by Theodore Wright
I have been through different evangelism programs and been exposed to various methods of evangelism both taught and demonstrated. Evangelism Explosion, when it started, was what we used to call “The gospel in a can” and was lengthy. The Diagnostic Questions, I found, was still a bit much. The Romans Road to Salvation verses were useful, but only when the right opportunity was present.
Still, I would find that believers had difficulty with just simply “breaking the ice” to have a conversation. This was the first issue. What to say to share the gospel as the second issue. Therefore, I would like to present these “Prognostic Questions” to help make the way for sharing the gospel and personal testimony of how we came to faith in Jesus Christ.
“Has anyone told you about Jesus Christ?”
Seven words which often provokes a response to which you may answer accordingly. However, if they reply too simply, like saying, “Yes, I have heard.” Go on to the second question.
“What have you heard?”
If at this point someone does not wish to engage into conversation about Jesus, you will get the idea by then. However, with these questions, an open door can be made where you can share Jesus based upon how they answer the questions. This is not a preaching or control style evangelism. Just a simple, method to begin casual conversation about Jesus Christ.
The tensest moment usually is just getting to ask that question. However, one or two questions such as these may be all you need to get yourself talking with someone about the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of all sins through trusting faith in Jesus Christ. This will not require you to unnecessarily feel the moment of continual discomfort of coming forward. You cross over to that in a brief precise moment of choice.
At times, yes, there are some people who are just hostile to the name of Jesus. Also, yes, some people will think of you like a religious fanatic just to ask even the first question. You cannot prevent every neutral or negative response. This is part of living in the Kingdom of God in this, yet the Lord is with us.
What Bible verses should you share when the opportunity is present? Be aware of how your conversation is going and share what is appropriate. Listen to God if He has anything He wants you to share or do. Be Spirit led.
It is important to share the “full gospel”. The full gospel is presenting the complete message of the Bible regarding salvation. However, we or they do not always have the time to share the gospel with that fullness or perhaps they are not ready or willing to hear all that. Therefore, share the gospel message as complete as you can with what window of opportunity you have.
Simple sample outline for evangelism…
John 3:16 (KJV): For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
This verse shows the gospel, but explain what this means. If you have opportunity, you can also share the next 2 verses also…
John 3:17-18 (KJV): For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Herein you see a more fully displayed gospel, which covers, in essence, both Heaven and Hell without lobsiding the gospel to a candy-coated one nor a mere fire-and-brimstone message. Another 3 verse outline is a shortened version of the “Romans Road to Salvation” verses…
Romans 3:23 (KJV): For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:23 (KJV): For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 10:9 (KJV): That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
If someone has a need or a concern in their life, quote Bible verses appropriately but show also Christ’s compassion. If they have questions about the gospel, answer them from the Holy Bible. Do so in Christ’s love but do not compromise of Jesus Christ. God does not bless a wishy-washy gospel. He blesses the preaching of His own gospel. Be willing to pray with and for people. God does miracles to confirm His own good news for our salvation.
How Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead may already be known by the person you are talking to. They may also know other teachings, such as the second coming of Jesus. If the person does not know these, tell them what the Bible says. Remember, this is about soul winning, not about recruiting for an organized church. Yet, it is not wrong to invite people to fellowship. This should be encouraged.
It is important to remember what the gospel is, that salvation is a free gift and received solely by trusting faith in Jesus Christ. Any and all works surrounding the receipt of Jesus as Savior are the result of salvation where one is initially demonstrating their faith. If it is best for someone who receives Jesus by faith to do this together with a “Sinner’s Prayer” then encourage it. However, do know the Sinner’s Prayer does not save, faith in Jesus does. The prayer is a form of confession which demonstrates faith, but is not faith itself.
Given the circumstances, it may be best to go to the persons family, if invited, and share Jesus right away with them also. Perhaps yet, water baptism should be done immediately since this was often done in the New Testament Bible times.
Various outlines can be used to share the gospel. You can find them on a gospel tract that is simple and has an outline. If you are short on opportunity, you could even give the tract out or give it out after sharing the gospel with someone. You can find other gospel outlines on this website in the “Gospel” section.
The greatest hurdle to overcome in sharing the gospel is yourself because of fear.
2 Timothy 1:7-8 (KJV): For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Once you get past your own inhibitions, you will find the sharing of the gospel easy because Christ blesses the way and empowers us by His Holy Spirit for this very purpose.