2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.“
We don’t often think of time as being relative, do we? I mean, there are only so many hours in a day. But according to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference. Maybe that explains why our good days whiz by, and the bad ones just drag on!
The reality is that if we were to observe time through the lens of velocity or gravity it would dramatically contradict what we assume to be true about the absoluteness of time. That’s why astronauts on the International Space Station age at a slower rate than us here on earth and the GSP systems of our satellites constantly need to be recalibrated. It’s also the reason why your cell phone measures time by the number of vibrations in a stable atom and not the rotation of earth around the sun.
It’s quite mind bending isn’t it? Think of how God sees time. God views time very differently than we do because His frame of reference is far above us. The way God orchestrates our past, present, and future is inexplainable, but it’s important that we remember that God has been, is, and will continue to be, at work in lives of those He is sending us to as witnesses.
As you share the Gospel with your redemptive relationship, you can show them through this Scripture that God will fulfil his promise to judge this world. Share with them that God is patiently holding back his judgment, giving them time to hear his loving invitation and turn to him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
When is it the right time to share this verse in a conversation with someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus?
This is not the right verse to share when explaining our brokenness and need for God. Nor is it the verse to share when pointing out our guilt before God that separates us from him.
No, the time to share this verse is when you are explaining what the cross is all about. When you are explaining the spiritual connection God makes between the death of Jesus in the past and my faith in Jesus in the present, this is the verse to use.
We need righteousness to be right with God, but what we have is sin (guilt). Since we can’t undo our guilt we have a big problem and face God’s judgement. Jesus, on the other hand, had no guilt; he only had righteousness.
What this verse shares with a person trying to understand the gospel is that Jesus volunteered to take our guilt and give us his righteousness—an incredible exchange that could only come from a heart that loved us, even in our sinfulness, more than himself.
The verse tells us that God the Father accepted this sacrificial trade and “made him [Jesus] who had no sin [guilt] to be sin [guilty] for us, so that in him [because of his death on the cross that paid the penalty for our guilt] we might become the righteousness of God [we receive his righteousness and the good relationship with God that it brings].”
Use 2 Corinthians 5:21 to explain what Jesus did for us at the cross.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This blog series aims to help you know the best Bible verses you can use in sharing Christ with non-believers. Craig, Aaron, Josh and Andrew already shared with you the first four Bible verses we can use:
Today, I would like to share the most straightforward Bible verse I often use when sharing Christ with people, a verse that very simply shares two core truths. I understand that many of us sincere and God-fearing Christians struggle to articulate the core truths of the gospel in few sentences because I once had that struggle too. When we grasp the fullness of what Jesus did for us all at Calvary, we cannot help wanting to share it with everyone. We want everyone to have what we have!
We know that the Bible has a lot of great verses to share, but sometimes we hesitate to start gospel conversations with people because we are not sure which verses to use. We feel like we need to memorise heaps of verses to share the gospel with people, so we hold back.
I encourage you to just memorise Romans 6:23 — “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”When sharing this verse with a non-believer, simply pick out the two core truths of the verse, which are separated by the comma—the first truth is why we desperately need God’s help, and the second is the gospel!
Let me show you what I mean…
Truth 1: “For the wages of sin is death”
Think of a child and a parent. When a child disobeys, the relationship with his parent is strained. The parent’s love remains unchanged; however, the child may experience some consequences like discipline, natural consequences of their behaviour, mistrust and a sense of guilt. So it is with God and us. When we rebel against God’s will, ways and rule in our lives, we earn wages and those wages are “death”—a brokenness that separates us from God, the source of real life!
Truth 2: “But the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”
Only God can bring healing, love and wholeness. When we turn to God, trusting that Jesus paid for our forgiveness when he died on the cross, God forgives us as a gift. The gift comes “through Christ Jesus”. That is, you don’t have to do a lot of good things to earn it because Jesus already paid for it. You just need to thank God for his forgiveness and receive it. That’s called faith.
As you share this verse, make sure to share your own story of how you have met Christ. This is the most powerful thing you can do, as it says in Revelation 12:11. Be honest, and don’t sugarcoat it. People need to hear how your life was and how God changed your life.
So, if you have someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus yet, and you want them to experience the fullness of life through Jesus, share your heart and be vulnerable with them. Share your own experience of brokenness and healing that God is bringing. Talk about the way to get right with God, use Romans 6:23 and remember to keep it simple. If you can lock these two core truths in your mind, you will be able to share the gospel with anyone.
Go BIG in praying for your witness. Remember that the Bible is the story of people who prayed, and God answered!
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Surely this is one of the greatest ever Bible verses. It basically sums up the entire Christian message in one short line. While we were still sinners, while we were still at odds with God, Christ died for us. There was nothing we could do, so he did it for us.
The first thing the person you are speaking with needs to know about God is how much he loves them, and that his love reaches past any sense of guilt they may have to bring them into a great relationship with him. This verse will help you communicate that truth.
In many movies, there is this theme of sacrifice. I am thinking of movies like the Avengers movies, Titanic etc. But what these all have in common is that the people in them are sacrificing their lives for their friends and loved ones. Imagine if, instead of sacrificing their lives for their friends, they sacrificed their lives for their enemies. It’s inconceivable! But that is what this verse is telling us. While we were still sinners, that is, while we were still at odds with God and his enemies, Christ died for us.
What we are seeing in the world today through people’s reaction to COVID and the gender issues is that people are becoming more and more absorbed with self – even if it’s to the detriment of everyone else around them. What this means is that when you think of the people around you, this sacrificial love of the Christian faith is becoming increasingly alien to people’s thinking. But I think that just makes it more and more powerful!
When you speak with people about God, think about this verse and tell them about Christ’s love for them. Share with them that they don’t have to ‘fix themselves up’ before coming to him. Tell them that contrary to what the world preaches these days, Jesus will meet them where they are now, in all their hurt and struggles, with all their thorns and with all their struggles and imperfections.
For people who are genuinely seeking God, their sense of unworthiness can be one of the biggest hurdles in their journey towards him—they feel like they need God, but that they are not worthy of him. What a beautiful truth to be able to tell them: God doesn’t want us to be perfect before coming to him; he wants to be the one to help us become perfect…in him!
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.“
What a great verse to share with people who are searching for answers, who feel a void in their lives that they just can’t fill. The picture Jesus paints of peace and contentment that is found in a relationship with him is beautiful.
You might be afraid to use this verse. What if people object to the idea that Jesus is the door and that people have to enter by him to be saved. Aren’t there other ways to be right with God?
The exclusivity of Jesus Christ is a very controversial issue today, isn’t it? In fact, my own extended family doesn’t agree about eternal death apart from faith in Jesus alone. That’s not all that surprising; but listen, as kids we were raised in the same church denomination. We even went to the same Bible college. So now as an adult, how should I interact with my family members who know the gospel but believe something different than me about what the gospel says?
It’s one thing for a Hindu or a Muslim to reject Jesus as the only way to find redemption for sin and experience the abundant life internal. It’s easier because we expect to hear that from them, right? We mentally and emotionally prepare for it as part of cultivating the witnessing lifestyle.
But within the broad institution of the church today, the lines are blurred, and people are beginning to question whether there could really in fact be eternal damnation apart from the saving grace of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Our culture today screams inclusivity. For example, we are taught that when you are working on a team there is no individualism. We share everything on Facebook because we love the community. In an effort to find peace as a community, we don’t, or at least we shouldn’t, discriminate against those who are different from us. And our culture socially punishes behaviours that rebuke the minority. As a result, we, as followers of Jesus, can so easily become indifferent to the exclusiveness of Jesus and water down the truth of the gospel to make it more palatable. We must not. If we do, then what? Would we then still see the saving power of the gospel transform people’s lives? Certainly not.
So how should I interact with someone who finds this verse about the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ to be an obstacle to their faith in Him? Should I speak and potentially cause relational tension, or not speak and potentially keep an artificial form of peace? Even when I speak about Jesus being the only way to a right relationship with God I must remember that Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Never forget that the exclusiveness of Christ in John 10:9-10 is the source of humanity’s overwhelming hope. These verses help humanity understand the meaning behind why the world is in so much pain, and it guides the pursuit of a human’s search for happiness & true purpose.
Might I challenge you today to act wisely, making the most use of the time. Always be full of grace, season your speech with salt. And focus on using John 10:9-10 to share the hope, meaning, happiness and purpose you’ve found in Jesus Christ with those relationships with people who have never yet heard the gospel.
When sharing these beautiful verses with people who are searching, don’t assume they will object to this verse and feel like you need to make all the explanations about his exclusivity. Rather, just share what the verse shares, that if a person is struggling to find peace and contentment because of the brokenness in their lives, they will find only find those things in Jesus. Then share what Jesus has meant to you.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Who can you see that is trying to seek fulfilment in life?
Who do you know that is restless and needs inner peace?
Who in your life needs to experience true forgiveness and be set free from guilt?
It’s ONLY through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ they will experience forgiveness, inner peace, and fulfilment in life.
At a time when his close friends and followers are deeply concerned over his departure from this world, Jesus makes this profound and bold claim:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
This claim Jesus makes brings great comfort and security to all his followers and can help you bring clarity to the people in your life who need to know Jesus.
Just think about what Jesus is saying here…
“I am the way…” – Jesus is saying, I am the way to God, the way for your sins to be forgiven and for you to experience peace, being reconciled to God.
“and the truth…” – Jesus is saying, I am the truth, the promise of God, the Word that became flesh, the promised Messiah, the final word of God spoken to his people.
“and the life” – Jesus is saying, I am the life. Only in me can you know life in all its fullness now here on earth and experience that life for all eternity.
Who in your life needs to experience forgiveness, inner peace and fulfilment in life? Every person who does not know Jesus.
Jesus makes it clear; we can only experience forgiveness, peace and fulfilment if we come to the Father. And there is only one way to come to the Father, “through me” Jesus says. Our need for forgiveness, peace, and fulfilment are just symptoms of the real problem – we need a personal relationship with God.
Jesus is saying there is no other way to be forgiven, no other way to be made right and at peace with God. No other way to enjoy life now and be secure in our eternity after death, no way to escape the punishment of rejecting God, no way of having a personal relationship with God… “except through me”, by personally surrendering to Jesus’ authority in your life.
Today we live in a world where many reject the authority of Jesus or sadly don’t know who Jesus really is. Many believe that truth is relative, and others believe there are many paths to spiritual enlightenment or encountering God. Still others believe fulfilment in life can be reached through various achievements and accolades.
But Jesus sets the record straight. He is Truth in all these matters, and he wants you to help those in your life that need him to see clearly who Jesus is – THE ONLY WAY to come to God.
Some may think that saying “Jesus is the only way” is narrow minded and unfair. However, just think about it for a minute… Jesus being the only way means that God treats all of humanity equally and does not show any favouritism. Jesus being the only way means God made a way that is the most inclusive way for all humanity and does not exclude anyone from being in relationship with him. Because Jesus is the only way it doesn’t depend on our good works, intelligence, social status, or anything else, it depends on Jesus.
The TRUTH is, everyone can experience eternal LIFE starting today because Jesus is the WAY.
Can you think back to the time when the Gospel message first connected in your mind and heart? Do you remember the joy you felt in responding to Christ’s love? Was there a specific trigger that really connected the message of salvation for you? Maybe a gift from a helpful hand during a life crisis, maybe a song or story you heard, a piece of art, maybe a Gospel tract, a discovery Bible study or an evangelistic event?
Each one of us connects to the one unchanging Gospel message in a unique way. For me it was a piece of art hanging in a summer camp chapel depicting Jesus as a shepherd, leaving the 99 sheep and reaching down the side of a cliff to rescue the one that got lost. It was that word picture that helped me understand my need for a Saviour.
Remember today that God wants to use your life to seek out and save the lost. Why not pray now and ask Him what resource you could use that would best connect the Gospel message with the mind and heart of your unbelieving friend.
Maybe its the testimony of some else who has encountered the power of Jesus like in John 4:39, “Many Samaritans in the town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony…” Last week in Quebec, Canada, a woman named Jocelyn started a discovery Bible study with her son who is himself a new believer. Together, in a city where there is no Bible teaching church, they are exploring “Who Is Jesus” a free resource by NewLifeDiscipleship.com.
Jocelyn said, “40 years ago I remember praying and asking God to help me understand who is Jesus.” Now, after hearing the testimony in a movie of the power of the name of Jesus when praying for healing, her son is guiding the way with the help of an evangelistic Bible study tool.
“…If you had a hundred sheep and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it?” Luke 15:4 TLB
I was sitting in a high profile meeting with mature, highly capable men when one of them leaned forward and asked, “What is the gospel, can you explain it simply to me?”.
If you were asked this question, how would you respond? What would you say? Where would you begin?
Many sincere God-loving Christians struggle to know how to simply articulate the core truths of the gospel in a sentence or two. I know I once did. You may be asking, is it even possible to explain the essence of the gospel in a sentence?
Today I want to share with you a key passage that will help you know how to simply explain the gospel. You no longer need to wonder what you will say when you are given an opportunity to share the gospel.
As all those men waited for a reply to that question, I was grateful the Lord reminded me of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 that says:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. And that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
In these few short verses, we see the gospel in its simplest form wrapped in two core truths. If you can remember these two core truths, you will be able to share the Gospel with anyone. Can you see the two core truths? Take another look at the passage.
The two core truths are these – 1. Christ died for our sins, and 2. He was raised on the third day. These two truths are so profound and yet the gospel is still that simple. One sentence that captures the gospel – Jesus died for our sin, and he was raised to life so we can know him personally.
This is the one sentence I used to respond to the men waiting for my answer. This is a sentence you can keep in mind to begin simply explaining the gospel to someone. Your conversation no doubt will begin where the person is at, but with these two truths locked in your mind, you can naturally explain the beauty of the gospel in conversation in a way that is simple and relevant to the person you are talking to.
Christ died for our sin – Jesus took the punishment we deserve upon himself, giving us peace with God.
He was raised on the third day – Jesus is alive, and we can have a personal relationship with our living saviour.
This is the simple message our world needs to hear. This is the simple message God has sent you to share!
Today, God wants you to relax in your conversation when it comes to sharing the gospel and with these two gospel truths in mind, keep it simple.
Who has God sent you into relationship with that needs to hear these two gospel truths?
Take a moment now to re-read the passage again and ask God to give you an opportunity to share these truths with them.
What encouragement can we get from 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 when it comes to keeping it simple?
Keep the Gospel your priority
For Paul the simple unchanging message of the gospel was of primary importance. He says, I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received. If there is one thing Paul wanted people to know and understand, one thing he wanted them to remember and prioritise in life, it was the simple message of the gospel. So, keep the gospel your priority.
Keep the gospel, the gospel.
The gospel, Christ died for our sins and he was raised so we can know him personally, is the one unchanging message that has been preached around the world, throughout generations, in different languages, to men, women and children. This is the one unchanging message that has transformed countless lives and brings hope to all humanity. This is one message we never change. This is the message we share in its entirety. It is the power of this message alone that brings life and peace. So, keep the gospel, the gospel.
Keep confident in the truth of the gospel.
Can you see the evidence in the passage that supports the truth of the gospel?
The proof that Christ died is he was buried. Jesus Christ actually died and was actually buried in a tomb.
The proof that Christ was raised is he appeared to Cephas, the twelve… and in the very next verse Paul says he appeared to over five hundred others at one time, most of who are still alive when Paul wrote this account.
The proof that this was all part of Gods plan is that these two events took place in accordance with the Scriptures. Nothing is a surprise to God; he can be trusted.
One of the key aspects of talking with people about Jesus is that people relate to a story—especially if it’s something that they can relate to. This is even more true if it’s your personal story.
Years ago, our son Ryley had a serious accident. Over the course of the two months after his accident, while in hospital, my wife and I shared the story of what was happening and how God was blessing us. We didn’t realise it at the time, but our story was being shared around the world and deeply impacting people we had never known and will probably never meet. We were hearing from friends of friends of friends how they had been deeply impacted in their personal relationship with God by what we were sharing. They shared how God was talking to them and teaching them lessons while they were reading the updates from us.
We live in a post-modern world. In generations past, people used to arrive at truth by hearing the facts of the gospel. You could sit them down, hand them a tract, and if they were convinced, that was truth for them, and they turned to Christ. Now people no longer consider truth to be about fact, but about their experience. They need to understand and see and feel something to perceive it as truth. Sitting someone down and telling a person why they should believe in Jesus will usually no longer be effective.
When my wife and I shared our unfolding experience of God after Ryley’s accident, we weren’t sharing any particularly amazing or insightful thoughts. Nor were we coming up with the best “argument” to tell people why they should think certain ways, or why they should learn the same lessons we were learning. All we were doing was sharing from our hearts what we were going through and how that was impacting us, sharing how God was changing us as we went through God’s refining fire.
As you think about those people around you who you want to reach, you need to realise that one of the most powerful things that you can do is to share your own personal story. And be honest—don’t sugar coat it. People don’t want to hear how you were or are a perfect person. They want to hear how God has changed your life. They don’t want to hear stats or figures. They want to hear from your heart. As you begin, pray that God will use your story to draw others to him in the same way that he drew you to himself.
Even though the Bible does not explicitly mention Fathers’ Day, we can see the importance of Fathers to God as he gave them special honour throughout history.
One example is when Abram’s name was changed to “Abraham”. God told him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.” (Genesis 17-4-6) It is evident that fatherhood has a place of honor in God’s eyes.
The Apostle Paul also clearly emphasised the importance to God of honoring our fathers, “Honour your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:3)
The Bible also uses the marvelous analogy of God as our father countless times (Isaiah 64:8; 1 John 3:1; Psalm 103: 13; Isaiah 63:16; Psalm 68:5; Matthew 6:26; Matthew 7:11; 1 Corinthians 8:6). A fathers’ role isn’t to be taken lightly. It’s important to look at God’s word to see the perfect example of what a father should be, to encourage fathers to work towards being more like our heavenly Father.
As Proverbs says, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” (Proverbs 20:7). The greatest gift you can ever give to your children is to live righteously. Children who grow up guided by godly fathers acquire greater knowledge and wisdom. They are more likely to make wise decisions in life, and therefore, succeed. Beyond that, God himself will bless the children of godly men. Godly fathers are not typical followers of “how to be a good father” checklists. Rather, they are followers of God before anything else.
Fathers, do you love your children? Forget about all the gifts or extravagant travel plans you think of to give to your children. Honour and love God above anything and anyone else and walk justly before God. That’s the greatest thing you could ever give to your kids. Always remember that your family’s future depends on how you live today!
You might feel that too much time has passed with the wrong priorities in your life. You may feel that you have lost your family through focusing on things that don’t really matter in the long run. But you need to know that it is never too late to turn back to God and put him in the centre of your life.
Put God in the centre and watch how he gets involved in your family relationships
As we celebrate Father’s Day, today, as a father, let your family know that you are putting God at the centre. If you are a child, honour your father for the positive things he brought into your life. Encourage him in his walk with God.