To “evangelize” means to proclaim the good news (the gospel) that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins, was buried, and raised from the dead and lives today (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Because of Christ’s Person and work, we urge, appeal to, and command people of all nations (people groups) to repent of their sins (Acts 2:38), to believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), and to follow Him in lifelong obedience (Luke 14:26).
Evangelism is purposeful and intentional. Its aim is not simply to communicate information but to persuade unbelievers to turn from their sins to trusting in Jesus Christ, and to make lifelong commitments to follow Him.
If people repent and believe in Christ, they will be saved and forgiven of their sins and receive eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit. However, if people disobey the gospel, God’s wrath remains on them, and they will perish (John 3:36).
Evangelism is Part of the Christian Life and a Priority of the Local Church
Sometimes we treat evangelism as a supplement to the Christian life or the church experience. However, a desire for peoples' salvation should be every believer's concern, and evangelism should increasingly be the outgrowth of the believer’s walk with Jesus Christ. Also, evangelism should be a priority of the local church because Christ made it a priority for His earliest disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
We will increasingly desire to proclaim Jesus Christ as we cherish the gospel, glory in our Savior, seek to see God worshiped universally, and love lost people more.
Godly Living Substantiates Evangelism
Believers must bear witness to the saving power of the gospel with their “lives and their lips,” i.e., their ways and their words (see Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:5). While we must proclaim the gospel, we must also live Spirit-filled, holy lives that add credibility to our words. John Chapman states, "Any and every situation is one in which we are to witness, by the way we live to the fact that Jesus is our Lord.
Evangelism is Local and Global
Individual believers and the local church should endeavor to evangelize people of various nations. Moreover, they must incorporate new believers into the church through baptism and teaching (Matthew 28:19-20). Furthermore, believers are to evangelize the nations near and far, nationally and globally, domestically and internationally. Therefore, in addition to individual evangelism, the local church (collectively) endeavors to evangelize the nations by equipping and sending forth believers (missionaries) who go out for the sake of Christ's name (3 John 7).