Doing the Work of an Evangelist – Part 1

Winning Souls to Jesus Christ

John 4:1-35

DATE: 15 May, 2005   AM                                                                                                                                                      PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.       Introduction (2Tim 4:5)


A.     Our Lord was an active Man, always busy, always productive, always doing some thing, and it was ALWAYS for souls – we call it Evangelism

B.     He was active, to show us as Christians how that we ALSO are to be Active, and what to be active doing

C.     Too many people are busy, and active for sure, but spiritually, they are DEAD, and many Christians think Sunday is enough to worry about doing any spiritual, and need to be reminded that we are to be Just like Jesus in every way – including in our activities, and schedules – schedule in soul-winning

D.     This month we are looking at the Evangelistic Activities of a Christian’s life.


1.      As Rescuers

2.      As Ambassadors – last week

3.      As Evangelists – what we will look at today

4.      As World Changers

5.      And lastly as Victors - more than conquerors (do better than the crusades)


E.      The First Week we looked at getting busy doing Our Father’s Business

F.      Last week, we looked at being active as Ambassadors for Christ (2Cor 5:20), faithfully representing our Lord in this world


1.      By Living a Constrained Life (2Cor 5:14,15)

2.      By Living a Spiritual Life (2Cor 5:16), instead of a carnal/fleshly life!

3.      By Living a New Life (2Cor 5:17,18)

4.      By Living a Word-Based Life (2Cor 5:19)

5.      By Living a Transparent Life (2Cor 5:20)

6.      Finally, By Living the Best Life (2Cor 5:21)


G.     This week we want to learn what it means to go further than just being representatives/ambassadors of our Lord, but Activists, Evangelists, bringing people heart to heart with Jesus Christ so they can receive the gift of eternal life that is only through faith in Him!


II.    Message – Doing the Work of an Evangelist (John 4)


A.     Evangelism is an Unpopular Task (John 4:1-3)


1.      The Lord Jesus was now more popular that John the Baptist – people were leaving John the Baptist and instead, coming to see and hear Jesus

2.      People who had come to be baptized by John, now were being baptized by Jesus’ disciples

3.      And yet, Jesus decides to leave it all – to do something not as popular as He already was doing it (see also Philip being asked to leave the revival going on in Samaria in Acts 8:25,26)

4.      Up the country goes Jesus and His disciples, back out to the little villages and towns so that He can deal with people, one at a time

5.      Principle:


a.       Evangelism is mainly one-to-one – not for the mass media

b.      God still says for people, to individually go, and meet and talk to, and personally win individuals to faith in Jesus Christ

c.       TV, Radio, tracts are all great, and are part of it, but the majority of our evangelistic work will ALWAYS be on a one-to-one basis, over coffee, at work, over the fence with our neighbours, in the check-out lines, and door-to-door!

d.      AMEN!


B.     Evangelism is Unique Task – not haphazard, not accidental, not unintentional – it is an exact science (John 4:4-30). This is how to Evangelize:


1.      You win a Person Prayerfully (John 4:4)


a.       How did Jesus know that He had to go through Samaria?

b.      How would you know to go a certain way, and talk to a certain person, on a given day?

c.       Only if you had prayed, and asked the Lord to direct your steps. That’s what Pr 3:5,6 are all about – letting God direct you to sinners

d.      Jesus started every day in prayer – and then He kept a constant attitude  of prayer – constantly in communication with His Father

e.       So must we

f.        You and I will NEVER win souls unless God is able to direct your paths to people seeking to hear about the grace of God


2.      You win a Person Purposely (John 4:4)


a.       There are several times in the Bible that Jesus says to the effect, “This is something I HAVE to do”

b.      He purposed, planned to go for the soul of this woman at the well

c.       This was NOT an accidental meeting – and by the way, if you do find yourself talking to someone about the Gospel, and about sin, and about how to get forgiveness, then realize, it ain’t no accident – that person listening to you is TOP priority to God!!!

d.      A soul-winner goes out of their house purposing to be a witness of God’s saving grace (Acts 1:8)


3.      You win a Person PresentlyObediently (John 4:4)


a.       The worst thing any person can do is put off getting saved – as with king Agrippa (see also Heb 2:3, neglecting to get saved)

b.      The second worst thing anybody can do, is put off being a witness


1)      God saves a sinner, not only to be able to GO to heaven, but also to SHINE the light of heaven

2)      If you are born again, you ARE a light in this dark world (Mt 5:14-16)


c.       Shine – day and night. Just all the time. You don’t have to LIVE at church to talk about salvation, and heaven, and sin, and forgiveness, and hope, and the Bible, and the Good News of the Gospel, and Jesus, and eternal life, and on and on!

d.      Be a constant light (Eph 5:8)

e.       Do it presently – not when you get older, wiser, more intelligent, taller, healthier, smarter, cuter!

f.        Jesus witnessed of His Father at every opportunity

g.       You and I must do the same!

h.       What if Jesus had just ignored that well that day, and overlooked that wasted life of the woman coming to that well?


4.      You win a Person Patiently (John 4:5-26) – this is probably the most important part of soul-winning


a.       A doctor, doing heart surgery, has to prepare himself for an operation that may take five hours, and also may turn into a twelve hour marathon if things don’t go well! He has to set out to work PATIENTLY on his patient, and not worry about a golf-game, or dinner, or a TV show that he wishes he could be home to see!

b.      In the heat of the sun, when everyone usually took a break to get lunch (see Jn 4:8) Jesus takes the time to go to a well and wait for someone to show up there

c.       He then starts off a conversation – about something of mutual interest – WATER – they had both come to that well looking for WATER

d.      This surprises the woman because the Jews never want to talk to the Samaritans (Jn 5:9) – thank God, Jesus went beyond cultural barriers

e.       Jesus introduces the most important subject of “eternal life” very wisely – didn’t just say, YOU BETTER GET BORN AGAIN


1)      Uses her physical need – for water - as a starting point

2)      “Wets” her appetite for what He is about to talk about


a)      We downplay the value of the TRUTH we have

b)      We have the best message!!!

c)      We not only can talk about eternal life – we HAVE it!


f.        Slowly He introduces the SPIRITUAL need of the woman

g.       But He stops short of just getting her to accept His role as PROVIDER of eternal life, and moves on to make sure she sees her need for forgiveness of sins (Jn 4:15-18)



2)      She had been married five times – not so bad

3)      It was the fact that her relationship now was NOT marriage, but a live-in – THAT was where things went wrong!

4)      Jesus was very careful here

5)      She had probably NEVER known the joy of marriage

6)      She was now just a throw-away object by her boy-friend

7)      And she KNEW it was sin (Heb 13:4)

8)      GOOD! NOW she is ready for forgiveness!


h.       NOW Jesus can direct her heart from sinner to saint, from condemned to forgiven (Jn 4:19-26)


1)      NOW He can talk about differences in religions

2)      NOW He can talk about worship and what is God like

3)      NOW He can talk about getting SAVED (Jn 4:22)

4)      NOW He can talk about the coming of the Messiah

5)      AFTER sin has been evaluated and seen for what it is!


i.         Notice the steps we need to follow in a witness


1)      Show Jesus to be more than just a Man by a well – a Prophet – He knows us through and through

2)      Show Jesus to be more than a Prophet – the Messiah

3)      Show Jesus to be more than the Messiah – the Saviour who loves me, even though I am a sinner, and gave Himself to save me (Gal 2:20)


j.        It takes time and patience (2Tim 2:24,25)


5.      You win a Person Plainly.


a.       Don’t talk theologically – high sounding terms

b.      Don’t talk intelligently either (1Cor 2:1-5)

c.       Just talk plain, simple, straight up, and stay on course to win their soul (2Cor 3:12; 1Cor 14:19)

d.      Don’t be afraid to talk about SIN, death, HELL, heaven, the pre-eminence of the name of Jesus, the need to be born again, etc.


6.      You win a Person Persistently.


a.       Jesus stayed with that woman when everyone else would have given up on her

b.      Everybody knew just how far gone she was

c.       The disciples Peter and James and John could not believe Jesus was talking to such a woman

d.      Principle:


1)      People EXPECT you to give up on them when talking to them about forgiveness and getting a whole new life

2)      Other people expect you to get on the soul-winning kick and last only a few weeks and then go back to being NORMAL again


e.       Folks, we NEED some DETERMINED people, some PERSISTENT people who will go after a soul, and pray for them and love them, and witness to them of the great grace of God, and URGE them to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!


C.     Evangelism is an Unbeatable Task – there is Nothing Better (Jn 4:31-34)


1.      The disciples were starved and had brought some food from a shop in the village of Sychar

2.      But Jesus was smiling from ear to ear because winning the soul of a sinner is more exciting, more thrilling, more stimulating than the best food, or the fastest car, or the most money or the biggest house anybody could ever offer you! Seriously!

3.      And when you finally see that to be true, THAT is when you will REALLY start to enjoy the Christian life!

4.      until then, you will only be chasing pretty rainbows, and being the most miserable person on this planet

5.      You were saved to win souls! AMEN!


D.     Evangelism is an Urgent Task (Jn 4:35)


1.      Jesus saw the spiritual condition of His day as in bad need of action of the part of the disciples – He was calling them AND US to get busy in the “harvest” – in the winning of people to Jesus Christ alone

2.      The crops were “white” already – they do not need to grow and mature more before we get busy – no!

3.      They are beyond ripeness – the souls of people are not just getting introduced to sin – they are scarred, and bruised by sin in their lives

4.      His call is for us to get busy  - even today!


III. Conclusion


A.     Every Christian is to be busy being a witness, an evangelizer, a soul-winner

B.     This morning we have learned many great truths:


1.      Evangelism is an Unpopular Task (John 4:1-3) Why?


a.       Because it is mainly one-to-one – not for the mass media – can’t make lost of money when you are having to deal with people as they are, where they are, one at a time!

b.      God still says for people, to individually go, and meet and talk to, and personally win individuals to faith in Jesus Christ

c.       the majority of our evangelistic work will ALWAYS be on a one-to-one basis, over coffee, at work, over the fence with our neighbours, in the check-out lines, and door-to-door! AMEN!


2.      Evangelism is Unique Task – not haphazard, not accidental, not unintentional – it is an exact science (John 4:4-30). Our Lord taught us how to Evangelize:


a.       You win a Person Prayerfully (John 4:4)


b.      You win a Person Purposely (John 4:4) Determine that when Jesus said GO, He was talking RIGHT to YOU!


c.       You win a Person Presently Obediently (John 4:4) Quit putting off being the light at your job, or in your family, or in the neighbourhood!


d.      You win a Person Patiently (John 4:5-26) – this is probably the most important part of soul-winning. It takes time and patience to work through all of a person’s in-bred confusion


e.       You win a Person Plainly. Not theologically, or intelligently


f.        You win a Person Persistently.


3.      Evangelism is an Unbeatable Task – there is Nothing Better. No disco, drug, or drink could compare to winning a soul from hell’s grip!

4.      Evangelism is an Urgent Task (Jn 4:35) – we ALL have go to get busy


C.     Our lives from this day forward must be for the work of evangelism. We have been fed, and burped (spiritually speaking) in church, loved and coddled, but there comes a time when we are to go out into this big bad world, and shine!!!

D.     Christian! Do the work of an evangelist! Are you willing? Scared? That’s ok – they go hand-in-hand!

E.      And tonight I want to look at the work of church planting – which is the result of winning souls

F.      Our work is not finished until Bible believing, New Testament kind of churches exist all throughout this island nation, and into every corner of this world!



Craig Ledbetter, Ireland


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