When I first started out in evangelism, whenever I wanted to speak in order to share the message, 3 things would automatically happen. 1. My mouth would dry out, 2. My body would start shaking, and 3. My mind would go blank.
I do understand the struggles of trying to come up with the words to say that would help people understand the Gospel message better. But, before watching The Way of the Master, I had no idea what to say, or how to interact with people concerning the Gospel message.
Over the years, God has helped me tremendously to know what to say, and how to start conversations leading to the Gospel message. It takes practice and facing our fears. We have to learn from practicing.
A big concern I have today, is that when we are out ministering the Gospel message, well meaning people who really do love God, tend to shy away from sharing the whole Gospel message.
Many want to avoid the hard subject of dealing with sin and God's judgment. I will hear things like, 'all you have to do is turn to Jesus', or, 'accept Jesus in your heart'. There is no message of repentance from these people. I am sure it is to avoid a potential conflict with the person we are talking to.
Another concern I have is when we do have a conversation with people, and we ask them if they are Christians (I really cringe at that question, to be honest), they say 'yes', and we assume they are saved. It is possible that they know the Lord, but it is possible also, that they really have no clue of the Gospel message and what God has done for them. We talk to them as if they know the Lord, when perhaps they really don't yet. We could be giving them a false assurance that they are saved, when they need to hear from God that they need a Savior. We get in the way of that message and make it unclear to them.
Some people know the lingo very well. Others understand the formula for salvation, but have never applied it to themselves.
Of course, we don't know what is going on in people's hearts. We can't assume that they are or aren't saved. But there is a good possibility that they have never even heard the Gospel message until now. If we just continue to carefully dig, we might be able to uncover the truth, at least for their sake, so that they can see what the issue is, that is at stake for them.
We share the word of truth with people. Let them wrestle with God. This is important to remember. If this is the first time they ever heard the Gospel message, they will probably be struggling. They need to struggle. That is how they will work through this issue. God works in their hearts. They struggle. After much consideration, maybe even many years later, they finally understand the meaning of the Gospel message. It now makes sense to them.
My husband was talking with a skeptical Jewish man the other night. The dialog seemed fruitless, although it went on for a while. To some people, that would have seemed like a waste of time. But do we really know that God isn't working in this man's heart? The skeptical man needs to struggle. He needs for God to reveal to him, his need for a Savior. He needs to see the seriousness of his sin.
God promises that His word will not return to Him void. It will accomplish what he wants with it. Let's make sure we preach the whole Gospel message without leaving out the hard things, like repentance and sin. Let's also make sure we show respect and kindness to those we are communicating with.
"Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." 1 Peter 3:14b-16 ESV
|Always show gentleness and respect when|
sharing the Gospel message with people.