Last time we looked at how to increase our ability to facilitate other people’s entry into the kingdom of God by accepting Christ as their Savior – in short, to be better evangelizers. We also examined how to use those enhancements to introduce the gospel to those who don’t feel that they need saving.
Well, what if you approach someone who says that they want to hear what you have to say? ‘Hallelujah,’ is what you’ll probably say to yourself. Still, you don’t want to pass over the spiritual necessities they need to absorb in their heart to consummate their readiness and desire for salvation.
Whoever you’re approaching, keep your gospel-telling conversational, not a fire-and-brimstone monologue. Ask questions that give them openings to tell you what their pre-conceived beliefs are. Lead them to feel that they came to the gospel understanding on their own. That is when people are ready to believe. God can strip their egos later…
Previously, we concentrated on how better to deliver the gospel. Now, let’s spend a little time with the message itself. We might want to open with what it is that we all need saving from:
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Jas. 4:17 ESV
“…for there is no one who does not sin…” 1 Kin. 8:46 NKJV
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 6:23 CSB
Simple. It’s death! And, we are all found guilty of practicing sin, which leads to it.
Next, we can talk to them about what is drawing their attention to salvation:
He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]… Eccl. 3:11 AMP
God Himself is clamoring for their attention, because He loves them and wants to spend eternity with them. And He has a plan for that: salvation through Jesus Christ. It is through the blood of Christ that saves us, and the power of the Holy Spirit that brings Jesus to reside in us, when we accept Him as Savior and Lord over our lives.
Jesus came to save us from our sins. In fact, much of His earthly ministry consisted of saving the sinful in His proximity, hanging out with the outcasts.
The veracity of His divinity as the Son of God was demonstrated in His miraculous deeds, His irrefutable gospel, His sinless life, and through His resurrection.
Through Christ, we connect with God the Father, as well as the Holy Spirit, so that we have the Divine Dream Team Triumvirate living within us, caring for us and pointing us in the right way.
Christ died for you, just as much as He died for me and for everybody else. When that happened, Jesus removed all barriers between you and God by becoming your God-connection.
And [at once] the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom… Mt. 27:51 AMP
Therefore, believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus… Heb. 10:19 AMP
Thus, you get to know and have a relationship with the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, eternal and changeless holy Creator of the universe. That may sound overwhelming, but there are surefire ways to have that happen.
First, God wrote the Bible through the prophets and the apostles, by way of the Holy Spirit. It tells us most of what we need to know about how He feels and what He’s like:
“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness); keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” Ex. 34:5 – 7. AMP
The other way to know God intimately, is to know His Son, Jesus, who is an exact replica of His Father, one with Him and yet separate in a way in which in our finite understanding, do not fully fathom:
He (Jesus) is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator of all creation. Col. 1:15 AMP
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jn. 14:7 NKJV
Sounds great, huh? God put together this whole arrangement: Himself, His Son and the Holy Spirit, to handle a major problem: to reconcile His children who were lost to Him.
God created a perfect world, a perfect man and wife, and left us a set of perfect commandments to follow, to live a perfect life and stay in right relationship with Him.
But, because the members of humankind want to be masters of their own destinies, to be their own gods, they rebelled against God – beginning with Adam and Eve. That is called ‘sin,’ and as we saw in the beginning, the practice of sin brings death, death in the form of an eternal separation from God and His children.
In His infinite love for all of humankind, God put into action a plan that would save us from our sins. He sent His Son as a Spirit to be born of a virgin and grow to be Jesus the Savior. God worked through Him to bring you the gospel message that you are hearing. Broken down into a nutshell, it is this:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him might be saved.” Jn. 3:16, 17. NKJV
And this is the reason:
“…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 NASB
Did it work?
And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him}, participating in evil things, yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach _ [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the confident hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard… Col. 1:21 – 23. AMP
It is a gift from God, not something that you can earn. Jesus acquired this gift for you with His life on the cross, taking all the punishment that God would have laid upon all of humanity born throughout time, wiping out all our sins – past, present and future, by exchanging that sinless life for all the lives that would be snuffed out from the ravages of sin.
God’s gift works individually when that person comes to Christ and repents of their sins (i.e. acknowledges he or she is a sinner, exhibits true remorse with the intent to do their best not to repeat them), and to accept Jesus as who He is and what He’s done, and make Him the Lord of their life. Immediately, the sinless righteousness of Christ is transferred to them; and when God looks at him or her, He only sees that righteousness. Their price has been paid for an eternity in paradise…
…the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7 CSB
…I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…”Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more…” Rv. 21:1 – 4. CSB
Now, talking to you, my fellow evangelizers: all these scriptures are very apropos in their sequence, but I really put them in for you, to empower you with your truth. Remember, this might be your hearer’s first time for the gospel, so be careful not to overwhelm.
Well, at this juncture, it would be good to dive right in: ‘You’ve seen the vital importance of the salvation of your soul and how to get saved. Will you accept Jesus now? Let’s kneel together and I will lead you through prayer and your salvation will be secure.’
(Time for that sinners’ prayer):
Dear God in heaven, I am a sinner, unable to save myself. I am truly sorry and will do my best not to repeat my sins. But I know that I cannot do it myself. I believe that Jesus is your Son and that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected to pay for all my sins. Please make your Son the Lord of my life, that I may receive your forgiveness and by your Holy Spirit, I ask for Jesus to take residence within me. Thank you for opening heaven so that I may live in eternity with you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Or something similar. Please, at this juncture, do not let this newbie out into the world. Either follow up with them or connect them to a church.
Be happy. The angels are rejoicing!
I know what you’re thinking, ‘What if they ask me theological questions that I have no answer for?’ We’ll handle that next time…
Goodnight and God bless.