How To Share Your Faith
How many of you have ever personally lead someone to Christ? How many of you feel you are comfortable presenting the gospel in a logical and understandable way?
I. Asking the Diagnostic Questions.
When you go to your doctor, you have to be examined in order for the doctor to diagnose your health condition. That process is called a diagnostic examination. In much the same way, after turning a conversation toward spiritual matters, in witnessing we must first diagnose someone's spiritual condition. This enables us to get the conversation flowing the right direction. These questions come from the Evangelism Explosion workbook and have worked for thousands of people.
A. DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION #1: If you were to die today, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven?
1. Expect 9 out of 10 people to answer, "Yes," "I think so," or "I hope so."
2. Occasionally, someone may answer, "I didn't think anyone could really know that." Share with them what 1 John 5:13 says, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life...." Ask, "May I share with you how I came to know I will go to heaven when I die?"
3. Only a few people have ever answered this question to me by saying, "No, I don't think I would go to heaven."
4. People equate going to heaven with being good and hell with being bad. They think of hell as a place only for the worst sort of sinners... the Charles Mansons, Jeffry Dahmers and Adolph Hitlers. When compared to incarnate evil, they don't feel too bad. The problem is they are comparing themselves with the wrong standards.
B. DIAGNOSTIC QUESTION #2: If you were to die tonight and were standing before God and He asked you, "Why should I let you into My heaven," what would you say?
1. Some people will respond, "Because I believe in God."
a. That's good! They should believe in God. You're going in the right direction. However 94% of Americans believe in God.
b. Tell them that James 2:19 says, "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe; and tremble!" Just believing in God will not get you to heaven.
c. Believing in God is good, but it is not enough. I believe in the IRS but if I don't pay my taxes they will still send me to jail.
2. Some people will say, "Because I'm a good person."
a. This is by far the most common answer. Again, about 9 out of 10 people you ask will respond in this way. Here's how to answer them.
b. Share Isa.64:6 which says, "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags." Give an illustration of dirty, filthy rags and tell them that even their "righteousness," the best that they can do is not good enough.
c. Share Isa.53:6 which says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
d. Explain that God is not just picking on them that everyone is a sinner. Rom.3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no, not one."
e. Tell them why we are sinners from Rom.3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
f. None of us are good enough to go to heaven on our own. In God's grand scale our good works will never outweigh our bad works because even our good works are done from a selfish motivation.
3. Occasionally, someone will answer this question with, "I don't know" or "I can't think of any reason."
II. Sharing the Message of the Gospel.
A. First, they must understand GRACE.
1. Grace means "an undeserved gift." Heaven is a free gift of God's grace.
2. Grace means heaven cannot be earned or deserved. Having Christian parents will not get them there. Going to church will not get them there. Giving money, being baptized, being a church member will not get them there. It is a gift and a gift is unearned and undeserved.
3. Share Rom 6:23 which says, "For the wages of sin is death..." Because we sin we deserve not only physical but spiritual death.
4. "...but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. "What is the difference between a wage and a gift? A gift is something that is free. Heaven is free for those who will receive the gift.
B. Second, they must understand MAN.
1. Again, we must remember that all men are sinners. Even if we were very, very good, that's still not good enough. Mat.5:48 says, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Even if we kept all God's laws and just broke one, that's not good enough. James 2:10 "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."
2. We must know that man cannot save himself. Eph.2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Salvation is about God's grace, not our works!
C. Third, they must understand GOD.
1. God is merciful and does not want to punish us.
2. God is just and must punish sin.
D. Fourth, they must understand JESUS CHRIST.
1. Jesus is the infinite God-Man. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Jesus was literally God in human flesh.
2. Jesus paid for our sins that we might go to heaven. Sin keeps us from God. Yet, there is nothing we can do about our sin. We need someone to do something about our sin. Rom.5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
3. On the cross Jesus bore our sin and now offers us the gift of His righteousness. 2 Cor.5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
E. Fifth, they must understand FAITH.
1. The Bible says faith is essential to being saved. Eph.2:8 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith." Rom.10:9 says you must "believe in your heart."
2. Faith is not intellectual understanding. It is not enough to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died on the cross and rose again. Remember even the devil believes those historical facts.
3. Faith is trusting Jesus alone for salvation. People either trust totally in one of two things for salvation, their own goodness or Christ. Which one are you trusting?
III. Leading the Sinner's Prayer.
A. THE QUALIFYING QUESTION: Does this make sense to you?
1. Don't be led astray by wild questions.
2. Remember, they've just heard the greatest story ever told about the greatest offer ever made by the greatest Person who ever lived.
3. You are not alone in witnessing. The Holy Spirit will be working on their hearts as you open their eyes to the truth of Scripture.
B. THE COMMITMENT QUESTION: Do you want to receive this gift of eternal life from Jesus Christ right now?
1. If their answer is "yes," proceed on.
2. If their answer is "no" or "not yet," ask them why. It is important not to let them slip away too easily but also important not to force a decision when they are not ready.
C. The Clarification of their Commitment.
1. Take them to Rom.10:9 which says first, we must "confess with your [our] mouth the Lord Jesus." This means prayer. We must confess our sins and invite Christ to come in and be Lord of our lives.
2. Rom.10:9 also says that you must "believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead." There are no magic words to save us. We must not only pray with our mouths, but also believe in our hearts!
3. Show them Rom.10:13, which says, "For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
D. Praying Together.
1. If possible, get on your knees together. Ask them to pray in their own words, confessing their sin, asking Christ to save them.
2. Pray a prayer of assurance with them, asking God to give them peace and a sense of understanding.
IV. Leading in Assurance for Assurance.
A. Share John 3:35 and put their name in the blank.
B. Share 2 Cor.5:17 and put their name in the blank.
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