors Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee insist that we should begin our family mission statement by studying the mission of Jesus, which stems from His purpose. The authors identify dozens of biblical passages in which Jesus states His purpose. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This tells us in a nutshell the two parts of Jesus’ mission. His first purpose was to seek. After willingly coming down from heaven, Jesus continually sought lost humankind even in the most unlikely and inhospitable places. Jesus’ second purpose was to save, to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.

John 18:37 reinforces Jesus’ mission, saying, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.”

Clearly this is a statement of His mission. We get more insight into Jesus’ purpose in Matthew 20:28, where Jesus says He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” If we are to model Christ, we need to take on this mind-set of serving others with humility, gentleness, and patience, starting at home. And although we cannot give our lives like Jesus as a ransom, we can, through our actions and words, point others to the One who did.

Many other passages reveal the purposes of Jesus: to be a leader and a teacher; to fulfill the Law; to call sinners; to separate holiness from sinfulness; to provide rest for those who follow Him; to preach the good news, proclaim freedom for prisoners, give sight to the blind, release the oppressed, and proclaim the time of the Lord’s favor; to represent man before God the Father; and to do the will of the Father.

Evangelism Is… Volunteering (The Soul-Winning Motivator #109)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Luke 10:27 which reads: “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Everett Mámor. He said: “The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 92 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Volunteering

David Wheeler writes:

When I was a kid, I loved Batman. My friends liked Superman, Spiderman, the Hulk, Captain America, the Green Hornet, and even Wonder Woman. Not me, I was always a fan of Batman!

It may have been his cool outfit with the black mask or his ability to climb buildings. Maybe it was the Bat Cave or the fact that he was the only superhero who drove a car, the Batmobile. Who knows, for whatever reason, I loved Batman. I have never understood the need for Robin, but I still loved Batman!

As I grew older, my passion for superheroes diminished, and I realized that you do not have to wear tights and a ridiculous suit to be superhuman. One reason I liked Batman was the fact that he was a somewhat regular guy in real life. Bruce Wayne was a millionaire who could have ignored the plight of humanity. On the contrary his response was to spend his money, to volunteer his time, and to risk his life in order to assist others. When Bruce Wayne became Batman, he was like thousands of volunteers in the church who give of themselves in order to lead hurting humanity to Christ! If you want to become a superhero, the first thing to do is to become a willing volunteer.

On one occasion Jesus told a story about two men who started and ended as strangers, but one of their lives was forever changed by their encounter. The story was born as Jesus was being questioned by a teacher of the law about eternal life.

Luke 10:25–27 says: “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

The Jewish teacher then asked a significant question, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus’ response was to tell the story of the good Samaritan.

Evangelism Is… Asking for a Response, Part 2 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #107)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Matthew 7:8 which reads: “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Roy Fish. He said: “From beginning to end, invitations are extended in scripture. God’s probing question to Adam in the garden, “Where art thou?” in Genesis 3 is something of an invitation. The final chapter of the Bible contains an invitation, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who heareth say, come. And let him who is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Holy scripture reverberates with invitations to lost humanity to turn to God for forgiveness and new life.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 90 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Asking for a Response (Part 2)

Jesus Extended Public Invitations

Jesus’ first sermon was a public call to repentance.

Matthew 4:12-17 reads: “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, He publicly called people to make a decision to follow Him. Peter, Andrew, James, and John received public invitations as they were fishing.

Matt 4:18–22 says: “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

Levi or Matthew was also given a public invitation to follow Christ. Mark 2:13–14 says: “And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.”

Evangelism Is… Giving a Logical Defense of Your Faith, Part 4 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #105)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Acts 4:12 which reads: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Our soul winning quote today is from John Piper. He said: “If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism, but deception.”

Our soul winning devotional is Evangelism Is…Giving a Logical Defense of Your Faith (Part 4) from Dave Earley and David Wheeler’s book, “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Here is our last example of how we can give a reason for the hope that is in us when people question our faith:

Shouldn’t We Tolerate Others’ Views? Does It Really Matter What You Believe as Long as You Are Sincere?

Regarding Tolerance. Dave Earley says, “Yes, we should tolerate others’ views but only until those views conflict with the truth.” Tolerance sounds kind and open-minded. But too often tolerance is used as a cover for shortcomings. (“If everything is right, then nothing is wrong. I can ignore the issue of sin and salvation.”)

The biggest problem with “tolerance for tolerance’s sake” is that tolerance is actually cruel when it conflicts with the truth. Truth by its own nature is intolerant of error.

Let’s say a blind man stands on the edge of a cliff, and he turns to you to ask, “Which way should I step?”

I would be cruel to say to him, “Oh, it really doesn’t matter. Just be sincere and do the best you can.” The truth says that if he steps in the wrong direction, he will plunge to his death. But if he’ll turn in another direction, away from the cliff or onto the bridge, he’ll live. Tolerance is no virtue when it ignores reality.

Let’s say a cancer specialist knows you have a malignant tumor in your body that will kill you in a matter of weeks if it isn’t removed. Yet he doesn’t want to seem narrow-minded and intolerant. Of course, he’d certainly hate to offend you, so he says, “If you sincerely believe that the tumor is no problem and you are a pretty good guy, I am sure it will all be OK.”

What would you think of that doctor? How long do you think he would keep his license to practice medicine?

I would rather have a doctor tell me some narrow-minded, offensive truth than some nice little tolerant lie.

By the way, if something is not true, what is it? It is a lie.

Evangelism Is… Answering Common Questions Seekers Ask, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #101)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 1 Peter 3:15 which reads: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Lee Strobel. He said: “I think apologetics without evangelism is a bit of a wasted effort. It’s been said that apologetics is the handmaiden of evangelism and I think that’s true. I’m passionate to reach people for Christ; that’s my goal. It’s not to win an argument, it’s not to try to play point-counter-point with a skeptic but to try to reach them with the gospel and try to lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. So I do see myself not as an apologist but as an evangelist who employs apologetics.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 84 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler from the book — “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Evangelism Is…Answering Common Questions Seekers Ask (Part 3)

As I said in the previous podcast, in order to evangelize effectively, you will often need to do a little apologetics first. In other words, you have to do pre-evangelism by offering at least brief answers to the questions raised by serious seekers and skeptics. Now, here are some more answers to common questions about God and the Bible.

Hasn’t the Bible Undergone Corruption as It Was Translated Hundreds of Times Through the Centuries?

Yes, the Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages through the centuries. But the actual text of the Bible has been accurately preserved. How do we know?

First, there is the manuscript evidence. Simply put, we have many more copies that go much farther back than any other ancient piece of literature. Today several thousand partial and complete, ancient, handwritten manuscript copies of the Bible exist, some dating as far back as the third century BC. In comparison the next best piece of literature regarding manuscript evidence is Homer’s Illiad with only 643 copies dated 500 years after the original. The biblical manuscripts have allowed textual critics and scholars to verify that the Bible we have today is the same Bible the early church had.

A second evidence for the reliability of the Bible comes from the writings of the church fathers. By church fathers I am referring to leaders in the early church within a few generations of the apostles of Christ. In their commentaries on the Bible, their letters to one another, and their letters to other churches, these men quoted the New Testament Scriptures more than 86,000 times. Their quotations have allowed scholars to reconstruct 99.86 percent of the New Testament. There are only 11 verses in the New Testament that the church fathers apparently never cited. These two evidences, the manuscript evidence and the writings of the church fathers, verify conclusively that the original text of the Bible has been accurately preserved.