Under the Physical dangers and difficulties of the evangelist, we saw Paul’s hardships listed in II Corinthians 11:24-28. Of course, the apostle Paul was an apostle (Rom. 1:1, I Cor. 1:1, II Cor. 1:1, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:1, Col. 1:1, I Tim. 1:1, II Tim. 1:1, Titus 1:1), but many aspects of his world-wide ministry are helpful lessons to evangelists. In this section, we will briefly examine a couple of the evangelist’s spiritual difficulties and dangers. As can be seen by Paul’s example (II Cor. 11:28), one of the evangelist’s spiritual difficulties is the “care of all the churches.” This is a very important truth to notice. A pastor, of course, should continually pray for his sheep. A local church should also pray for each other (Eph. 6:18 “supplication for all saints”). Also, according to I Timothy 2:1-2, “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks,” should “be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority.” Now, we may be tempted to generalize our praying for all men and for all that are in authority (i.e. “God bless everyone.”), but to truly offer “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks” we must diligently lay these individual people before God. This generalizing of prayer is why we often don’t “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:2). The reward of “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” will be received when we fulfill the requirement of begging, praying, interceding, and giving thanks “for all men…and for all that are in authority.” There are those who make the excuse that this is impossible, but it was not impossible to Paul who under inspiration of God wrote this exhortation. Paul often revealed to the churches that he continually prayed for them.

  • “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;” – Romans 1:9
  • Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;” – Ephesians 1:16
  • Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,” – Philippians 1:4
  • “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,” – Colossians 1:3
  • “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;” – I Thessalonians 1:2
  • “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day” – II Timothy 1:3

Paul daily had the care of all the churches upon him, and he often prayed to God concerning these churches. This was such a heavy weight and burden to Paul that he revealed it as one of his many difficulties (II Cor. 11:28).

The point is: an evangelist doesn’t just have one church he is concerned for and praying for, but many churches and people. Some inaccurately joke in America that evangelists “Blow in, Blow up, and Blow out.” There are those that believe the evangelist’s job is easier than the pastor’s since the evangelist can leave a church but the pastor still has the troubles to fix and the pieces to pick up. However, both pastors and evangelists have great burdens and responsibilities. Do not belittle any of Christ’s gifts. Both are needed. Both are important. Both have great weights and hardships. A true, biblical evangelist prays for the many pastors, churches, friends, families, and evangelists he knows. With Christ-like love, the care of all the churches he has known is upon him. He keeps up-to-date on these churches. He rejoices with them that do rejoice and weeps with them that weep (Romans 12:15). The evangelist’s body may leave, but his heart still lingers. Yes, a true evangelist weeps over the sheep when they go astray just like the pastor. Yet, the well-traveled evangelist knows of perhaps many, many more sheep who have gone astray, for the caring evangelist keeps in touch and prays “for all saints” (Eph. 6:18) and “for all men” (I Tim. 2:1). This evangelist can definitely attest to how important it is to cast all these cares upon God (I Peter 5:7). All of the stories, all of the burdens, all of the hurts, fears, and joys, can quickly become overwhelming not to mention all of your own issues as well as your family’s and ministry’s weights.

A spiritual danger for the evangelist is staying revived. If the evangelist is not living in the fresh life of Christ’s gospel, the evangelist will not be able to pass along Christ’s life or revival to the local church. Again, we can see this example in the world-wide Gospeler, Paul.

  • “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – I Corinthians 9:27

It is very easy to travel all over in God’s work, yet be spiritually dead. Demas was a “fellowlabourer” for Paul, yet Paul at the end of his life sadly states, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” (II Timothy 4:10) An evangelist friend, related, “You can out-preach what you practice.” That is why Americans have the phrase, “Practice what you preach.” It is so important to take care of all sins or “Be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

You may preach messages that wow your listeners, but God knows your heart “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) If God is to greatly use any evangelist, He must find “a perfect heart.”

  • “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” – II Chronicles 16:9

The evangelist is one of Christ’s stewards, and “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (I Cor. 4:2) Many preachers, including evangelists, have fallen into sin while still wowing their audiences. Many evangelists pack their calendars and the churches they speak at simply by compromising Christ’s message. They give the unrevived leaders and laymen what they clamor for. The true sheep dog evangelists who refuse to compromise Christ’s unadulterated gospel are rejected, persecuted, and shamed as wolves. But I leave you with the same message that the apostle Paul left evangelist Timothy.

  • II Tim. 4:1 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
  • 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
  • 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
  • 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
  • 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

(The above passage for Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” is so, so crucial for the true evangelist to learn. Indeed, it was inspired to an evangelist, Timothy, to continue doing the work of an evangelist, and to do it correctly. Every evangelist should memorize the above verses. We will return to this extremely appropriate passage to evangelists.)