Best Bible verses to use in conversations with non-believers

John 10:9-10

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.

Settle in your own heart what the Bible clearly teaches—no one comes to God except through Jesus.

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.

How do we build intentional relationships with people?—By seeking spiritual conversations with them

If there is someone in your life who doesn’t know the Lord and you really want to help them turn to him for salvation, you need to recognise that if they are going to move from where they are to faith in Christ, there is going to be a spiritual journey for them. Here’s the second thing to recognise: if you want to be a part of their journey to faith in Christ, then you need to go on a relational journey toward them!

 

What does that journey look like? First, you move your relationship from the ‘acquaintance’ level to the ‘friend’ level. Then you start going deeper than the surface in your conversations. You start talking about life issues, both the joys and the pain, both the hopes and the disappointments. That is, you get into each other’s lives. Many friendships never make it to this level, but all it really takes is asking the right questions that take your relationship deeper: “Are you happy?” “What are the most important things in life to you?” “What is your relationship with your kids like?” “Do you feel close to your spouse?”

 

The next step in your relational journey as you help someone journey toward Christ is to move on from personal conversations to spiritual conversations. This is a real turning point for that person as they start to think and talk about God and about Jesus, especially as you share your own personal experience of a relationship with God, rather than simply religious activity.

 

Many Christians are very nervous about how to start a spiritual conversation. They are afraid it will feel forced or awkward. But if you are already talking on the personal level about life issues and hopes and disappointments it is actually very natural to bring up what God means to you in those areas of your life. In addition, questions are a natural way to start spiritual conversations. When you ask someone a question about spiritual things it lets them open up at whatever level they are comfortable with, rather than feeling forced: “What do you think of Jesus?” “What do you think happens to a person’s spirit when their body dies?” “Have you ever felt like God was reaching out to you?” “What do you think it means to be a Christian?” “What do you think of the Bible?” “What do you think is different about the major religions?” “Tell me about your journey with God?”

 

Once you have had a good spiritual conversation with someone, which you have both engaged in positively, you should be looking for and creating an opportunity to share the gospel with them, or even better, invite them to start a gospel Bible study with you.

 

As you think about the people in your life who don’t know the Lord, take a deep breath and make the commitment to start the relational journey toward them that will help them make the journey to faith in Jesus!

 

The Coronavirus has just made the gospel far more relevant to many people!

There have been many times when I have tried to start a good spiritual conversation with people, but their reaction shows that they are not interested at all in having that kind of conversation. As believers, we know that the gospel is the most important message a person could ever know and come to grips with. But there is a big difference between important and relevant!

 

Getting right with God and knowing what happens when you die just became much more relevant to our society than it was a few weeks ago. I am part of a Facebook group of pastors in our area. One pastor said that because of the restrictions on gatherings, they moved to sending a live video feed of their Sunday service to their congregation online. So none of the congregation showed up for church. But in spite of the restrictions, two non-Christians showed up looking for answers, looking for hope, looking for God.

 

The coronavirus changes everything for us as witnesses. Don’t miss this change, because it demands a change in your thinking too! Here is what needs to change:

 

You need to stop assuming that nobody really wants to talk about spiritual things or about God and start assuming that everybody wants to have spiritual conversations and is looking for answers and the hope that only God can bring!

Now is not the time to simply pray and hope that God might do something to open a person’s heart to him. Now is the time to act on your prayers and start talking with everyone you know, everyone you encounter, about life and death and God and forgiveness and hope and peace. Be bold. Ask people, “How are you dealing with all that’s going on with the coronavirus? If you were to catch the virus and die, do you have confidence that you are right with God? Can I share with you how you can have that confidence?”

 

Then share the gospel with them. When you have shared the beautiful truth of what Jesus has done to make a way for us to be right with God, ALWAYS ask if they feel like they are ready to take that step right now. If not, ask what is holding them back, and then have another great conversation about that.

 

Maybe you don’t see many people right now, because you are staying at home as we try to help contain the virus. But you can call people to check on them and have these same conversations. Don’t assume that because people have not been open in the past, it means that won’t be open now. Be bold, take action, trust God, and start spiritual conversations, then move those conversations toward the gospel!