More than anything, I wish I could simply share my faith with others all day long. I wish they could come to Christ as a result. Everywhere I go in this lost and dying world, I immediately see people through the filter of whether they know Christ or not. There are so many people who are unsaved, so many people who need Christ, so many people that God desires to rescue. What a grief it is to know that some will never even have the opportunity to hear the gospel. What a grief it is to see people reject Christ when they hear of His salvation.
And so we work.
Paul said to Timothy what I believe he would say to any pastor today: “Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5). One lexicon gives “occupation” or “task” as alternate translations for the word work (ἔργον, ergon) in 2 Timothy 4:5 (BDAG, p. 391). What a privilege it would be to be a Philip whose work it was to give the gospel all the time (Acts 21:8; cf. 8:5ff.). And what a privilege it is to know that my calling as a pastor is to also “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5).
As a wise man once said, “Work is work. If it wasn’t work, they would call work work.” Evangelistic work is just the same. It means enduring rejection. It means suffering. It means scattering the seed over long periods of time and waiting on God to give the growth.
What a precious promise it is to know that God will give the growth. I love how Paul speaks of ministry in 1 Corinthians 3. One plants, the other waters, and God gives the growth (1 Cor 3:6). Because God gives the growth, He is everything, and we are nothing (1 Cor 3:7). Moreover, we are rewarded not according to growth, that which comes by the sovereign hand of God, but for our labor: “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor” (1 Cor 3:8).
We sow the seed, we water the seed, and this is our work. God gives the growth, and all glory goes to Him. Let us do the work of an evangelist so that God might save the lost through us.