10 Hints on how to share the Gospel—Use resources to your advantage

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, wouldnt you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it?” Luke 15:4 TLB

10 Hints on how to share the Gospel—Keep it simple

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?





  1. 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?

  1. The proof that Christ died is he was buried. Jesus Christ actually died and was actually buried in a tomb.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.

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.

 

10 Hints on how to share the Gospel—Be real!

I will never forget the time my devout atheist colleague asked me to share my faith with him. He was one of the friendliest work colleagues I had, and I respected him greatly. One time, he mentioned that he is a bookworm, has read the Bible several times, and told me that he would like to ask some questions about Christianity the following day.

 

Yes, I was petrified and even dreaded the thought of going to work the next day! But God is with us always and everywhere and in every situation. I remembered that I wasn’t there to win a convert, surpass what he knows, or even to pretend I have it all!

 

I simply shared the gospel and how Jesus changed my life. I told him the story of my brokenness and the hopelessness in my own life and how God brought healing, love, wholeness, victory and a miracle over my situation. Suddenly he began to share his life story and how he ended up being an atheist.

 

He raised some questions I wasn’t able to answer at that time. In response, I simply said, “I don’t know. That is an interesting question. Would you like us to do a bit of research so we can discuss this more next time?” After that, we had more interesting conversations, and I gave him Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ” book as a gift. I mentioned that he reminded me a lot of Lee Strobel’s life story, who spent two years studying, researching, learning everything he could to disprove the resurrection and deity of Christ. Deep in my heart, I prayed that the same thing would happen to him, that just like Lee Strobel, he would also find Christ and change his life forever (John 6:44).

 

Here’s today’s hint for sharing the gospel effectively: Be real.

 

Don’t pretend that you have it all together. Be loving, honest and humble. You should never try to impress anyone but God alone. Never argue or debate. You are not being given an opportunity to air your pride but only to witness for our Lord. When someone raises a question you don’t know how to answer, say “That is a good question. I don’t know the answer to that, but would you be interested in researching it with me so we can discuss this topic further?” You can also say, “That is an interesting question. I need to think about it. Let’s do a follow-up discussion about this.” Pray and trust God’s word to do its work in the heart of the person you are talking to. You are simply a messenger.

 

Focus on Jesus and how God’s abundance of grace and love has affected you. Tell people about how he has changed your life. Talk about the way to get right with God because of what Jesus has done for us.

 

As Mike Mobley said, “Christianity is not about having all the answers and knowing everything. Being a follower of Christ does not equal being a biblical scholar (not that there’s anything wrong with that). In fact, I would say it’s quite the opposite and as believers in Jesus, it’s a lifelong commitment to learning and growing in our walk with Him. The sooner we can admit that it’s okay to not have all the answers, the better.”

10 Hints on how to share the Gospel—Use the Bible

Your sharing of the gospel (the simple message of Jesus taking our place before God and dying on the cross for us so that we can be forgiven and start a great relationship with God)—that message gains so much impact in the life of the person you are sharing with when you use the Bible.

 

When I talk with people who see God as vindictive and just waiting to hammer us for anything we do wrong, I can simply say, “That’s not what God is like,” but that person views their opinion to be just as valid as mine.

 

On the other hand, I can say, “Do you know what the Bible tells us about God? It says ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’

 

Even better, I can open the Bible app on my phone and take them to Romans 5:8 and read with them from the Bible: “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

A high percentage of secular, non-churched people still view the Bible as the source of spiritual truth. Add to this the people who went to church as kids then left it behind but still believe that the Bible is true (it’s just not for them). On top of this, God empowers his word to cut through the haze and speak right into people’s hearts.

 

Hebrews 4:12-13 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

 

The Apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

 

Sometimes we don’t start gospel conversations with people because we are not sure what to say. We feel like we would have to memorise a bunch of verses in order to be able to share the gospel with people, so we hold back.

 

I encourage you to simply memorise one verse: Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” You can simply talk through this verse and share the gospel with someone. Pick out the three big ideas before the comma—that’s why we need God’s help. Then pick out the three big ideas after the comma—that’s the gospel!

 

Let me break it down for you.

 

Bad news comes before the comma:

  • Wages: what you earn by doing things
  • Sin: what we have done in life that is wrong
  • Death: this is what we receive for doing sin (physical death comes to us all, and spiritual death separates us from God the source of life—this is why our lives are so broken) 
Good news comes after the comma:
  • Free gift of God: what God does for you is not based on what you earn but based on his grace
  • Eternal life: this is what God offers you as a gift
  • Through Jesus Christ our Lord: the person who gives the gift pays for it and Jesus paid for this gift by taking your place at God’s judgment—his death on the cross was him taking what we deserve so that we could have God’s gift free of charge and not have to earn it 

Don’t hesitate to start gospel conversations with people. Use the Bible as you talk with them about God. God will work in their hearts as they hear his word. Use Romans 6:23 and you never have to worry about forgetting the simple truths of the gospel. They are all right there.

10 Hints on how to share the Gospel—Go into their physical space

The other day I was mountain biking and during one of my rest stops, I got chatting to a guy who was there. We struck up an easy conversation about mountain biking (he was new to it) and the conversation naturally moved from place to place and eventually we were talking about what we do for work among other things. I shared that I worked for Ambassadors for Christ and a little bit about what we do with him. No door opened on that day to share with him further about the Gospel, but it showed that when someone is doing something they love, they relax and are happy to chat. You never know where a simple conversation can go in a context like that. It was the most natural thing. I didn’t have to force the conversation or at all, it was just part of the natural flow.

 

This is a key aspect of sharing the gospel. Going into people’s physical space. And I don’t mean getting “up close and personal” physically with them. Rather, I mean doing what they love to do, relating to them on a personal level…where they relax and have fun. 

 

But what is the key here? You need to ask questions and listen to their answers! You cannot go into someone’s space if you don’t know what that space is. Find out what their loves are, their hobbies. Then be intentional about joining in with them on what THEY love to do. This is not about you, it’s about them. It doesn’t matter if you love it or not. You never know, you may even find a new love yourself!

 

Spend time in prayer as you begin your journey with the person. Before, during and after your interactions, be praying that God would come with you. That you would be sensitive to his leading. And that you would be bold to speak when the time to speak comes and restrained to not speak if the time is not right. Then enter their space with confidence and ask God to lead the conversation where he wants it to go. Don’t force it! Remember that it’s not you who will convince your friend about their need for God, but rather it is God who will draw that person to himself.

 

And have fun!