x364....We are all evangelists

This is the definition of the word "evangelist"--

euaggelistes {yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace'} n m

---- evangelist 3; 3

1) a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist 2) the name given to the NT heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles

WE all know as Christians that we are all called to preach the Gospel--

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:15-18)

We all have the Good News of salvation inside of us--we all have Jesus living inside of us--the name "Jesus" means salvation--we all have this great salvation inside of us--we all have a Gospel inside of us--and we are all called to bear this witness to everyone we see--to every living creature--

Unfortunately, when we think of an "evangelist" we think of someone like Billy Graham. We think that a true "evangelist" is someone who preaches to large crowds of people--but this is not the case according to the Bible--. The only person in the Bible who is called an evangelist is a man named Philip.

Ac 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

You can read of the account of Philip in the book of Acts, chapter 8. In the account of Philip, it does say that he preached to crowds of people--but the greatest area of scripture devoted to this man--the only "evangelist" that the Bible mentions--talks about his conversion of one single person--an Ethiopian eunech. Now this man whom Philip converted, was not someone who later became important in the Bible--the lesson being that every soul is important to God. But another lesson to learn from this is clearly, that witnessing the Gospel to one person, is the work of an evangelist--as well as preaching to a large crowd.

Since the meaning of the word "evangelist" is to bear glad tidings--to bear the Gospel--all Christians are certainly called to be evangelists---to bear the Good News of the Gospel--to "every living creature".

Let's notice something else about Philip...

"......Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven;......."

He is said to be "one of the seven"---what does this mean?

Well, first we should get out Philip's strait. There was another man named Philip who was one of the 12 apostles that worked with Jesus in His ministry. The Bible would refer to him as "one of the 12"--this is scriptures' way of naming apostolic groups. The Philip we are refering to here, who is called an evangelist, was one of "the seven"---who were they?

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
(Acts 6:2-7, KJV).

This area of the Bible, is one of the areas that many say is an authorization from God, for Chrisitan leaders to appoint people "under" them, to menial tasks in the church. Now we would argue with this on many points. If we read the context of this, we will go on to see that Stephen, one of the seven, does miracles, and then gets stoned to death and the entire church is run out of Jerusalem. Was this God's highest will? Or, did the aposltes begin here to break away from true servant ministry, as Jesus had comanded them to do? Did they deny the seven their apostlship, and make them table waiters instead? Did they begin to have a system of hierarchy within the church here? Peter and John come before the same accusers as Stephen--and 3 times--why was Stepehen stoned? Was it because he was being denied his true ministry, and because these seven were not released to witness the Gospel out to the Gentiles as Christ had commanded?

More arguments:

"......the saying pleased the whole multitude: ....."

We would have no argument if the Bible said in these verses that "God spoke to do this thing",--or that this action "pleased the Lord"--but in stead the Bible records that this action pleased the people. It seems like a right thing to do for the leaders to appoint others to serve, while they can go about doing the "word of God"--but when we remember what Jesus had warned about NOT exercising authority over others--and that the greatest would be the servant of all--by HIS example--(which was to say to others that they would do greater things than HE!!) and to wash the feet of others--maybe the aposltes were getting out of line here--and perhaps it gave an inch to the enemy. Perhaps they were not carrying on in the spirit of release that Jesus had demonstrated. Maybe those seven were meant to be an apostolic group, who were meant to carry the Gosple out to the world. Why do we say that? Because the Bible later devotes an entire chapter to Philip the evangelist (an evangelist becasuse he does all the same things an apostle did--except he works alone)--and Philip is recorded as operating his ministry out in Samaria, which is what Jesus had commanded the 12 apostles to do way back in chapter 1.....

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
(Acts 1:8, KJV).

All we are saying is that we shouldn't base church operation on something which is history. We ought to base church operation on the commands of Jesus in this area (such as Luke 22:25-29--Matthew 20: 25-27) , and the places in the Bible that spell out commands for church operation (such as 1Corinthians chapters 11-14--Ephesians 4)--NOT on areas of scripture which are about people--all of which--like us--are sinners.