Every now and then we need to go back to the foundation of what we have learned in each subject. I am made aware of the fact that there are those who are new to the faith and who want to do evangelism, as well as those who have not had the privilege of learning how to do basic evangelism (like The Way of the Master or Mark Cahill).
I have a good memory and remember back to when I was 17 years old sitting in a church meeting. This incident really didn't even have anything to do with what was going on during the service, but God was doing something very new in my heart. My whole life changed before me. It was the following week that I had planned to be baptized, something I wanted to do for a long time. God became so real to me that day, and ever since then I had wanted to do evangelism, but failed to understand what it should look like and how to communicate the Gospel to others.
Throughout the years, I have tried to refine my testimony, as well as make it shorter, but clipping out parts of my testimony would be like eliminating some of the ingredients in making a cake. Maybe, I can have a long version (normal) and a shortened version with all the basic points in it.
Since I was in high school at that time, my newest goal was to give out tracts to my friends. I did have one guy who was interested in the tracts and asked for them when I forgot to bring them to school that day. I asked him if he wanted to be saved, but he didn't. What would I have said if he answered 'yes' to my question? (This guy actually did come to know the Lord later on, and prayed that he would find me so he could tell me!)
I would have no idea of what to say though, if I were trying to share the Gospel. I do know that this is something we do not want to do in our own power or strength. We need to power of God to come upon us so that we can live Godly lives and share the Gospel with others.
So, I would recommend to my readers to watch any of The Way Of The Master videos or watch it on television if you can. You can watch people actually sharing the Gospel with others. Also, Mark Cahill has some books out that you can read. He has several conversations with people with whom he shares the Gospel with.
The first tip I have though, is to understand the Gospel well enough to articulate it. What are the issues involved in the Gospel? 1. God made man and woman 2. Man and woman ended their relationship with God by believing the devil's lie instead of God's word 3. As a result of man's disobedience, God placed curses on mankind, the devil, the earth. This is why we have death, sickness, war, pain, etc. 4. God promised to send a Redeemer to save mankind from sin and its punishment 5. God sent His Son to take the penalty for our sins, to disarm the devil and his powers, and to deliver people out of their sin and the bondages sin has brought upon them. 6. Each individual person must turn away from his or her own sin and trust in God. Each person must have a covering for their sin, which was provided for us when God sent His Son to earth, to live a perfect life and to die in our place, for our sins. 7. Because Jesus arose from the dead, He went back to heaven and will return to earth one day to take for Himself the people who belong to Him. 8. Those who have not turned to Him in repentance and faith will end up in the Lake of Fire and spend eternity there to pay for their sins.
Some of the people you talk to will know some of these facts already. Some might not know anything yet. Others might be able to parrot words that correlate the Gospel message, but have no idea what they mean or how to apply them to themselves.
They have to understand that they are sinners before a holy God and they need a Savior from their sins. The first step is to help them see the law. The law is basically the 10 Commandments, which show what God is like. They need to see how far away they are from God. The law will help them to see this, even if they don't want to acknowledge this fact.
Just a side note: We do not have to come down hard on people. God's word is powerful enough to convict them of their sin and help them to see their need for salvation. When we try to do God's work for Him, we are trying to do what only the Holy Spirit can do. In other words, we are really trying to be God.
So, I hope this is helpful for us today. We don't want to just tell people that Jesus died for their sins, or, Jesus saves. Those are true statements but make no sense to a person who doesn't understand his or her sinful condition before God. People ask Jesus into their hearts or they pray a prayer or raise their hand in response to a teacher asking those who want Jesus to be their Savior to raise their hands. The danger with that is that people put their trust in their prayer or in the act of raising their hand instead of trusting in the blood of Jesus Christ to pay for their sins. Many, if not most, think they are good people because it is easy to compare ourselves with other people and there is always someone worse than us. We need to help people to compare themselves with God's standards not other people. That is how successful evangelism works.
So, ask people if they think they are good enough to go to heaven after they die? If they say 'yes', then you know they don't understand the Gospel and need help in looking at God's holy law and seeing their deficit. That is what we can do for them as we evangelize them.
And, as with any aspect of sharing the Gospel or teaching Biblical truths, always do so in love and humility. It really will make a big difference in how others respond to you.