Within Christianity, evangelism is the spreading of the Gospel -- literally, "good news" -- with the intent of converting others to faith in Jesus Christ. While the written gospels and epistles have a good deal to say about evangelism, most of the actual examples of the practice are found in the Acts of the Apostles.
The first example of biblical evangelism is found in Acts 2. Following the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter preached to a crowd of people, converting over 3,000 people to Christianity. Peter is also recorded as having preached evangelistic messages after healing a lame man (Acts 3) and when brought before the Jewish Sanhedrin and Council (Acts 5). Regarding Peter and his companions, Acts 5:42 says, "daily in the temple and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."
When questioned about the things he was doing and teaching, Stephen, an early church leader, responded with a lengthy sermon that pointed out many of the highlights of God's special dealings with the Jewish people. He ended his evangelistic message with the proclamation: "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" (Acts 7:56)
A young man named Saul, who would later convert to Christianity and become the Apostle Paul, was among those who heard this message. The book of Acts tells us that Stephen prayed, "Lord do not charge them with this sin," as they stoned him to death for preaching about Christ (Acts 7:60).
Acts 8 records the significant evangelization to non-Jewish people, telling us that Philip preached Christ to the people of Samaria, many of whom believed and were baptized. In Acts 8:26-40, we see one of the best examples of one-on-one evangelism, sometimes called witnessing. Philip met the eunuch who was reading from the Old Testament book of Isaiah. Philip used the passage the man was reading (Isaiah 53:7-8) to explain to him that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
After Saul became converted (Acts 9), he became one of the church's foremost evangelists. There are many examples of Paul preaching evangelistic messages. These include Paul preaching in synagogues to a Jewish audience (Acts 9,13, 14,17, 19 and 28) and preaching among Gentiles -- non-Jewish people -- in Lystra and Athens (Acts 14 and 17). Paul is also recorded in Acts 22-28 as essentially preaching evangelistic messages when he was called several times to give account of himself in court. Paul is also recorded personally evangelizing a Philippian jailer in Acts 16:25-31, teaching him to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
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