Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

MEN TALKING

If God keeps waiting on the Church, this world will never be saved.  Let’s face the facts: they’re distracted and we’re paralyzed.  You know it’s true.

There’s so much buzz in church circles about relationships and building bridges to lost friends, but mostly what comes out of all that chill chatter is generalities and coffee conversations.  If that celebrated bridge ever gets underway, it’s generally another bridge to nowhere.  Maybe it’s partly due to growing urbanization and the oppressive idea of tolerance, but Jesus feels like a very offensive topic, even to people in the church.  His name may be the last taboo.

  • We’re afraid we’ll mention faith too soon and turn them off.
  • We fear we’ll be too direct and friends will feel judged.
  • What if they ask a question and I can’t answer?
  • It would be embarrassing if I got through my whole testimony and the only reply was, “So what?”

I’ve struggled with the same anxieties here along the Washington DC Beltway where people are very secular and overly sensitive.  After a lot of prayer, discouragement, and struggle, I’ve found a better way: Let Jesus do it.  He’s always more convincing when he uses his own words.  It’s not your job to argue with people.  Introduce them to Jesus!

FIRST: Find an opening in the conversation and ask, “Have you ever met Jesus?”  If your friend gives you a funny look, break the tension with a big laugh, and then add, “I’m serious.  He wants to meet you.”  Listen kindly for the next couple of minutes until they ask, in one way or another, what you’re talking about.”

This is not a trick question.  It’s not about being lost or found; not about being saved or condemned.  In a world where people talk about relationships all the time, you’re just wondering if they’ve met someone you happen to love and adore.

SECOND:  Don’t lecture.  Smile again and gently say something like this: “The Bible is like a letter from God.  He makes this promise to actually reveal himself to people who ask.  So I was just wondering if that ever happened to you?”

In case you’re unsure, this is absolutely true. Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Think about Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” My personal favorite is Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”  There’s a ton of verses like this.  Just remember one in case someone asks if the Bible really says that.

THIRD: Suggest an experiment. Without trying to sound like your pastor encourage your friend to simply ask Christ to reveal himself, maybe for a month or so.  He can take a moment every day and simply pray, “Jesus, please reveal yourself to me.  I want to know you.”  Or better yet, read the Gospel of Luke, one chapter every day.  Then simply pause and ask Jesus Christ to show up.

Ask your friend if it’s okay if you check in after 30 days to find out what happened.  Tell him that Jesus Christ has always kept his word with you, and you’re wondering what might happen with him (or her.)  Here’s the amazing secret.

  • In a friendly, non-threatening way, you’ve invited someone to talk to God every day.
  • Without being judgmental, you have suggested daily Bible reading.
  • There’s a good chance you’ve created some curiosity.
  • Isaiah 55:11 promises God’s Word  “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose.”

FINALLY, spend the following month praying for your friend. Then follow up as promised. In 30 days, create another opportunity to chat and ask your friend what happened.  You haven’t tried to argue anyone into Heaven or jam anything down someone else’s throat. You’ve simply let Jesus say it in his own way.

Let me know what happens.

And lift up the Cross!

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Comments on: "Let Him Say it in His Own Words" (5)

  1. This is nice…I shall try doing this thank you ^_^

  2. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation. This is Jesus.
    “he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do”
    What works?, preaching the gospel.
    To those who don’t know us it used to be you could walk up to a perfect stranger and ask them “how’s your Faith in Jesus”? To which the reply was almost always “good”
    Great I’d say, “so have you ever heard of being born again”? Bible open, finger pointing to John 3:3. Look here I’d say, (very few had the strength to look away).
    Now I read the Gospel of John out loud up to verse 15 and watch the response, if it is positive I continue to verse 22, explain the cross, the old man, and the light that is now shining on them.
    Then over time an offer is made to make the good confession in the presents of many witnesses, with a promise. “Your world, like mine will never be the same.
    To those who know us, our actions are far more important than our words. We are of the same Spirit just as we are of the same body and not all parts of the body have the same purpose. To those with whom we do share our testimony may God grant that they will repent and come knowledge of the truth but it is God’s work to open the hearts of men, and he will if we ask.

    • Thanks, Rick. I don’t know which region of the country is home for you, but in many urban regions (like here in Washington, DC) the direct approach actually does result in people glaring, looking away, rolling their eyes, or complaining about religious harassment. I have found that being more subtle and giving God a chance to work through prayer or scripture can soften the blow and even create interest. I am with you that direct is preferred whenever it works. My suggestion is a different tactic that takes a few weeks but at least begins the conversation. Thanks for thinking about this huge topic with us.

      • Oh Gosh, I am not suggesting that the approach I spoke of is to be followed today.
        I am pointing out that that’s the way it used to be in the good old days.
        I suspect I’d be arrested if I tried that today.
        In the 70s Id get on a bus full of people and subject a captured audience to the Gospel, sure Id get ridiculed, laughed at, even threatened. In tossing the seed how many people were insulted I will never know, and how many good places did the seed fall into, again I will never know in this life.

        No, I’m afraid the saying has ripened…”Because wickedness is multiplied most men’s love has grown cold” Singing in the street has been silenced and men thirst for water.

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