The word “evangel” comes from the Greek word evangelion, a word that simply means “good news” or “the gospel” (e.g., Rom 1:16). Someone who is known for preaching the gospel is what the Greek would call an evangelistes, an evangelist (e.g., Eph 4:11). Perhaps a synonym could be a “gospel-er” or a “good news-er.” Sometimes the Bible speaks of giving the gospel with just a word as well, evangelizo, which means “to evangelize” or “to proclaim the good news.”
The first time the Book of Acts uses the word evangelizo is in Acts 5:42 (translated “preaching” in the ESV). “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” The apostles’ example in this verse teaches us a number of lessons.
We must give the gospel all the time.
The apostles gave the gospel “every day” and “they did not cease” doing so. Our responsibilities in life are obviously dissimilar from the apostles in many ways, but this fact does not mean we cannot give the gospel whenever we have the opportunity to do so. We may not be employed by the church to do nothing but study God’s Word and give the gospel, but, at the least, we should always be ready to give the gospel. And, when an opportunity arises to do so, we should seize it and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
We must be bold when we give the gospel.
The apostles gave the gospel “in the temple,” a place where they experienced much opposition. They were willing to accept the consequences that came their way and even rejoice that they were worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ (Acts 5:41). We should pray that we, too, would be bold to give the gospel.
We must go to the lost to give the gospel.
Since “no seeks for God” (Rom 3:11), we must go and take the gospel to them (Matt 28:19). Acts 5:42 describes the apostles as giving the gospel “from house to house.” They went to the lost and gave them the gospel. We can be missionaries that God burdens to reach people in distant lands, and we can also learn from the apostles and give the gospel from house to house. However we do it, we must go to the lost and give them the gospel.
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.