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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 12   The Greatest Evangelist???


God saves and equips His children when they are born again to do the unique, and special tasks that HE has given to each one. Paul reminded the Ephesian believers that the work of ministry is NOT just for the pastors, teachers and evangelists—it is for all of us.

But unto every one of us is given


according to the measure

of the gift of Christ…..

11 And he gave

some, apostles;

and some, prophets;

and some, evangelists;

and some, pastors

and teachers;

12 For the perfecting

of the saints,

for the work

of the ministry,

for the edifying

of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come

in the unity of the faith,

and of the knowledge

of the Son of God,

unto a perfect man,

unto the measure

of the stature

of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth

be no more children,

tossed to and fro,

and carried about

with every wind

of doctrine,

by the sleight of men,

and cunning craftiness,

whereby they lie in wait

to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love,

may grow up into him

in all things,

which is the head,

even Christ:

16 From whom the whole body

fitly joined together

and compacted

by that which every joint supplieth,

according to the effectual


in the measure

of every part,

maketh increase of the body

unto the edifying

of itself

in love.”   Ephesians 4:7 & 11-16

Paul told the Ephesians that our goal should be for the “increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”; we are to work together through the leaders (Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (or pastor-teachers) whom God has given to the church. So that we can each grow and affect edification and increase (Not necessarily numbers but in maturity, growth and power in The Lord and His Word!) amongst the believers “in love”! The leaders are called and given to the church for:

For the perfecting

of the saints,

for the work

of the ministry,

for the edifying

of the body of Christ”!

Leaders aren’t called to “do the work” but to raise up the believers to become “mature”, to “minister” and to “edify”! We have all been called to live our faith—to serve and sacrifice for the Lord—not pick our “pew” and “soak and sour”! But on to the main focus of our post today, which is the gift of ‘evangelist’ that Paul mentions in this passage, yet from a passage that might surprise you. When we think of evangelists we think of those preachers who go from place to place calling the church to spiritual renewal and revival, and the lost to salvation. And when the church gets right with God—the lost will be drawn to the Savior! This is a lengthy passage, but one that is worth our consideration!

There was a certain rich man,

which was clothed in purple

and fine linen,

and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar

named Lazarus,

which was laid at his gate,

full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs

which fell from the rich man’s table:

moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died,

and was carried by the angels

into Abraham’s bosom:

the rich man also died,

and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes,

being in torments,

and seeth Abraham afar off,

and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said,

Father Abraham, have mercy on me,

and send Lazarus,

that he may dip the tip of his finger

in water,

and cool my tongue;

for I am tormented

in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember

that thou in thy lifetime

receivedst thy good things,

and likewise Lazarus

evil things:

but now he is comforted,

and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this,

between us and you

there is a great gulf fixed:

so that they which would pass from hence

to you cannot;

neither can they pass to us,

that would come from thence.

27 Then he said,

I pray thee therefore, father,

that thou wouldest send him

to my father’s house:

28 For I have five brethren;

that he may testify unto them,

lest they also come

into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him,

They have Moses

and the prophets;

let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham:

but if one went unto them

from the dead,

they will repent.

31 And he said unto him,

If they hear not Moses

and the prophets,

neither will they be persuaded,

though one rose from the dead.”  Luke 16:19-31

Before we take off on the “greatest evangelist”, let’s look at the last thing that is recorded of this story—and I believe this is a true story, rather than a parable, for Jesus never called anyone by name in a ‘parable’—“neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead”! We need to remember that Jesus is facing the cross, and He will lay down His life on the cross, and be raised from the dead on the 3rd day—yet most wouldn’t believe in Him even though:

...how that Christ died for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again

the third day

according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:”                                     1 Corinthians 15:3-5

The Gospel is Jesus—crucified, buried, raised again, all for our salvation and the forgiveness of our sin! So what about the evangelist in the passage from Luke? Well, who is the one who is asking for the warning to be taken to his family? The rich man in hell—the greatest evangelist of all time—yet now as then, most aren’t listening to his warning. He wanted Father Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to preach the gospel to his family that they would avoid his destiny. So if you are one of those who have laughed off “hell” by saying you wanted to join your friends there and “party-hearty”, you need to think again. Here we have “eye-witness” testimony of one who is there—and ‘it ain’t no party’ and other than the relief from his own torment, his desire was that his family would trust God and not join him in ‘hell’ (or technically “Hades”—the temporary place of the lost dead, not the lake of fire, hell)!

Yet notice the response:

If they hear not Moses

and the prophets,

neither will they be persuaded,

though one rose from the dead”!

If they won’t receive the truth that is in front of them, they won’t believe even when ‘one’ rose from the dead—not even when ‘The One’ rose from the dead! That was true two thousand years ago, and it is still true today. There are no second chances after death, and we are choosing today whom we will believe! And refusing to trust Jesus, is deciding! Doing things your own way is choosing! This rich man chose every day to go his own way—just as the church in Laodicea in the book of the Revelation, he was totally satisfied with his own self-sufficiency! How about you? Are you putting Jesus off—waiting for a more opportune time—for whatever reason? There is no guarantee of tomorrow—not for Lazarus (the poorest of the poor), not for the rich man (the richest of the rich), not for you or me! But choosing can only be done in this life! But just as Paul told the Philippians:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10

That at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”    Philippians 2:10-11

The time is coming when “every knee” shall bow before Jesus! The question isn’t “if” you will bow, but “when” will you bow! Will you bow before Him now as your Lord and Savior, or will you bow before Him as your “judge” with no opportunity for salvation and redemption. The choice is yours, but choose wisely—there is a test at the end.

And as it is appointed unto men

once to die,

but after this

the judgment:”   Hebrews 9:27

So my question is, “Will you bow before Jesus now and receive His grace, mercy and redemption? Or will you refuse His grace and have to face Him as your judge?” And if you know Him, won’t you join me and commit to being a better “evangel” (A bearer of the good tidings of redemption through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin!) of the good news that delivers from sin, death, and hell and gives us everlasting life with Jesus!

(For he saith,

I have heard thee in a time accepted,

and in the day of salvation

have I succoured thee:

behold, now is the accepted time;

behold, now is the day of salvation.)”   2 Corinthians 6:2

Every person will bow—with saving grace or without! May we be great evangels in “this” life not ineffectual ones in death and hell? Remember it’s not what your house looks like to the world—but where your foundation is set! Is it built on the rock or on the sand? The house may not show it until the storms come—and they will come—but God knows!

Therefore whosoever heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded

upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”   Matthew 7:24-27

May God grant you wisdom and grace to see His truth and trust in HIM each day—no matter the storm? Today is all we have!

But exhort one another daily,

while it is called To day;

lest any of you be hardened

through the deceitfulness of sin.”   Hebrews 3:13

Amen and Amen!