A preacher of the gospel or good news; a messenger of good. The Greek eu·ag·ge·li·stesʹ (evangelizer) is closely related to the word eu·ag·geʹli·on, “good news” or “gospel.” (See GOOD NEWS; also Na 1:15, ftn; Mt 4:23, ftn.) Jehovah is the Great Evangelizer, or Bringer of good news. After Adam’s fall into sin it was good news to learn, at Genesis 3:15, that there would be a seed to crush the serpent’s head. It gave hope to humankind. (Ro 8:20) Enlarging on the promise of the seed to Abraham, Jehovah declared good news to him. (Ga 3:8; Ge 12:1-3) In Isaiah 52:7 it was prophesied that there would be one “bringing good news” with regard to the restoration of the Jews from Babylon. This text is quoted by the apostle Paul in reference to the evangelizing work of Christians. (Ro 10:15) The angel Gabriel was an evangelizer in announcing the good news of the coming birth of John the Baptizer to Zechariah and of Jesus to Mary. An angel was an evangelizer to the shepherds at the time of Jesus’ birth. (Lu 1:18-38; 2:10) John the Baptizer was an evangelizer, for it is recorded that he “continued declaring good news to the people.” (Lu 3:18) All the disciples of Jesus took part in the public ministry of declaring the good news and were therefore evangelizers.
Special Missionary Evangelizers. While all Christians are commissioned to be evangelizers, the word is used in a special way at Ephesians 4:8, 11, 12, where Paul describes “the gifts in men” that Christ gave to the congregation when he ascended on high: “And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, . . . for the building up of the body of the Christ.” The specific work of such evangelizers was that of missionaries. Often these would open new fields where the good news had not been previously preached. Evangelizers precede shepherds and teachers in the listing at Ephesians 4:11, because after the good news has been preached and disciples have been made, the shepherds and teachers do a further building work from that point.
Philip is one mentioned especially as an evangelizer. He pioneered the work after Pentecost in the city of Samaria with great success. Philip was directed by an angel to preach the good news about Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch, whom he baptized. Then Philip was led away by the spirit to preach in Ashdod and all the cities on the way to Caesarea. (Ac 8:5, 12, 14, 26-40) Paul did much evangelizing. (2Co 10:13-16) Timothy was an evangelizer, or missionary, and Paul laid special emphasis on evangelizing in giving his parting exhortation to Timothy: “You, though, keep your senses in all things, suffer evil, do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.” Timothy, who engaged with other Christians in preaching the good news, was also carrying on shepherding and teaching work as an overseer in Ephesus.
Evangelizing in the “Time of the End.” The most extensive evangelizing yet undertaken must be carried out in the “time of the end,” according to the express statement of Jesus at Matthew 24:14: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth . . . and then the end will come.” In the present time the nations have their economic, political, and medical missionaries and the like. But Christians are under command to preach about God’s Kingdom and make disciples of Jesus Christ. (2Ti 4:2; 1Co 9:16; 1Pe 1:12, 25; 4:17) The angel flying in midheaven with the everlasting good news makes the proclamation: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived, and so worship the One who made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.” (Re 14:6, 7) This is the good news that the Christian evangelizer, or missionary, is to carry. Just as the Bible describes some persons such as Philip the evangelizer as missionaries, or evangelizers, in a special sense, some Christians today may do missionary work in a special sense, even going to other countries to preach. (Ac 21:8) Nevertheless, all Christians are commissioned and obligated to be evangelizers wherever they are, in that they preach the good news to all sorts of men.