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.

10 Hints on how to share the Gospel—Share your own story

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.

 

How do we build intentional relationships with people?—Prioritise personal time with them in your schedule

 

There is a big difference between what is important and what is important to me. I may know that it is important to get up in time to read God’s word and pray about my day, but that doesn’t mean that getting up for God is important to me. In fact, the gap (between what you know is important and what is important to you) is the basis for much of the guilt that you carry around. This is true for your life as witness for Jesus.

 

When you look at Jesus’ life, you see that he was crazy busy with the demands of ministry to people. Yet it was important to him to spend time with “sinners”. He was committed to it, even when the religious people around him criticised him for it. He knew that “It is not the well that need a doctor but the sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

 

You know that following Jesus means building relationships with secular people who see the world so differently from you. But the thought of that makes you a little uncomfortable. So, while you know it is important to spend time with those people, you realise that it is not important to you. Or put another way, it so easily gets squeezed out by the many other things that clamour for your time.

 

Here’s an important principle for putting the truly important things into your life: if they don’t end up on your calendar they will probably not happen. Truly important things are usually not urgent things, and the urgent things get all your attention. So when you recognise that one of God’s biggest purposes for you here on earth is to be his witness in the lives of people who don’t know him, block out time on your calendar to spend with those people. It’s the only way that what is important will become important to you.

 

Set aside an evening next week to invite someone over for dinner who doesn’t yet know the Lord. Put it into your calendar. If someone asks you to do something with them then, let them know you already have something in your calendar (even if you have not yet spoken with your non-Christian friend about dinner).

 

If you want this habit of spending personal time with people who need Christ to become a part of your life, then you have to start by scheduling it as a priority. As you watch God start to use you to journey with that person to faith in him, you will find that what is important is becoming important to you!

Why the gospel is relevant in today’s age?—Because it answers people’s search for purpose and meaning in life!

Trying to find a job can be very disheartening. All of my kids are youth or young adults, so between them and their friends I spend a lot of time with young people. I see the agony of trying to find a job. One application after another gets rejected. They move from excitement about jobs that they want to an acceptance of any place that will hire them. After multiple rejections comes a discouragement about your self worth and why you exist in this world.

That’s not just the experience of young people. Anyone in search of work has these same feelings, as does someone who has retired and wonders if they have lost all their value now that they aren’t working any more. This longing for purpose is also felt by people who don’t really enjoy their work or their life in general.

We were made in the image of a purposeful God and people know that they should be living with purpose. This makes the gospel so very relevant and can be a great starting place for a spiritual conversation.

God’s purpose for us is so central to the Christian message that I try to share it whenever I share the gospel. When you turn to Christ in faith, God forgives you, you start a new life with him at the centre of it, and most exciting of all, you become part of the stream of his activity in the lives of other people you know who are searching for answers. God wants to reveal himself to them through you!

When you recognise that God’s purpose for you doesn’t require you to be a preacher or have an exciting job, then everyday becomes an adventure as you look for doors God is opening and you find ways that God wants to use you in the lives of the people around you.

This purpose of God through you is one of the most compelling parts of the gospel.

Why don’t you start a conversation with someone today with the question, “What is your purpose in life?”