“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,” (Ephesians 4:11 (ESV)
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the Father’s will (Ephesians 4:8-10). Christ now distributes the spoils throughout his kingdom. After his ascension came all the spiritual gifts empowered by the Spirit, who was then sent (see John 7:39; 14:12; Acts 2:33) as the promised Comforter (John 14:15-31; 15:26-27; 16:4-11). Jesus not only has given and distributed spiritual gifts to the church, but also has given the church gifted men. Today’s text gives us the four specific offices of gifted men.
We have already examined the office of apostle and prophet. Today, we examine the office of evangelist.
An evangelist (εὐαγγελιστής; euangelistes) is one who exclusively proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5). It is also from this Greek word that we derive our English words evangelical and evangelism.
My pastor was an evangelist. Prior to receiving the call to be the pastor of a local church, he directed and spoke at evangelistic meetings, which were conducted for weeks at a time. Sharing the Gospel and giving people, especially young people, the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord was his passion.
In addition to holding evangelistic meetings, and pastoring a local church, he directed a youth camo in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was there that for over 50 years he preached the Gospel to scores for teenagers. Many of those young people sensed God’s call into full-time ministry and are serving the Lord even to this day.
When the Lord called my pastor home in December 2018, it could accurately be said of him, like the Apostle Paul, that he fought the good fight, he finished the race and he kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “(Evangelists are) people especially gifted to preach the Gospel (Acts 21:8; 2 timothy 4:5). Evangelism was at the core of Paul’s apostolic calling (I Cor. 1:17), although his office included greater authority to receive and transmit revelation from the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:5) and to lead the church.”
Who was it who shared the Gospel to you, whereupon you repented of your sin, placed your faith in Christ, and were converted? If they are still living, give them a call and tell them how grateful you are that they were obedient to God’s call to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!