Several years ago, God gave me the opportunity to share the gospel with a nice young man named Moses. I haven’t told that story in years and thought I would share part of it with you today.
A young man approached our house the other day and began sharing with me about a program he was in that helped underprivileged young people to turn their lives around. He was going door to door to ask questions, share his story, but mainly – he was there to sell some magazines. He began his well-memorized speech by telling me that he had made some mistakes in his past and how this program was helping him turn his life around. He was learning job skills, work ethic, and people skills – all to help him get a job, make money, and do something with his life.
While I browsed his magazine selection, I asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Moses.” I asked him, “Moses, you’ve been very kind and courteous asking me these questions. While I look at your catalog, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” He obliged.
I asked, “Who gave you that name, Moses?” He said, “My momma.” I asked, “Why?” He said, “I don’t know. I guess she liked it.” I asked, “Do you know anything about the man named Moses from the Bible?” He knew very little. So, I shared the entire story of Moses’ life and the Exodus and how this was a picture of what Jesus Christ has done for those who believe.
I picked out a Quilting magazine to order for my wife. (I figured…what’s $27 when, instead of a magazine, it’s really buying me 20 minutes with this teenager to share the gospel with him?) I said, “It’s great how this program is helping people get their lives together. But, what does it matter if you get your life together here and now, but aren’t prepared for the next life? ‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul?’…”
About that time, his work van arrived to pick him up for the day. I told Moses how he could trust Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He seemed very interested, but his boss seemed ready to go.
Now I’m certainly no “evangelism expert”. In fact, I don’t even have the gift of evangelism. However, we have all been commanded to share the gospel as we are going. Along with prayer, sharing one’s faith seems to be the issue that believers struggle with the most. And many are hesitant because they feel unprepared.
Let me share a few biblical tips and practical pointers for sharing your faith this week.
- Move from the natural to the spiritual.
Every day we have dozens of conversations about ordinary stuff. Any one of these conversations can become an opportunity to share Christ. We just have to put a little thought into it.
When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman of John 4, he shared salvation this way. It started out as a commonplace conversation around the water cooler (e.g. the well). They began talking about ordinary stuff (i.e. water). But after a few moments, Jesus moved from the natural (e.g. liquid water) to the spiritual (e.g. living water).
Find a word or phrase like that can bridge the gap between the natural and the spiritual. It may be someone’s name (like Moses) or even something in the news; but with prayer and a little thinking it can be done. Pray. Think. And try it.
- Use the law first, then share grace.
Charles Spurgeon once said that “the law of God is the razor-sharp, needlepoint that pricks the hearts of men so that the silky smooth ribbon of grace can be thread.” In other words, a man must be convinced he has a disease in order for him to embrace and appreciate the cure.
Paul said that the law was not intended for believers, but for unbelievers. (1 Timothy 1:9). It is the magnifying glass that reveals the sin in our heart. A simple way to do this is to use the 10 Commandments.
As you talk, find a way to ask someone, “God’s law says that you shouldn’t lie. Have you ever lied?” They will undoubtedly admit “Yes.” (If not, call them on it – they’re lying.) Continue down the list. Sin is breaking God’s law and questions like these can help people realize that they are sinners.
- Cover the basics.
Most people shy away from sharing their faith because they are afraid they might say too much or, worse yet, too little. The gospel is deep enough that a scholar can spend a lifetime studying it and yet a child can hear it and believe. There are lots of formulas that you can memorize, but I simply remember four things: God, Man, Christ, Faith.
God is holy. Man is sinful. Christ died a sinless death. Christ took the punishment for your sin on the cross. Christ rose from the dead to show His power over sin, death, and hell. Anyone who will repent and trust Christ (i.e. repentance + trust = faith) will be saved. Don’t get on rabbit trails or be diverted by smokescreen questions – keep these things in the front of your mind and in front of the person.
- Remember: sharing the gospel is always a success!
Jesus never commanded us to go “soul winning” (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But too many people, I think, are intimidated by this; because it sounds like a competition. If I’m not “soul winning” then I must be “soul losing”; so I might as well not try.
What Jesus wants you to do is very simple: share. That’s it. Share the good news. In fact the Greek word for evangelism simply means, “preach/share the good news”. Faithfulness is the measure of success, not the number of converts.
I don’t think that God is keeping a tally of how many souls we save. But I would imagine He is keeping a tally of how obedient we are to share the good news with others. Will you be faithful to do that this week?