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Tag: Gospel

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It's Time To Spread The Good News

Spread The Good News

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 23, the final installment of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 22, "Stay Focused: Avoid Theological Debates".

WHEN do we evangelize?

1. Anytime, all the time, anywhere, and everywhere.

2. Start today!

For the past few months, we have answered the questions of why do we evangelize, why don’t we evangelize?, and how do we evangelize? I pray that this blog series has shed some light on the Dos , Don'ts, and How’s of evangelism in light of the scriptures. If you need a review of this complete blog series, you can access all 22 of the previous installments of this Evangelism series.

We will now address the final question of when do we evangelize? The answer is Anytime, All the time, Anywhere, and Everywhere! The scripture is clear that now is the day of salvation and there are people who need Christ all over the earth. No matter how we feel or where we are, we must be sensitive to what the Lord wants to do. He is full of compassion and desires that every lost soul comes to a saving knowledge of Him.

Proverbs 19:21(NIV) -“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Evangelize anytime & all the time!

Hebrews 3:15(NLT) – “Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your heart as Israel did when they rebelled.”

Matthew 9:35-38(NLT) - "Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.”

In obedience to the request of Jesus, we are to pray to God to send out more laborers into the field to bring in the harvest. At the same time, YOU and I are the answer to this prayer. Do not ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share the Good News and labor in the field.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT) - “For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.”

Isaiah 55:6 (NLT) – “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while He is near.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) - “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

The world is full of distractions that keep us preoccupied with empty pursuits. The human race is so busy fulfilling his lust of the eyes, flesh, and pride of life (1 John 2:16) No one knows what tomorrow holds. People are dying every day without coming to a saving knowledge of the love of Christ. We must make every effort to spread The Gospel and fulfill The Great Commission. Another day on earth isn’t guaranteed to anyone. All we have is this moment... the here and now.

Case Study 1 - Parable of the Rich Fool

Luke 12:16-19(NLT) – “Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry! “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Proverbs 27:1 (NASB) – “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

James 4:13-15(NLT) – “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

Evangelize anywhere & everywhere!

Case Study 2 – Paul’s Ministry Journey

Acts 16:25-31(NKJV) – “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Acts 27:20-25 (NKJV) – “Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”

2 Corinthians 11:23-30 (NKJV) – “Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.”

Paul’s life provides an array of examples of ministering the gospel anywhere and everywhere. Throughout his life, He chose to evangelize in every place he went, often under horrendous circumstances. He never allowed his environment to deter him from spreading The Gospel. He chose to always boast in Christ! Paul and Silas praised God even while in prison and as a result, the jailer and his family accepted Christ.

The Lord has called us ALL to fulfill The Great Commission! Jesus is coming soon for His bride and we all need to be ready. Let’s be faithful laborers and evangelize all the time and everywhere.

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How Do We Evangelize? - Be Relevant: Connect With People Where They Are

How Do We Evangelize? - Be Relevant: Connect With People Where They Are

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 20 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 19, "How Do We Evangelize? - Sola Scriptura: Stick to the Word of God".

The fifth practical key to evangelism is “Be relevant: Connect with people where they are.”

One of the fastest ways to lose people’s attention in a conversation is to begin talking about something that is irrelevant to their interests or the topic at hand. Imagine a group that's entrenched in a deep discussion when someone interjects with a notion that is completely off topic. Now imagine the awkward pause and puzzled looks as a result of the interjection.

After this brief loss of connectivity, the conversation continues without the slightest acknowledgement of the random words that were previously presented. Realizing the irrelevance of the comment, the originator is unable to connect and slowly fades into the background in silence. They’ve just been irrelevant!☺ We have all observed similar situations or have even been the one responsible.

When you are irrelevant you are ignored. As human beings it is in our nature to connect and be relevant. Why do you think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, etc. are so popular? Humans need to relate to other humans! So why not connect over something that brings us life like The Gospel? However, for this to be possible in the process of evangelism, we must connect with people where they are.

In today’s society, there are people who need to hear the Good News in every setting. There are lost people in parks, palaces, slums, mansions, alleys, boardwalks, shelters, corporations, and even churches. In any environment you can find lost souls and Jesus longs for every one of them to know His love.

Luke 19:10 (NASB) – “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

John 7:37 (KJV) – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

So how can you be relevant and connect with people right where they are?

First, take a minute and survey the environment that you are in. Where has God placed you to influence people for Christ? What is your occupation? Where do you frequently shop in your community? Who are your neighbors? What streets do you pass while doing errands? What public transport do you take to the office? What school do you attend? What outreach or missions opportunities are offered at your church?

Second, think about the people you encounter daily within these environments. Are the people you encounter different from you? What ways can you be relevant to people within your environment. How can you relate to the people around you? How might you demonstrate love and humility in your interactions? What might be some common areas of interest you could discuss? What topics might you discuss with them to build a basis for cordial conversation? What needs or concerns do they share? What suggestions, advice, or resources can you offer to meet their immediate needs if they show interest?

Paul modeled this process by displaying love and humility when sharing his faith with the lost. He also demonstrated relevance by creating common ground between himself and those he was seeking to witness to in order to win them to Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:19 – 23 (NLT) – “Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”

Jesus also modeled this process for us when He lovingly and humbly spent time with the tax collectors and sinners. He demonstrated relevance by going to the places where the lost were and showing His interest in them.

Matthew 9:10 (NASB) – “Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.”

Luke 5:29-31(NLT) – “Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”

Jesus demonstrated His ultimate love ad humility by leaving heaven and coming to earth as a human being to die for our sins. He was relevant by becoming a human being for our sake, sheding His blood for our sins, and rising again.

Philippians 2:6-8 (NLT) – “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Daily, we must die to self, uphold the truth, and use wisdom to become relevant to those around us in order to evangelize. Jesus has made a way for everyone to come. Let’s follow His example to reach the lost!

Luke 4: 21-24 (NLT) – “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. ’After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

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How Do We Evangelize?

evangelize

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 13 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 12, "Why Don't We Evangelize? - We Are Afraid of Persecution".

Romans 10:13-15(NKJV) - For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

For the past few weeks, we have answered the questions of why do we evangelize and why don’t we evangelize? So far, I hope that this blog series has shed some light on the Do’s and Dont's of evangelism in light of the scriptures. If you need a review or to get caught up, you can access the first twelve articles in this Evangelism series using the link at the beginning of today's blog.

Mark 16:14 (NIV) - “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Jesus has given us the mandate to “Go”. Hence, each of us is called to fulfill “The Great Commission”. In response, has your heart said YES but your mind asked HOW? If so, this blog is for you!

As previously established, there are many opinions and motives for why Christians choose to evangelize. As well as, the many excuses or obstacles preventing Christians from evangelizing. As we move forward in our series of exploring the Dos, Don’ts, How’s and When’s of evangelism, we will now discuss; How do we evangelize?

Perhaps you feel you would evangelize more if you simply knew what to do. Over the next few weeks we will spend time reviewing a few practical keys on how to evangelize. I have identified seven keys that may help us to more effectively share our faith. Let’s prayerfully review these seven keys for evangelizing, in light of the scriptures.

These keys include:

1. Pray: Be led by the Holy Spirit

2. Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus

3. Be Concise: Know the Gospel & keep it simple

4. Sola Scriptura: Stick to the Word of God

5. Be Relevant: Connect with people where they are

6. Be Personal: Share YOUR testimony

7. Stay Focused: Avoid theological debates.

Get ready! I know God will speak to us and give us wisdom along this journey. Tomorrow, we will discuss our first principle of evangelism; "Pray: Be led by the Holy Spirit."

James 1:5 (NIV) - “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

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Why Do We Evangelize? - Our Love For Jesus

Why Do We Evangelize? - Our Love For Jesus

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 3 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 2, "Why Do We Evangelize? - It's A Commandment".

2 Timothy 2:4(NIV) - “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”

John 14:5(NLT) - "If you love me, obey my commandments.”

This brings us to the second reason why we evangelize. We evangelize because we love Jesus and want to tell others about Him. When you love someone you find great pleasure in telling others about the impact they have had on your life.

Since we truly love Jesus, we are not able to contain the great news of what He has done in our lives. Our response to the great love He has shown us is to tell others about Him. We each have a testimony of what the Lord has saved us from, kept us from, or both! Our testimonies are powerful! We have been forgiven for innumerable sins and transgressions. This alone should compel us to testify of the great love of the Lord!

Luke 7:47(NLT) - “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Revelation 12:11(KJV) - “And they overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”

We can observe a love for Jesus that resulted in evangelism through the lives of a Samaritan woman and the Apostle Paul.

First, the Samaritan woman spent one moment with Jesus at a well. Her encounter with Jesus was so impactful that she immediately began to evangelize to an entire community about her experience!

John 4:39-42(NIV) - “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have.”

Second, the Apostle Paul had an encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. As a result of meeting Jesus, he was greatly impacted. His transformation resulted in Him denouncing all ties to his former life and dedicating the rest of His days to worldwide evangelism.

Philippians 3:3-11(NLT) -“For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”

Psalm 103:1-5(KJV) - Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

What’s your testimony? Let’s take a moment and reflect on where you were when Jesus came to set you free. Were you like the Samaritan woman with a history of failed relationships, rejection and pain? Were you like the Apostle Paul with a history of great achievements but self-righteous and murderous? You did not choose Him, He chose you and loved you first. Now, consider where you are now in your life. REJOICE in His promises of a great future and a hope in Him!

1 John 4:19(KJV) – “We love Him because He first loved us.

Isaiah 1:18(NASB) -“Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”

Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

What manner of love is this? All of our past sins have been washed away (Isa. 1:18) and our latter end WILL be greater than our former (Haggai 2:9). The unfathomable love that Jesus has lavished on us should compel us to tell the world all about Him and all He has done in our lives!

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Why Do We Evangelize? - It's A Commandment

Why Do We Evangelize? - It's A Commandment

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 2 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 1, "Evangelism: Four Questions We Should Ask Ourselves".

I have heard it said that when people do not know the purpose of something, they will abuse it. Therefore, I believe the first question we need to answer concerning evangelism is the reason for doing it. So why do we evangelize? If Christians do not know the reason or purpose of evangelism, it could potentially be viewed as pointless. Hence, they are unlikely to actively evangelize in the manner that it was intended.

There are many opinions and motives for why Christians evangelize. However, I would like to highlight three reasons that I observe from the scriptures. These three reasons for evangelism are as follows;

1) We are commanded by Jesus to do so

2) We love Jesus and want to tell others about Him

3) We have a passion for the unsaved to experience freedom.

The first reason to evangelize is that we are commanded by Jesus to do so. After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples on several occasions. His resurrection from the dead was undeniable. However, He would soon ascend to the right hand of the Father until the final day of His return. Prior to leaving, He gave His disciples a command that is known as the Great Commission.

Mark 16:14 (NIV) - “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

We see in this scripture that Jesus said “go ye into all the world”. He did not say “consider ye going”; “a few of ye go” or “vote about going”. He gave us a clear directive to “go ye into to all the world...” Jesus’ master plan for spreading the Gospel hinges on the obedience of His followers. There is not a plan B.

In His infinite wisdom, He gave His followers the assignment of spreading the message of salvation. Now, He is patiently waiting for everyone to hear the truth and make a personal choice to accept or reject His gift of salvation. Essentially, His deepest desire is for none of mankind to perish in hell but to live with Him for eternity.

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) - “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

The Great Commission is a direct command from our Commanding Officer, Jesus Christ. Just like any other command given by Jesus, the work of spreading the Gospel should be viewed as a priority by all who consider themselves soldiers or followers of Christ. In reality, the distractions of daily living can cause some of us to push this directive lower or even completely off our list of priorities. In fact, our hearts are sometimes drawn away by a love for other things than Jesus Christ. This brings us to the second reason why we evangelize.

2 Timothy 2:4(NIV) - “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”

John 14:5 (NLT) -"If you love me, obey my commandments.”

We evangelize because we love Jesus and want to tell others about Him. When you love someone you find great pleasure in telling others about the impact the person has had in your life. We'll continue from here tomorrow with more on the second reason for evangelism.
23

Evangelism: Four Questions We Should Ask Ourselves

Evangelism

Written By: Dr. Angel

In January 2014, my husband Donnell and I obeyed the voice of the Lord and launched The Body Church in the city of Atlanta. Still in its infancy, the church has just appointed its first Elder and Deacon and moved into its new space nestled in the inner city of Decatur, Georgia. We are rejoicing with every new step the Lord directs! Now that we have settled into our new location, we are eager to get to know our neighbors and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the surrounding community!

As I contemplated what to write about for this blog series, the Lord spoke to me and said “Evangelism.” What is evangelism? Merriam Webster defines evangelism as the “spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness; zealous advocacy of a cause”. When was the last time you shared your faith with an unbeliever?

I John 2:16-17 (NLT) –“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”      

Psalm 20:7 (NIV) - “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

Like a beautifully wrapped gift box filled with air, the world cannot satisfy our longing for love. We long for something real. I am grieved by the pain, violence, abuse, and hopelessness that is so prevalent in our world today. So many people have placed their trust in human effort, but have been disappointed. Other people placed their trust in successful careers, but have been let go. Still other people have placed their trust in riches, but have lost everything. When we survey the state of our society, it has never been clearer today that Jesus is our only hope.

1 Timothy 1:1 (KJV) – “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;”

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) -“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

As Christians in the Body of Christ, we have the answer and the privilege of bringing hope to our generation. We are all called to carry the message of Jesus Christ throughout the earth through evangelism. We are living in the last days. Second Timothy 3:1 warns us “that in the last days perilous times shall come”. It is clear that conditions throughout the earth are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. Like Esther, we need to be reminded that we were born for such a time as this. Yet, it seems so few born-again Christians actively participate in evangelism.

Esther 4:14 (NKJV) - For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

A recent study conducted by LifeWay Research surveying 3,000 evangelical Christians showed that 61 percent of participants “fail to share their faith on a regular basis, even though they believe it is their responsibility to do so” (Christianity Today, 2012). Does this statistic concern you? Are you moved to action or greater intercession for lost souls? Though these findings are both alarming and heartbreaking, my sense is that they do not stir every heart toward greater evangelism to win the lost. Why do so few Christians share their faith?

Perhaps we need a clearer understanding of the Dos, Don’ts, How’s and When’s of evangelism. Exploring these four areas may help us gain a greater understanding of evangelism and stir urgency in our hearts to evangelize the world. In this blog series, I will attempt to answer the four questions:

  • Why do we evangelize?
  • Why don’t we evangelize?
  • How do we evangelize?
  • When do we evangelize?

Over the next few weeks, let’s embark on this journey together and see what Holy Spirit would reveal to us concerning evangelism, from the Word of God!

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