Even before he was converted on the Damascus Rd. the apostle Paul was used to evangelize the lost. ”What?” you say; “how could that be? I thought only Christians could do so.” Well, it’s true; in the providence of God the unexpected often takes place. We must not limit God. Listen to what Luke wrote:
On that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria . . . So, those who were scattered went on their way preaching the message of good news (Acts 8:1,4, HCSB).
In the original, verse 4 reads “those who were scattered abroad went everywhere announcing the message of good news. (or “evangelizing;” the Greek is euaggeliezomenoi). And, as the context shows, Paul was a part of those who did the scattering. One way God evangelizes is through persecution.
Today, there is persecution of the church throughout the world. Andrew Brunson is an example. We prayed for his release (as we should) but also prayed that God would enable him to win some Turks to Christ. Remember how God used Paul and his companions to reach the Philippian jailer and his family for Christ and how the Praetorian Guard heard the message because of Paul’s trial in Rome (Acts 16: 31-34; Philippians 1:12. 13).
Notice, in the text of Acts 8:41-4 how it was “all except the apostles” who went everywhere evangelizing. Up until then the church had been bottled up in Judea. But God scattered the laymen who were part of the church to evangelize in all of those places where they went. The task was not left to the apostles alone, although they were the ones to whom the Great Commission was given (Matthew 28: 16-20).
Should persecution come to America, scattering believers, they know that God is providentially providing opportunities to evangelize. And they should seize them. But they (you) should not wait for such an “opportunity”—you and the members of your congregation should not have to be driven to do evangelism—it should be the desire of everyone to evangelize as the result of the present freedom that they enjoy. Your task is for everyone to evangelize everywhere!