The early church experienced explosive growth because of a conviction to evangelize which led to a culture of evangelism. When confronted and threatened, they did not pray for their safety but for greater boldness.
In this culture of evangelism, every decision is celebrated, but the evangelist never settles. This is the testimony of Philip in Acts 8 after the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch. As the baptism waters were still stirring and the eunuch was still shouting, the Spirit of the Lord whisked Philip away to the next assignment.
The early church believed and took to heart the words of Jesus that their evangelism must start in their cities, but move to ends of the earth. So, in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, we see the early church set apart missionaries to go to other regions to share the Good News of Christ.
With the salvation of one named Saul, whose name is changed to Paul, we see this commission to take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth expand and be the continuing story of the New Testament. This world-wide evangelistic effort culminates in the last book of the New Testament when we see this scene in heaven – people of every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the Throne of God and singing, “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne.” (Revelation 7:9-10)
In 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, we see four principles that should fuel our evangelism.
Our Theology compels us.
Here is a theology of judgment, but here also is a theology of love.
Some might think Paul is out of his mind (v. 13), but the theological conviction that drives his passion is those who believe in Christ will go to Heaven, and those who do not believe in Christ will go to Hell. When that is our conviction, we cannot be silent.
Our Transformation calls us.
Paul’s evangelism is further fueled by his own testimony. He recognized he had been brought from death to life. He was once an enemy of God but is now a friend of God. He was once destined for Hell, but now his true citizenship was in Heaven. He wanted others to know the same transformation.
Our Title commissions us.
The title is Ambassador. We are ambassadors for Christ! We represent Him. We represent the Gospel.
Our Times challenge us.
Urgency must fuel our evangelism. We don’t know our days on this earth. We don’t know the days others have left on this earth. As Paul challenged the Corinthian believers, we cannot know people from purely a worldly perspective (v. 16), we must see them as spiritual people—going to Hell or going to Heaven.
In light of this, approach today with radical evangelism!