In 2012, Elvis Presley’s Bible sold at an auction for $94,600. Among other markings, Luke 9:25 was underlined. According to the King James Version, the verse says, “For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” On another page, Elvis wrote in the margin, “To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave.”
I cannot fathom paying $94,600 for a Bible, but I do have in my possession a couple of Bibles that are special to me. One is a Bible my youth pastor gave to me when I graduated high school. The Bible had been given to him by his youth pastor. In the front cover, my youth pastor wrote:
This New Testament helped me through my first two years of college. I hope this is an encouragement to you, with special verses marked and underlined that helped me. You have four years to be a witness on your campus. Don’t wait until your senior year. Start today.
Our world needs Jesus. Philip knew that. I love this verse recorded in Acts 8:35. “Philip proceeded to tell him the good news about Jesus, beginning with that Scripture.” (CSB)
I’ve been thinking about how to create a culture of evangelism in my life, in my community, and in churches. Throughout the Book of Acts, specifically in Acts 8, I observe these principles:
To create a culture of evangelism, we must believe . . .
- Every person is an evangelist.
- Every person can be saved.
- In being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Now in verse 35, we find this principle – those who strive for a culture of evangelism believe that Every Scripture points to Jesus.
I’m not suggesting we don’t learn other truths through Scripture. I simply mean that to establish a culture of evangelism, we must use Scripture to point people to Jesus. Scripture is not only sufficient, but powerful in bringing people to a point of decision. This is true from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The Gideon’s, an organization committed to putting Scriptures into the hands of people throughout the world, have staked their ministry on Isaiah 55:11. “So my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” (CSB)
Perhaps the best Bible truth to emphasize this principle is Romans 10:17. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (NKJV)
There have been periods in my life where I have believed that it was better to share the Gospel without the use of Scripture. My logic went that if we used God’s Word to a person who did not believe it was God’s Word, we were losing before we got started.
I have repented of that notion.
There is something powerful about how God uses His Word. The writer of Hebrews understood this well. “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:11-12 CSB)
Do you want to be a part of a culture of evangelism? Scatter His Word. Not as some pithy thought for the day, but believing that Word is the power of God unto salvation.