Last week, as part of the sermon given by our Pastor at Church, he shared with us an extremely simple evangelistic tool based on John 3:16: ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)
He suggested that this could be used in an informal setting such as at a restaurant or over coffee. Finding something to write on, a paper napkin or whatever, start by drawing a plus sign, or the four points of a compass. Then, talking through the points of John 3:16, write down the following phrases at each of the four points:
- God Loves (N)
- God Gives, (S)
- We Believe (E)
- We Live (W)
Of course, you can elaborate on the four points, this is just a bare outline The beauty is that it is so easy to remember and includes all of the essentials.
So, there it is, a simple and easy way to present the Gospel to anyone, even a stranger you talk to on a park bench.
May god bless you as you go and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
I searched for the proper adjective to use in my title and settled for “wonderful”. I say settled because there really is no word to describe the greatness, the wonder, the awesomeness of what I am about to share.
So, what is this good news? I will let Paul the Apostle share it first. Paul said:
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
To condense what Paul said, Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice for our sins, and then rose from the dead so that we might enjoy eternal life with God.
To put it another way, the Bible teaches that we are all sinners. We have all fallen short of God’s expectation, which is sinless perfection. (Romans 3:23) Therefore, the Holy Spirit of God does not dwell in us, and as a result, we are dead, spiritually, and upon our physical death, we will be eternally separated from God.
Remember, this is not God’s plan for us, we, all of us have sinned willfully and brought about our own spiritual deaths. It is not God who caused our separation from Him. We did this to ourselves.
That’s the bad news. The good news we have already heard from the Apostle Paul. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) but that all should come to repentance. Therefore, He sent His Son, Jesus, to take te punishment for our sins on our behalf. This is called propitiation. A favorite saying of mine is, “Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, for us who owed a debt we could not pay”. The just died for the unjust, in order that the unjust should be justified before God.
But that is only part of the good news. Once Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf was accepted by God, Jesus rose from the dead, victorious, not only over sin, but over death itself! As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, His righteousness is imputed to us. And, as a result of Jesus being raised from the dead, His Life is imputed to us as well.
This gift of eternal life is given freely to any who will believe in Jesus. So, what exactly does that mean, “believe in Jesus”?
First, we must acknowledge before God that we are a sinner. Second, we must acknowledge that Jesus died for our sins. Third, we must ask God for the salvation that He has provided through His Son, Jesus Christ. And last, we must trust in Jesus alone for our salvation. His sacrifice was sufficient. There is nothing else that we must do to obtain, or to maintain our salvation, only trust in Him for what He has already accomplished on our behalf.
If you would like to know more about becoming a Christian, please do not hesitate to contact me, either b leaving a comment here, or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you.
Have you ever broken any of the Ten Commandments? Come on now, be honest. Have you ever lied? Have you ever seen something that belonged to another and wanted it for your own? Have you ever stolen anything? Even a small thing? Have you ever committed adultery? Remember, Jesus said that if you have ever looked on a woman to lust after her, that you have committed adultery with her in your heart. How about murder? Jesus said that if you are angry with your brother that you are subject to the judgment.
So, the average person, in God’s eyes is a Lying, covetous, thieving, adulterer who may very well be a murderer as well. If you or I were to stand before God with a record like that, what do you think the outcome would be?
If God is just, and He is, the only possible verdict that He could reach is the verdict of guilty, with the punishment being death, permanent spiritual separation from God. In fact, that is the judgment that each of us has in our future. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
The wages of sin is death, and we are all guilty of it. We are all guilty because we all have sinned. That’s pretty bad news for all of us, devastating! But it doesn’t have to be.
You see, I left off the second half of Romans 6:23. Here is the whole verse:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
From the first verse that talks about sin and death, we might get the impression that God hates us. But really, just the opposite is true. The reason we are sinners is our own personal choice. We sinned, and death, or separation from God is the natural consequence of sin. Just as gravity is a law of the physical universe, the law of sin and death is a law of the spiritual realm. If we step off a cliff, we fall. If we sin, we die.
If God did not care about His creation, He could have left things that way. We made a choice, and it is only right that we should pay the price.
But God loves us!
He was not willing to leave us in our condition of spiritual death, so, He offered His Son, Jesus, The Christ, to die in our place and pay the full price for every sin we ever committed and for every sin that we ever will commit. Jesus, truly God in human flesh, and truly human as well. He was tempted in every way, even as we are, and yet, without sin. (see Hebrews 4:15) Having lived a sinless life, He was in a position to take on the punishment of others, of you and me.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was not a tragic accident, it was the fulfillment of why He came to earth in the first place.
And, to everyone who will acknowledge that they are a sinner and in need of God’s mercy, and will trust in The Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, God extends the gift of new and eternal life. The Bible says it this way:
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; – Romans 10:9
God loves each of us enough that He was willing to take our just punishment so that we might live with Him forever. And if you accept His Son, Jesus, as your own Savior, that is just what will happen. The Bible says:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2
Won’t you accept God’s gift of eternal life now? It is as simple as admitting to God that you are a sinner and need the salvation that He has provided in His Son. Do it now, ask God to forgive your sin and you will receive His gift of eternal life.
If you have accepted God’s gift of life, I hope that you will take a few minutes and leave a comment here and tell others what you have done. Or, if that makes you feel uncomfortable, you are always welcome to send me an email.
God bless you!
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally is wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian recently while attending college.
Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and So Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.
The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and, when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!
By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, an Elder is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the Elder is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying To themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.
How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane.
All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the Elder does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won’t be alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.”
This story was found on Godvine (www.godvine.com) and was presented without attribution. So, Godvine is the only attribution I know to give.
In answer to the question:
“What do you think are the reasons why more Christians aren’t helping to spread the Good News? How can we encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to share Jesus with their family, friends, & co-workers?”
I recently wrote a response for the “Not Ashamed Of The Gospel” blog, and I wanted to repost my response here. So, here it is. I would appreciate your comments.
I think there are peripheral reasons, but one central reason. One peripheral reason might be that we are taught that we never discuss religion or politics in polite company. As if letting someone know how they can have eternal life is somehow rude. I think society has made many such impositions on us so that Christians, for the most part, remain silent.
But I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I believe that God provided the central answer. We today are a lot like the Christians right after Jesus’ ascension, they met in private and prayed together, but they had no witness outside their own group.
And then came the day of Pentecost and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. On that day alone, two thousand were saved. Later, in Acts 5 we read about Peter and John being threatened by the religious authorities, and their answer was, whether we should listen to men or to God, you be the judge.
Filled with the Spirit, these early believers were unstoppable. Filled with the Spirit, WE would be unstoppable too.
I am definitely interested in pursuing online and personal evangelistic methods, but even more, my heart desire is to fully surrender myself to the Lord that His Spirit fill me in such a way that I would be truly effective for Him.
And I am hoping that others will join me.
I was introduced to a wonderful music video by “The Tally Trio” this weekend called “The Broken Ones”.
But, who are the broken ones? The seventeen year old girl in the video who has been beaten by her boyfriend, or perhaps by her father, and needle tracks up and down her arm is pretty obvious, but what of the immoral person, or the man who is embezzling from his company? For that matter, what of the man who struggles with impure thoughts? Or the person who has raised the pursuit of food to the point of near idolatry? Are these not all broken ones too?
Yes, indeed. In fact, until Jesus reached out to each of us and purchased us with His own blood, until He began His work of polishing us “diamonds in the rough” to a sparkling luster, we were all broken ones.
And now, Jesus has charged each of us to go into the world and find the broken ones, the lost and the confused, and to point them to Jesus.
I have thought a lot recently about the image of God shining through me. In fact my two earlier posts have been re-blogs that deal with this very issue.
I love the line in the song, “She’s just doing what the One who died for her would do; Love the broken ones.”
I know that this is what the Lord has called me to do. Has He perhaps called you to do the same?
As believers, we have been called to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission.
It has been said, that to many people we (Christians) are the only Jesus they will ever know. If they never go to church, never listen to an evangelist, never read a Bible, then we are their only chance of knowing the love of God and the salvation that He so freely gives.
There may be people in our lives today that have no other means of hearing our Lord’s Gospel, other than through us. The Apostle Peter said:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. – 1 Peter 3:15, KJV
God has given His followers an awesome responsibility!
Sometimes we reach a point in our lives where it all just stops making sense. Sometimes the things that used to be fun have become boring. Or maybe a relationship is ending or has just ended. Or life has become a sad and lonely place, and full of questions and doubts. Is this all there is? What’s the point? Is it really worth it?
If this sounds like you, then know that you are not alone. I am writing from personal experience, and each of the above circumstances is from my own personal history.
Sometimes things can seem pretty hopeless. Inside, there is a gnawing, perhaps a feeling that there are needs that are not being fulfilled. Perhaps some of those needs are so deep that they don’t even have a name.
But, there is hope! There is one who knows every one of those needs, and who knows exactly how to fill them.
If you are like me, you have tried many different avenues to try to fill those deep needs. Perhaps it’s been drugs or alcohol. Perhaps it has been relationships or promiscuous sex. Or spending money, or risky behavior, or any of a myriad other “fixes”. But, except perhaps for a short while, none of those things have worked. They may feel good for a little while, but soon the good feelings have worn off, and the feelings of emptiness return, only now they are worse than before.
The fact is, none of these things have worked, because none of them can work.
We are, each one of us, created for a personal and intimate relationship with our God. Two thousand years ago, God was manifest in flesh when Jesus Christ walked the earth. The Bible tells us that God is love, and Jesus demonstrated that love when He ministered to the sick and hurting, when He forgave sins, and even when He restored families by raising a dead loved one.
That same Jesus is calling to you, right now. Jesus said,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Rest for your soul”. I don’t know about you, but my soul could use rest. And Jesus’ invitation and promise are one hundred percent reliable.
Did you know? There is only one thing that separates you from God right now. Sin. And not just the big ones like murder, adultery and fornication. When God speaks of sin He means the seemingly less important ones as well. Sins like, lying, bearing false witness, disrespect to parents, and the like. You see? Our God is a holy God, and all sin, any sin, is sufficient to separate us from His love and His presence in our lives.
But Jesus loved us enough that He took care of that as well.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
But, what does it mean when the Bible says, “God gave His only Son”? Well, the Bible tells us, “The wages of sin is death”, and the death the Bible talks about is not physical death, but spiritual, that is, separation from God. In fact, all of us start our lives spiritually dead, separate from God.
And this is where Jesus comes in with His love for us. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the debt for our sins, that is, He died, and was separated from God, His Father. But Jesus not only paid the price for our sins, He rose from the grave, victorious over death, and providing a way of reconciliation with God, that we may once again enjoy that intimate and personal relationship that sin destroyed.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:8-10
The way is clear! With Jesus paying our sin debt for us, there is nothing to stand in the way between us and eternal life and a wonderful relationship with God and our Savior. There is but one thing to do:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Will you do it? After all, isn’t a relationship with the One who created you, who knows you and understands you, isn’t that what you are really after? Will you pray with me now?
Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. But I now understand that you came to earth to die for my sins, and that my sin debt is now paid. I believe that You rose from the dead, victorious over death, and that you offer eternal life to me now as a free gift. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and I accept your gift of eternal life. Amen.
Did you pray with me? Because if you did, God’s Holy Spirit now dwells in you, and He is now testifying with your spirit that what I have told you is all true!
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16
If you prayed with me, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, ”I am a child of God, and Jesus is my Lord and Savior!”.
If you would like to send me an email to tell me what you have just done, or if you are still not sure and have questions, just click on my picture on the far right of this page. If you would like to read more about asking Jesus to be your Savior, please visit Just 33 Minutes.
God bless you, and I hope to hear from you soon.
This morning at worship, our Pastor asked a very pointed question. He was using the Book of Acts, ch. 11 for an illustration (read especially, verse 26):
Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
26 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. - Acts 11:19-26
The question he asked was, if the “Antiochians” had followed us around as they did the disciples of Christ, would they decide that we should be called “Christians” In other words, would the Light of Jesus show forth from us as it did from them? Or is our light hidden from the world?
Our Pastor was actually preaching from 1 Peter:
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:11,12
So, the question asked by Pastor remains, do the people who know me think of me as “that Christian guy”? Or do they just say, “Oh yeah, that John guy is pretty cool!”?
Or, to put it another way, into which Kingdom do I fit better, the Kingdom of God? Or the Kingdom of this world?