The Holy Spirit and Evangelism
“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where there was a den and laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. [Isa 64:6; Luke 14:33; Psalm 38:4]. I looked and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, “What shall I do? ”[Acts 2:37; 16:30; Habakkuk 1:2, 3.]
This book will make a traveler of thee,
If by its counsel thou wilt ruled be,
It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
If thou wilt its directions understand
Yea, it will make the slothful active be,
The blind also; delightful things to see.”
“Every person has an eternal soul and deserves a clear presentation of the gospel.”
Proverbs 11: 30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.
Most pastors would affirm that statement. Some hold it as a core value. We agree that evangelism needs to be a priority. But Christians are often too busy or too involved with our own families, friends, occupations, and church activities to pay much attention to those lost souls outside of the church.
More than 100 years ago, D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, said, “I believe that many a man is praying for God to fill him when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, we ought to pray Him to empty us.”
In the 21st century, the church along with ALL believers needs to rely on God’s Holy Spirit to help it/them provide a relevant, powerful witness to a lost world. Most efforts at evangelism are often, at best, an exercise in recruitment. When energized by the Holy Spirit, however, evangelism becomes a sharing of the Gospel good news in a dynamic and comprehensible way as the Holy Spirit opens peoples’ hearts to salvation and new life in Messiah.
The fact lost people matter to Almighty God is a compelling reason for evangelism. Evangelism presents two questions:
1 How do we convey the gospel to people who do not think they are lost?
2 How do we meet the growing theological challenge that arises when people do not view lostness as a terminal condition?
The voice of truth spoken by the Holy Spirit is necessary to counter the many confusing voices leading people astray. While a person can resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51), the Holy Spirit is active in bringing conviction to a lost person. To convict means to convince. A person must be convinced of his own sin and need for a Savior.
Acts 7:51: “Stiffnecked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You continually oppose the Ruach HaKodesh! You do the same things your fathers did!
Americans have many opinions about God, sin, and salvation. Louder preaching, angry pulpit pounding, and intimidation are not the answers. We must remember that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of sin, not ours. We may be able to persuade or cajole a person to win an argument, but we cannot effect spiritual change in that way. Arguing over theology, doctrines, religions etc is counterproductive at best and also quenches the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can draw people toward spiritual change.
Yeshua/Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and will declare it to you” (John 16:12–14, NKJV).7
The Holy Spirit is a communicator. His compassionate, loving voice reveals the grace of a merciful God. He breaks down walls of division, prejudice, and hatred that people have erected on foundations of disappointment — along with missed opportunities to experience God’s grace. One by one, He removes the bricks of anger, resentment, frustration, and pain that are held together with the mortar of bitterness and unbelief. Meanwhile, He does not speak of himself. He speaks of Yeshua/Jesus — the only healer of broken hearts and shattered dreams through His shed blood.
The Holy Spirit is the Voice of reality in a world of virtual reality. He does not disappoint. He does not lead people astray from God’s Truth or build false hopes. Although His work is often a mystery, He does not work through illusions or trickery. He knows the past, present, and future. He speaks the truth and tells of good and Holy things to come.
One of the most beautiful titles for the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is “the Spirit of Grace” (Hebrews 10:29). The New Living Translation renders it, “the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to His people” (Hebrews 10:29, NLT).
YHWH God is merciful. Mercy is so much a part of His nature that the Bible repeatedly says, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118; 136, NKJV) The Holy Spirit never runs out of mercy. Some believer’s may dispense it by the spoonful. To facilitate evangelism, we must realize that God pours it out extravagantly, lavishly, and without measure. No person is beyond the range of the Holy Spirit’s mercy and grace.
Having compassion for lost people is essential to evangelism. The Holy Spirit can fill believers with compassion. The old-time Pentecostals spoke of having a burden for the lost. Weeping and crying at the altar because of lost people should be something we experience, not something we read about in church history books. The passion of the Spirit can empower us with the compassion of Yeshua/Jesus to reach the lost.
We must never underestimate the power of compassionate outreach that is anointed by the Holy Spirit. Once a person repents of his sins, receives mercy and salvation through Yeshua and accepts the Holy Spirit, the Love of the Almighty for us brings miraculous change. Paul described it as, “the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). The work of the Holy Spirit of Truth is essential in evangelism. Only Almighty God can change the human heart.
The End of Days is here, but they have no purpose or relevance without being undergirded by EVANGELISM!!
Be an EVANGELIST!
Walking on the road to Emmaus together with YESHUA,
Rabbi James and Erlene Talbott,
Yeshua HaTikvah Yisrael Ministries