If you’ve ever been asking the question: can an evangelist be a missionary? I urge you to follow the highlighted link and read the article to find out the answer to hat question after you might have learned about the history of missionary and evangelical work in this particular article.
Well, we are not going to spend much time on this introductory part as I will quickly move on to give you an accurate history of missionary and evangelical work with their accurate Biblical references.
So if you are ready, I too am, so lets get started, shall we?
The History Of Missionary And Evangelical Work.
The history of missionary and evangelical work began on the Pentecost day as recorded in Acts chapter 2 where the disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry out the instructions about evangelism given by the Lord Jesus in Acts 1:18 thus: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In this article therefore, we shall study the history of missionary and evangelical work as it began in these four places that the Lord Jesus mentioned which under the following sub-headings:
- How the missionary and evangelical work began in Jerusalem.
- How the missionary and evangelical work began in Judea
- How the missionary and evangelical work began in Samaria
- How the missionary and evangelical work began in outermost part of the earth.
1. How the missionary and evangelical work began in Jerusalem.
The missionary and evangelical work began in Jerusalem immediately the disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost day as recorded in Acts 2. According to that Bible passage, the disciples were all locked up in the upper room praying and suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing filling the whole house.
And when they looked at each pother, they saw what looked like tongues of fire spreading out and touching each person in the house, and all of a sudden they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues.
On hearing the noise a large crowd which consisted of people from different countries gathered outside because each and everyone of them heard the disciples speaking their various languages.
When Peter stood up to address the crowd, he reminded them of what God promised in Joel 2:28 that He was going to pour out the Holy Spirit on all flesh, and revealed to them that it is that promise that is being fulfilled in Jerusalem on that very day.
After addressing the crowd, they all asked him what they were each going to do in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and Peter responded that all they needed to do was to repent of their sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.
And according to the Bible record in verse 41, many of the crowd believed Peter’s message and about three thousand people were converted that very day alone. And as the days went by more and more people were added to the fold through the work of missionary and evangelism that was carried out by the disciples.
2. How the missionary and evangelical work began in Judea
According to the Biblical record in Acts 8:1, the stoning of Stephen caused the church in Jerusalem to suffer cruel persecution to the point that some of the believers ran to Judea and Samaria.
The Bible does not give an accurate record of the particular person who took the gospel to Judea, but Acts 8:4 records that the believers who were scattered went everywhere preaching this message and this records established the fact that each and everyone of them contributed to spreading the missionary and evangelical work in Judea.
3. How the missionary and evangelical work began in Samaria.
In Acts 8:5, the Bible points out evangelist Philip as the person who took the missionary and evangelical work don to the principal city of Samaria where large crowd paid close attention to his preaching because thy observed so many miracles he performed.
In verses 9 to 13 of the above Bible chapter, the scripture records in that great city of Samaria, there lived a great magician called Simon who astonished people with his magic, but when he heard about the gospel message from Philip, he repented and was baptized alongside many of those who did same.
The news of people giving their lives to Christ got to Jerusalem and the apostles there sent Peter and John to go and pray for the people to receive the Holy Spirit of which they did.
But later on in verses 18 to 23, we see how Simon the magician tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit, and was rebuked by Peter and John. This goes to show that he did not have a true repentance and it was all a ploy to gain the power he saw the evangelist using to perform miracles.
4. How the missionary and evangelical work began in outermost part of the earth.
The evangelical and missionary work in the outermost part of the earth began with the missionary journey of the apostle Paul who was first a persecutor of the church until Jesus arrested him on his way to Damascus to persecute the early Christians.
It is worth mentioning that Christian scholars believes that Rome is the outermost part of the earth because there was a saying back then that anything that gets to Rome has reached the whole world.
And its right to believe this because Paul’s first epistles in the New Testament was written to the church in Rome, which goes to prove that Rome is the city where he first established the church to the Gentiles.
As a matter of fact, the same Rome is where Paul suffered so much persecution and finally died during the Neronian persecution in 67 AD.