By: Jeff Ruckman
What does it mean to be an evangelist? Here is a simple definition according to a Google search – an evangelist is “a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, especially by public preaching.” It is that simple. An evangelist is someone who tells others about their faith in Jesus. Now why is it so hard to be one? Is it because we don’t know much about our faith or about Jesus? Because we are afraid we won’t share it right or won’t be convincing? Is it because we don’t think people want to hear it or won’t respond to the message? I know for me when I am about to talk about the LORD with someone, it is like a rush of fear comes over me and a muzzle gets strapped around my mouth and my tongue gets all tied up. And before I begin, I just give up. What is going on?
What I am describing to you is called “spiritual warfare.” The Prince of Darkness has a strong defense. Jesus calls this defense “The gates of hell” (Matt. 16:18). In John 1:5 John calls it “the darkness.” Daniel was told that as he prayed an angel was sent to speak with him but “the Prince of the Persian kingdom resisted the angel Michael for 21 days” (Daniel 10:13). You know why it is so hard to be an evangelist? Because Satan and his angels are out there building walls around the lives of those he has trapped in his future. And his future is HELL (Revelation 20:10-15). He has staked his claim over the lives of unbelievers. Satan has claimed and covered them with his darkness, detained them by his princes, and trapped them by his gates. Satan has his own gated community around the eternal lives of those who don’t know Jesus.
With this in mind, what does it mean to be an evangelist? It means we have to be WARRIORS! It means we have to be people that SHINE the LIGHT of Jesus Christ (Matt. 5:14-15)! It means we have to know how to DISMANTLE the demonic walls and strongholds! It means we have to PRESENT the ETERNAL LIFE that GOD has provided through Jesus Christ (Col. 1:13-14)!
I pray the Word of GOD has your attention. Paul wrote: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Jesus says in the context of Matthew 16
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The gates of hell shall not prevail against the “church” that is built on Jesus the Son of the LIVING GOD. The weapons of the Church of Jesus Christ tear down the gates of Satan’s communities. This is the truth that cannot be overcome by the darkness. John 1:5 says, “The LIGHT shined in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it.” Satan’s gates have no chance if we as the church of Jesus Christ “awake out of sleep” (Eph. 5:13-15) and take our place as “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14) in Jesus Christ the Son of the Living GOD.