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—Ask questions to determine where the person is up to on their journey toward God

There is one skill you can learn that will help you in your interaction with every person, one skill that will help you go deeper in your conversations, one skill that can help you go from knowing someone just as an acquaintance to becoming friends—a skill that can help friends have meaningful conversations. This is the same skill that can help you move naturally from meaningful conversations to sharing the good news about Jesus Christ with someone.

 

What is that skill?

 

Learn to ask questions!

 

When you observe the interactions Jesus had with people, weather they were people he had just met or someone he knew well you often see him asking them questions. Why? I believe primarily because people will react to a statement but will interact with questions.

 

Meaningful questions are a powerful way to engage with people in a way they feel valued and heard. Asking the right question enables people to engage in conversation at the level they feel comfortable.

 

Think about it. I can make a statement about something that I truly believe and if you don’t hold to that same belief, you can just dismiss that statement and forget about it. However, if I ask you a question, that question will be floating around in your mind until you at least give yourself an answer. Try asking someone a question about anything today and you will see that this is true!

 

Perhaps most importantly though, asking questions will enable you to get to know someone deeper than the surface level and give you insight into what that person thinks and believes. Then you can continue the conversation in a way that is relevant to them and move toward the gospel.

 

So, what are the best questions to ask?

 

One of my favourite questions to ask people is: “What is your spiritual belief?” This one question has given me great opportunities to understand the heart language, thoughts and beliefs of countless people. Only once has a person said to me that they aren’t interested in talking about spiritual things. So, we just talked about other matters. People’s responses to this question have allowed me to ask further questions, or they ask me what my spiritual belief is, giving me the opportunity to share my personal story of coming to know Jesus Christ.

 

Another great question is “Has anyone ever explained the three core beliefs of Christianity to you before?”. I love this question because most people don’t have a clue and are curious to know what they are. When they respond No, I then ask another question, “Would you be interested in exploring these with me?” and most of the time people are very receptive.

Do you know what else asking meaningful questions does? It allows you to listen to people, learn about them and lean on the Holy Spirit to lead the conversation towards him.

 

Take time now to think about the last conversation you had with a friend who needs to know Jesus. When that opportunity comes up again, what question could you ask them to determine where they are up to on their journey towards God?

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—Make sure you know the Gospel yourself

What an extraordinary blessing to be called a son or daughter of God because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice! As we grasp and experience the mind-blowing, selfless, and inexhaustible love of our Lord, it becomes natural for us to pray for opportunities to witness for Jesus. As God places us into various situations to share the Gospel, whether it is a one-time encounter or maybe in someone’s journey of encountering Jesus, the Scriptures tell us that we always need to be ready to share our faith as believers (1 Peter 3:15).

 

As we begin to pray, “Lord, what is your purpose for me in this person’s life?”, we seek for his clear leading and say, “Where are they up to in their journey toward you? How do you want me to be involved for this person to take the next step in their journey toward you?” and lastly, we say, “Use me, Jesus to lead this person to put his faith in you”. When we have this mindset of availability to God, we’ll find ourselves in diverse encounters because he sure loves answering those prayers!

 

Having known our purpose and that Jesus has sent us:

  • into every encounter
  • with every person
  • in every circumstance
  • in every day of our lives…

… are we ready to share the one unchanging message of salvation and hope? How do we say it in the simplest form? I used to complicate the message of the cross when sharing. I used to throw in words or religious terms that a lot of people don’t understand. I must have ended up confusing them instead of helping them understand the Gospel.

 

So, how do we say the Gospel in the simplest form?

 

The Apostle Paul puts it simply in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6.

“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. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

 

“I delivered to you as of first importance” Paul says. In a way he is saying that there is NOTHING more important in the Christian faith than this. This is the essential truth you must not get wrong. This is the gospel boiled down into two great truths.

Christ died for our sins, and he was raisedThat’s it!

 

The evidence that Jesus died is that he was buried. The evidence that he rose again is that he was seen by many (Cephas, the twelve, more than 500 brothers, James, the apostles, Paul himself). This is our one unchanging message. This is the gospel—two truths:

 

“Christ died in our place, for our sins, and he was raised again, he is alive today and we can know him personally.”

 

Every gospel conversation you have with people will be different, but every gospel conversation can revolve around these two simple great truths.

 

“Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) Through repentance and faith, Jesus’ simple message has the power to transform lives, break bondages, heal deep feeling of inadequacy, brokenness and misery, restore relationships and families, unite communities and heal nations.

Billy Graham said, “The way of salvation has not changed. All these centuries the way to the kingdom of God is exactly the same. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me. He will never change, but you MUST CHANGE.”

 

Pray this today:

 

Pray that God would give you grace to live a godly life and that he would open doors of opportunity for you to share these gospel truths with the people in your life that need Jesus. When God gives you those opportunities, be bold and keep it simple!