When faced with an entire city of people who don’t know the Lord, can one person really make a difference? Alistair Begg describes the Apostle Paul’s method of evangelism and his trust in God for the transformation of Ephesus. Where there is great opportunity for the proclamation of God’s Word, there is often great opposition, but God moves mightily in just such an environment.
8And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.3 10This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
11And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all4 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Evangelism. The word alone produces a tightness in the stomach and anxiety in the hearts of many Christians, creating a barrier that hinders sharing the Good News of Christ. Misunderstanding the biblical directives of evangelism may incline us to shy away from sharing our faith, thinking we do not have the gift of evangelism or do not know enough to be effective, leaving the task to others.
In Crossing the Barriers, Alistair Begg equips us to understand what evangelism truly is, helps us to be certain our message and motives are correct, prepares us to face challenges, and enables us to effectively cross the barriers that keep us from presenting Christ and preventing others from believing the message. Much like the herald who conveys the news from the king, we are not to express our own opinions or ideas, but faithfully deliver the message the King has given to us and trust God to do His work.
You can also download a free PDF of the full study guide if you prefer.
|What is Evangelism?|
|Evangelism, God's Part-Our Part|
|Understanding Our Message|
|Examining Our Motives|
|The Master's Plan for Evangelism|
|How to Share Christ with Someone, Part One|
|How to Share Christ with Someone, Part Two|
|How to Share Christ with Someone, Part Three|
|Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part One|
|Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part Two|
|Evangelism: Reaching the City||Acts 19:8-20|
|Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God||John 6:35-40|