Before I explain what I am thinking, I want to make clear that anything we do, any act of grace, can only truly be done by Christians who are empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is clear that salvation is totally an act of God, and the grace He imparts to people, but also as we serve Him, we need His power to enable us to preach the Gospel. Forget it if God's presence isn't with us. Moses refused to go unless God's presence was with him. The story goes like this; God was angry with the Israelites because of their rebellion against Him, yet He promised Abraham that He would bring the people into the land. God was going to use an angel to lead them, yet, He was not going to go with them because if He did, He would destroy them. Moses was leading the people and he plead with God to bring them into the land and he told God that he would not go up unless God's presence was with him. God heard his prayer. And God said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” Ex. 33:14-16
But, besides that main factor, here is what we need to learn and why. Why is it that we struggle to talk about the Gospel with others (besides fear of man issues)? We can take care of fear of man issues by looking at our hearts.
People who lived in the New Testament days were familiar with the Gospel, not only because it was the talk of the town, but, even more importantly, they had the background information that made it so the Gospel made sense to people. For example, one of the jobs of the priest was to offer animal sacrifices for the people. The lamb in particular, was used as an atonement for sin. Although these people were familiar with the concept of sin, it still takes the work of the Holy Spirit to help a person understand his or her own sin.
People learn well from illustrations. Fathers in Israel were to offer a lamb as a sacrifice for sins. I don't know what this looked like, but, the lamb had to be one that didn't have any blemishes on it. In a sense, it had to be a 'perfect' lamb. In the Passover event, the Israelites were instructed to take a lamb and cut it up, and then place the blood of the lamb on the posts of the door. Every house that followed this instruction was spared from death by the Death Angel who passed over the houses that night. Any house that did not follow this instruction, was not spared, and someone died in each of those homes.
There were many visual things that helped the Israelites to learn about salvation. By the time Jesus came to earth, when He was called 'The Lamb of God' people understood what that meant. In short, people understood that sin was not allowed in God's presence, and that something was necessary to cover that sin. Today in America, we don't have a clue about needing an atonement for sin. When we are taught the Gospel, basically, we are taught that Jesus died for our sins. But what does that mean to an average American today? Not a whole lot. First of all, the concept of sin is invisible to us. But someone can explain it to us and maybe that will help. Then we mentally understand the connection of committing a sin, and God punishing sin. Then we can mentally understand the message of the Gospel, but we could still be missing the heart of the Gospel. Unless we see our sin as a violation of who God is, and we see how far away and blind we are because of our sin, we still could miss it. The Gospel message isn't just a formula for us to follow in order to get into heaven. God created us to have a relationship with Him, and because of the fall of Adam, we have been born blind, selfish, wicked, and deceived. Most Americans don't have a clue of this. But most have a deep hidden knowledge that Jesus died for us, but they are altogether not really sure why.
In America, it's kind of like telling the end of the story without telling the rest of the story, from the beginning. In the Old Testament, God gave visual activities for the Israelites to follow that explained their sinful condition and need for a Savior. When Jesus came, people understood the whole story now, and it was the talk of the town. Today we have lost the gist of the story, although we have the ending, and we miss the meaning of the story in its context. That is why I believe it is hard for us to communicate the Gospel with people today.
Even Jewish people today have lost the meaning of the Passover. I asked a Jewish woman about Passover a couple of years ago. I asked her if they go somewhere to get a lamb to slaughter. She said that they don't. They just go to the grocery store and get a chicken and celebrate the Passover with that.
I guess the key for all of us is to learn as much from the Bible as we can. We need to understand the whole context of the Bible story, not just the ending. When we do, and when it becomes precious to us, then we will have more to say, and a better explanation of the Gospel as we talk to people. Something to think about. Feel free to comment. But please, no bad language or name calling.