Peter's Evangelism Strategy
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8. Peter's Evangelism Strategy

What is the ABC of evangelism?

Simon PeterPeter's biblical evangelism results in his hearers' growth and blossoming and expansion within the Early Church. The account in Acts 2.14-41 is a kind of A B C of evangelism. Shortly after the Day of Pentecost, the Apostles apply the lessons that Jesus taught them when they addressed the large crowds. Peter's evangelism strategy emerges. "Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: 'Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.'" What Peter knew in his heart and mind needed sharing with his fellow Israelites. It reminds me of the Irish Bishop, who spoke to a new curate after listening to this young man's first sermon. "Your sermon," the Bishop explained, "is full of peace and mercy." The curate beamed with pride until the Bishop added, "Your Peace passes all understanding, and your mercy endures forever!" It was incomprehensible and lengthy! Peter's evangelism strategy continues to explain the Jesus facts in Acts 2.23 and 36, "This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with wicked men's help, put him to death by nailing him to the cross." "wicked men" may mean "those not having the law (that is, Gentiles)." "Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah." The evangelist sometimes has to attack injustice, but we should remember our master's example, "Jesus criticized, but he willingly died for his critics."

Acts Evangelism Appeal

Small KittenThe Apostle Peter's evangelism appeal makes a clear association with the listeners' needs. It begins when the Apostle Peter says to them in Acts 2.38-40, "'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in Jesus Christ's name for your sins' forgiveness. And you will receive the Holy Spirit's gift. The promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far off - whom the Lord our God will call.' He warned them with many other words, and he pleaded with them, 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.'" Billy Sunday (1862-1935), the great American street preacher and former outfielder in baseball's National League, urged his hearers to repent. Someone once said to him, "Bill, you rub the fur the wrong way!" His reply was, "Let the cats turn round!" Repentance is necessary to receive Christ.

Okinawa Fight for Friends

Okinawa BeachIn this Acts passage, Peter deliberately builds into his appeal an association with the people. He urges the crowd in Acts 2.14b, "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say." In Acts 2.29, he adds, "Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day." The author William Manchester (1922-2004) told of a return visit he made to the site of the Okinawa battle in Japan, where he had fought as an American Marine thirty-four years earlier. He wrote, "Men, I now knew, do not fight for the flag, country, the Marine Corps, glory or any other abstraction, they fight for their friends." Peter cared for his friends, his brothers, and his fellow Jews in bringing them the Gospel.

"What was Peter's evangelism strategy?"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2021

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