An Evangelist

“Do the work of an evangelist.”
—II Timothy 4:5

THIS EXHORTATION IS recorded in II Timothy 4:5, and the Greek word translated evangelist actually means, ‘one who announces good tidings.’ The Apostle Paul said, “Be thou sober in all things; suffer bad treatment [as a good soldier of Christ Jesus]; perform an evangelist’s work; fully accomplish thy service.”—II Tim. 4:5, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

This commission to preach the good tidings is mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah when prophesying of the coming Messiah. “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”—Isa. 61:1-3

The commission of the Holy Spirit to Messiah (Anointed) was prophetically announced long in advance of the arrival of Jesus. The body members of the Messiah, who have received the same anointing through him, have also received this commission to preach the Gospel (good tidings). If the disciple of Christ properly appreciates the privilege of being a messenger of God, an ambassador for God, it would be a sorrowful experience indeed for him if he could not proclaim the good tidings.


The Apostle Paul said, “Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach [tell, or announce] not the gospel.” (I Cor. 9:16) ‘Woe’ is a word not often used today. It was a common word in the Old English. According to the Greek word translated woe, the better rendering would be ‘sorrow.’ In effect the apostle is saying, “ I should be very unhappy if I could not preach the Gospel; indeed, it would be a cause of great distress to me. In view of my former course of persecuting the Christians, and the Lord’s great mercy to me, it would mean a loss of his favor and blessing should I refrain from proclaiming his message.” So it should be of great distress to all those today to whom the Lord has graciously granted the illumination of his Truth, if the opportunity of preaching this glorious Gospel were taken from them.


Concerning our Heavenly Father’s gracious tender mercies toward us, the psalmist has defined some of these, saying, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Ps. 40:2) If we can truly apply these words heartily to ourselves, what a cause it is for thankfulness!

When we look about us, we see the whole world lying in the Wicked One, without God, and having no real hope, merely vague impressions. When we look back on our lives, we see how the Lord has delivered us from the horrible pit of condemnation and sin. We rejoice that he has had mercy upon us and delivered us, and established our feet of faith upon the rock, Christ Jesus and his redemptive work. Well may we give thanks, and tell his mercies abroad!

We also see the happy experience that fixed our choice upon our Savior, and our God. That was the time from which our goings were ‘established’ and our course was no longer wavering, fluctuating. It was there that we obtained a fixed purpose in life. As we have grown in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there has been an ever-increasing determination not to be blown about by all the varying winds of philosophy and human speculation.

Praise God for what he already has done for us! As the psalmist proceeds to say, we each realize that “He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” (Ps. 40:3) The new song is not one of doubt or of fear, nor concerning anguish of sinners; but a song of God’s justice and mercy and love—reasonable and harmonious in its every phrase and modulation.

New life has been brought to us, new pleasures, as well as new aspirations and hopes. We can never thank the Lord enough for the blessings which we have already received at his hands for all the things which he has already done for us. And we joyfully proclaim this glorious ‘good news’ to others as we have opportunity.

Respecting this wondrous service, there are some who have thought that there is no way to preach except by a public discourse in a congregation. But this is not the Bible thought of preaching. Jesus talked to the people by the seaside, and along the way. He sat upon the edge of the well and preached the message of salvation. He preached to his disciples in the mountain. He journeyed with them and talked. And so with us—whatever means or time we may have for the preaching (or announcing) of the ‘good tidings,’ we should use.

Today there is radio, television, and the internet that can be used to offer booklets on God’s plan. While the new means for proclaiming the Gospel are wonderful, we can, individually, also have the joy of announcing these good tidings in our daily walk of life, as we meet the butcher, the baker, and the grocer; also our neighbors and friends. It may be done in conversation, or by handing out suitable literature which is available today in abundance.

Our Lord Jesus especially identified the Gospel with the kingdom; therefore we are to preach the good tidings of the kingdom. This has been God’s method for gathering the church; also for giving a witness to the world. Other important features are clearly taught in the Scriptures.

Some can preach in several ways. Others can preach in nearly every way; but some in very few ways. Most of us can announce the good tidings in some way. So we are very grateful to our Heavenly Father that we have so many helps in our day—radio, television, internet, and free literature. We very greatly appreciate all these and are seeking to make good use of them to the blessing of others, as well as for our own upbuilding.

Shall I, for fear of feeble man,
Refrain from showing God’s great plan?
Under a cover hide my light,
While thousands grope in cheerless night?

This path I therefore humbly tread
In footprints of our living Head,
In hope rejoicing as I go
In Him who leads and loves me so.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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