Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience a Christian man and the Christian church cannot do without.
In this article which is part of the series concerning the need for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, we will discuss ‘Power for evangelism’.
Simply put, evangelism is the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witnessing.
Witnessing Christ and the gospel was a direct commandment from the Lord Jesus to all Christians. It is written in Mark’s gospel:
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. – Mark 16:15-16
The commission to evangelize the world and reach out to the unsaved is the sole reason the Church is in the world.
Missions is the heartbeat of God; evangelism is the way of the saved; we were saved to save others.
Many Christians and Churches do not acknowledge the importance of the Holy Ghost and His baptism in evangelism and missions.
It is mostly because there is no awareness of the spirituality of evangelism. Also, it is because they have not known the power of the Holy Spirit in soul wining.
However, the Bible is plain, and agrees that we need the Holy Spirit and His Baptism for effective witnessing.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
Jesus messaged his followers to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism to come from God. And in the passage above Jesus said: “…after that this power is come upon you, you shall be my witness”.
Another bible passage that supports that above scripture is John 15:26.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. –John 15:26
Here is the sequence: Jesus came to witness the Father. The Holy Spirit came to testify and reveal Christ to us.
We are to witness Christ, but having not truly known Him or the expanse of grace available to us through Him, the Holy Ghost has revealed Him to us. And what the Holy Ghost reveals is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what we preach.
For instance, Jesus came in the name of the father, worshiped on Sabbath and obeyed the laws of God. For he was sinless to the law and none of His message was about grace. It was all about righteousness, holiness, the kingdom of His father, His Father’s personality.
Meanwhile the apostolic message and the epistles were all about Jesus. Even things that Jesus did not discuss when he was with them, they knew and spoke of.
Paul the Apostle of Grace was not with Jesus but He knew so much about Him and the expanse of grace we have received from God through His Son. He knew because the Holy Spirit had witnessed Christ to Him; and what the Holy Ghost revealed was what He preached.
And now, if the Holy Spirit is the first and true witness of Christ, we cannot do evangelism or witnessing without Him.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit involves an overflowing presence of the Holy Spirit in a man’s life in a level that such man begins to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit of which the initial evidence is speaking in tongues.
A man with an IQ of 200 will perform better than a man with IQ of 100. Such is the distinction between an ordinary born again Christian and a Christian living a life of fire.
Also, we must understand that Jesus said the power comes after the baptism and not before it. Salvation comes with being born again but the fire and power comes with the baptism.
Evan Roberts of the great Welsh Revival preached and said: “Your strength will fail you if you are not baptized by the Holy Ghost and His Power”. He was speaking to believers who knew not that they need the Baptism of fire and power.
Boldness for witnessing
Perhaps one of the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is the power to witness the gospel of Christ. And in this power lies boldness to witness.
After Jesus was resurrected and was no more readily with the disciples, although there were still sporadic visits from him, the disciples went back to fishing.
They had been there from the start to finish. They saw everything, they saw Elijah and Moses on the transfiguration mountain. They witnessed His greatness and power; and at a time heard directly from God when He said: “this is my beloved son in whom I am pleased, hear him”.
They knew the teachings, the prayers, the move of God and resurrection story, such that we can say that they were fully loaded.
However, when Jesus was no more readily with them, they abandoned everything.
One would expect them at least to try and raise themselves huge followers and tell them about Jesus, but they could not do anything.
They were fearful, timid, uninspired, passionless, had zero zeal for the God and zero burden salvation for the world. They were pretty much useless without Jesus.
This reminds me of the statement of Jesus: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”- John 15:5
Hence they could do nothing because Jesus remained not but was gone. It remained same until they prayed in the upper room and the Holy Ghost came like a mighty wave.
On that day, in Holy Ghost revival, they became exactly what they should be and the Christian Church was born.
Suddenly the fear was gone and the boldness was born.
Peter denied his Lord three(3) times for fear of being arrested. After the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, he did not wait to be asked a fourth time about his faith and Master. He had only seen men ridicule them and he “lifted up his voice” in power and made the first Christian evangelism. An about 5-mins witnessing that converted 3000 souls.
The bible has said it clearly:
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Boldness to preach Christ is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and it comes upon men of the Spirit.
The more filled we are, the bolder we get. For surely a gas fire is stronger than kerosene fire even though they are both petrochemicals.
There are Christians who are not bold to represent Christ among sinners who hate God and the ways of the Just. They fear hate, slander and persecution. These so called Christians are only bold in a Christened environment or in their homes or in the Church.
Peter was there, the disciples were once there. It is absolutely normal to fear death, persecution and trials. But it is also a sign that we are not where God wants us to be. For after the Holy Ghost was come upon the disciples, they received boldness and power. Therefore we need the baptism for witnessing without fear.
We are indeed lucky that Christianity is a global force accepted in many societies. And also, with the freedom of religion in many countries, we are most lucky. Else, many of us would have been exposed for how weak and fearful we are to live for Christ. We would have known how powerless we are to preach and witness out faith.
Only the Holy Spirits baptism can give men the boldness to witness Christ.
Burden for men; Pure Passion for Evangelism
Burden for God’s work is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Burden for men is a gift that comes with the presence of the Holy Ghost and with Pentecostal experience, it is pure fire passion.
There are men who evangelize for fun. There are people evangelizing to fulfill all righteousness and in so doing please God. There are people evangelizing because they were called to do it. There are also men who evangelize as a form of spiritual exercise. All these are valid reasons why men evangelize but men like Paul had the passion and burden.
Paul was told that chains and persecution awaits him in Jerusalem and He replied: “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 21:13.
And when he recounted his sufferings for the gospel He said: ” I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I face death everyday. ” –1 Corinthians 15:31.
Brethren, there is a burden for witnessing and it is not equal in every true Christian. A born again without fire baptism could show some level of it, but with fire baptism, rivers of fire-passion will flow through his/her heart.
There are men whose burden outweighs the others as the Spirit has given them the strength. Such men are full of tears and passion for the lost and perishing sinners. It is not a gift you can give yourself, it is the pure work of the Holy Spirit.
The disciples were battered left and right, they were harassed and flogged in the public but they never stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When persecutions broke out against the early Church, Christians were scattered about the world and wherever they went they couldn’t help themselves but continued to recruit men into life. For they were men of fire.
The early church birth and forged in Pentecostal fire carried a spiritual ark full of passion for witnessing. Men and women with pure passion to evangelize and all that mattered was the commission of the Lord.
Meanwhile a preaching of 2 hours is not enough to convince the Church of today to witness Christ. And it is worst that Christians who claim to have been filled with this power don’t come to evangelism outreach.
Show me a baptized Christian who does not care about the mind of He whom he claims fills his heart and I’ll show you a Christian man who does not truly know the baptism of fire.
How can God who is full of passion for the lost and perishing world live in a man and even welling up to baptism, and yet such a man cannot feel this passion even if it is a little?
Is there fire without smoke? Is there a burning bush without flames? Can fire burn at a spot on a ground full of fire consumable items? Can a single tree burn without affecting the grasses at the base? This is why I tell you my brethren for whom my God has great zeal for, that there is a question for any man baptized by this Fire and Power and yet has no passion and burden to evangelize.
Even more, as long as many trees cannot burn without affecting grasses on the ground and consume many other plants and even animals, so a Church forged in the fires and power of the Holy Ghost cannot be silent for evangelism and missions.
Burden for evangelism, passion for the lost is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We must ask for it if we don’t have it and we must endeavor to be men of the Spirit’s fire.
Grace for soul wining
A man who has the Boldness, and the Burden only needs one more thing – Grace.
Grace is the ultimate; it is everything we need. We can achieve nothing without grace; the struggle is endless and never yielding desired result without it. Grace complements human efforts. What others struggle to achieve, with lesser effort, we will achieve it.
In evangelism and soul wining, grace is very much important. An evangelist with grace to convert millions will definitely convert millions while one with grace to preach to a thousand will only preach to a thousand.
From red-hot revival and baptism of fire, Peter rose up and converted 3000 souls in less than 5-mins I believe. Meanwhile we preach for an hour and only few are saved and that is if there be any who is truly saved.
I mean, these days we mostly have people crying for the sin they have done prior to the preaching and not to be saved from sin entirely. That is the reason we go back and the same sin continues to defeat us.
The reason why we are achieving little is that we have little grace for our evangelistic outreach, preaching and sermons. There is grace in the Holy Ghost, and when a Christian man is burning for God in overflowing glory, the grace is much on Him.
A Church full of the presence and fire of the Holy Ghost is stronger for evangelism and soul wining than a weak Church without the fire presence of the Holy Ghost. And as long as the overflowing and overwhelming presence of God remains unseen in the life of most Christians, we will have a hard time obtaining an overwhelming grace for evangelism.
That grace that can convert 3000 persons with just 5-mins witnessing is what we need in these last days and it will come with revival if we ask in prayers.
We must not underestimate a Church on fire. For one will chase a thousand, two will chase tens of thousands; but a Church on fire has grace in abundance.