Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Friendship Evangelism

May 22, 2010

Some of you might remember back when I started the series on Evangelism. We started talking about street evangelism. I personally prefer  friendship evangelism. It’s a little bit easier, because, you actually know the person, and you can “customize” your witnessing to their beliefs and personality. Something I like to do, is wait for them to bring “religion” up. The cool thing with this, is they don’t have to straight out ask you what you believe. They could say something like, “I’m really struggling with such and such right now.” or, “Look at the flowers, aren’t they pretty?” Or “I wonder how such and such works.” There are so many topics that lead straight back to God, Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Sometimes, your friends will bring something up. If they start talking about their religion, you can listen politely and then say, “That’s interesting, here’s what I think.” It doesn’t have to be an all out argument, just a calm discussion about your beliefs. Along those lines, your friend might come straight out and ask you what you believe. This is awesome, because they’ve opened the door wide open to let you say exactly what you want to say. It’s important, though, to be careful in both cases, not to bash the other person or their beliefs. I’ll never forget talking to my Mormon friend about the differences between our religions, and he told me it was nice to have a discussion without bashing. You can use logic and arguments, but you should have more of a “Let’s explore this together” rather than an, “I’m right, you’re wrong”‘ attitude. Another thing to keep in mind, you two are friends. The friendship is extremely important, yes, you want them to get saved, but that shouldn’t be the only reason for the friendship. If that’s the only reason, and you do not value your friend, they will never listen to you. Remember, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” — John C. Maxwell Hope this helps! In him, History Maker (AKA, Eden)

Bill Jack’s Four Killer Questions

May 17, 2010

Hey everyone!

When you talk to someone about Jesus, what is the most effective method of showing them the faults of their belief? Should you bash them over the head with your Bible to show them their sinful ways? Should you spit evidence in their face to rip apart their beliefs? The answer is a resounding no. Though the Bible and evidence are both important evangelistic tools, you just won’t argue someone to heaven. The best way to guide them to the truth is to get the to come to their own conclusions. Bill Jack, a speaker at Worldview Academy and author of several books on worldview analysis, has devised a series of questions designed to help you determine what a person really believes and show them why Christianity must be true. The questions are:

1. What do you mean by _____?

This is a good way to find out what people are really saying. For example, when some says, “I am a Christian,” you want to know what they mean by Christian, because there are people who call themselves Christians but don’t believe in the basic pillars of the Christian faith. Other terms can have similar differences when used by different people. Use this question to make sure you aren’t using the same word but meaning two completely different things.

2. How do you know that you are right?

This is a great way to make people think about what they believe, but don’t overuse it. A good way to avoid sounding like a broken record is to vary the wording on the same question. People will think that you are obnoxious if you just keep asking this question over and over. And being obnoxious will definitely turn people off.

Remember also that this is an important question for you to be able to answer as well. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” If someone turns this question on you, be sure you can show them why you are confident in Christianity. There is solid evidence for the validity of Scripture, the resurrection of Jesus. Find it and use it. A good thing to be sure of is that the other person will accept the evidence you present. Add this question to the list as well: “What will you accept as evidence?” That way you can give the most persuasive evidence to them because you’ll know what it takes.

3. What if you are wrong and you die?

This is a powerful question to those who are willing to listen– though many are not– but once again do not overuse it. And do not let people avoid this question either. Some may simply respond and say, “It doesn’t matter because I’m not wrong.” But that doesn’t answer the question. Make sure you stress the IF so it doesn’t sound like you are saying flat out “You’re beliefs are stupid.”

This will also be another question that people will be likely to turn on you. Do not avoid it. Obviously, if you’re talking to an atheist and you are wrong, there are no eternal consequences, and you end up feeling complete here on earth. But if you’re talking to a Muslim, you will need to accept and admit the fact that if you’re wrong you will go to hell. However, after admitting this, you can move on to explain why you are sure that you aren’t wrong and why the Bible is the most trustworthy source of information.

4. What difference does that make in your life?

This one confused me for the longest time. But here’s what it really means: What are the logical actions that stem from your beliefs? For a Christian, it would be to love God, love our neighbors, and spread the truth of Jesus. For an (honest) atheist it would be to live for themselves, because nothing will matter after this life anyway. For a Jew, it would be to do everything possible to follow God’s Law as defined by the Torah and the Talmud. Every belief system has logical actions that follow it. Many people don’t see the implications their beliefs have (for example, many evolutionists will condemn euthanasia, but if we’re working towards a stronger race as evolution implies, why should we let the weak ones live? Many evolutionists will refuse to accept this notion, but it’s only logical. But don’t be surprised by the bold person who admits and accepts this, as horrible as that sounds).

So now you have a toolbox that you can use to get people to see the faults in their belief system. They are not fail-proof, but they definitely help. Also, don’t just spit out these questions and make people feel stupid. As Bill Jack put it, “Use them as a crowbar, not a sledgehammer.” Pry their minds open to the possibility that Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. Don’t bash them over the head and watch them explode from your vast wisdom.

Hope this helps as you follow the Great Commission!

In Christ,

.:Matt:.

The importance of Scripture memory

May 26, 2009

Memorizing Scripture is an essential part of the Christian life.  It is even more essential to evangelism.  The Bible itself even says that it is a powerful tool for evangelism.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  The purpose of God’s Word is to draw people to Jesus.  If we use it, it will accomplish that purpose.  But honestly, who carries their Bible with them wherever they go?  I’m sure that it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but sometimes that could be impractical.  Therefore, in order for us to use the Bible in evangelism, and in order to be ready at all times, we need to memorize God’s Word.

Besides being ready to use Scripture in your evangelism, Scripture can also help us fight temptation.  The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  Besides the obvious reason of sin essentially being spitting in the face of God, we need to not sin so we can be a good witness to those around us.  If you do things that you know are wrong and don’t hold yourself to higher standards, it could seriously hurt your ability to witness to those around you, and it could also distort people’s view of Christianity.  Therefore, we must hide God’s Word in our hearts.

In Christ,

Matt

Side Note:  I have recently discovered a great event called the National Bible Bee.  It is a Scripture knowledge and memory competition.  You can get more information about it here, though the deadline for this year is past: http://www.biblebee.org.  Also, there is a tool for Scripture memorization at http://www.memorizehisword.com.  These are great tools and motivators for Scripture memory!

They just keep coming…

April 17, 2009

Got another testimony for you all!

I was raised in a Christian home, and at the age of five I was watching a Donut Man video. The Donut Man was saying that our hearts are like a donut, there’s an empty space that we can’t fill. But Jesus comes in and fills up that empty place (the Donut Man used a donut hole for this part) and takes away our sins. So I went and found my dad, and he and I prayed on the stairs of our deck. And that’s how I initially trusted in Jesus Christ.

Some time went by, and I continued going to church, having a Christian upbringing, etc. But my faith still wasn’t really my own. I wasn’t letting Christ run my life. When I was twelve I went to church camp. The speaker was talking about surrendering all that we have to Christ, and letting him be the center of our lives. I prayed for God to change me, and let him run my life.

Since then I have really grown in my faith, and God has taken me through lots of difficulties. I am constantly shown that I can’t do anything good on my own, can’t get through anything on my own, but I can with God. I love Jesus and am so glad he saved me.

One more testimony

April 16, 2009

I’ve got another testimony to share with you!

My life was normal until 2nd grade. I accepted Christ at the age of three, and was raised by Godly parents in a Christian environment. But when 2nd grade came around, the doctor discovered I have growth hormone deficiency by a 6-hour blood test and an MRI. Without an addition of hormones to my body, I would be around 4′ tall full grown. The only way to make my life regular was to take shots. Since then, I give myself a shot in the stomach every day. It’s not painful, but it is highly expensive and a big hassle. Just last summer (0Cool I was given a second long test (around 4 hours) to determine if I still needed to take shots. Duringthe test, I was shot with insulin to simulate a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, my blood sugar dropped very close to death and I was somewhat sick. A few weeks later we discovered that I would have to continue taking shots, to avoid obesity and to keep my body functioning. This was a hard time for me, as I struggled with what the purpose of it was. God kept bringing me back to Romans 8:28, and it didn’t take me long to get my life back focused on Him. But I still have to face the consequences, and will for the rest of my life. Obesity as I grow older could become a factor, and the outrageous price of the medicine could become a major problem in the future, plus I have a weak immune system and get sick easily. But God was with me through all of it, and taught me that He would bring beauty from my pain.

While this was a very hard time in my life, I have been blessed in so many ways. God has given me a great family, an easy way of life, and a plethora of Christian friends. Around four years ago, my mom started a small group for me and three friends. Now there are eight of us, and they are a great way to stay accountable in Christ.

Probably the greatest thing that God did for me during this time was show me what to do with my life. When I was young, all I wanted to be was a missionary. I’d try to convert my (Christian) grandmother, and practice telling Jesus’ story to her. When I was six, I handed out the Easter story as I had written it. But as I grew older, I was still very firmly a Christian but my interests swayed from misssions. But just several months ago (2008), God spoke to me and told me that missions was where I could be used, specifically in the Middle East, and possibly as a Wycliffe Bible translator. I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but if I keep on His narrow way and focus on Him, whatever it is will be the best thing for me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Hannnah

Start of Evangelism series

April 15, 2009

Hey all! I’ve been given the privilege of starting off the evangelism series.

So, I’ve decided to start off with what I like to call love evangelism. This is a really big subject, but I feel like God has been laying this on my heart more and more.  I have been evangelizing to my friends for a while now, but it’s only recently that I’ve started thinking about using this style of evangelism.

I think you have to start with understanding that every person you meet is just that, a person. And what’s more, if they’re hurting they don’t want you to throw a bible at them. They want you to understand them.  And if you think about it, that’s what Jesus did. He didn’t go around telling people to repent and turn to Him, he loved them and made friends.

I believe that if you live for you life for Christ, and spend more time loving people than you do preaching at them, they will notice a difference, and want to know why you are different.  I’m not saying that you should never bring up the gospel, I’m simply saying that it might be better to start a relationship first.

This brings me to another point, when you do get into a “religious” discussion, you have to be careful not to bash the person or their beliefs. Nobody wants to be yelled at, and nobody really wants to be told they’re wrong. I had the best results when I took this approach. Instead of attacking my friend and his religion, I listened to what he believed and then showed him what I believe. This particular person believes in the Bible so, I showed him what he said, and what the Bible said. While I didn’t actually bring him to Christ, I believe God helped me to plant seeds.

I hope this has caused you to think about your approach to evangelism.

In Christ,

History Maker

The Gospel Message

November 14, 2008

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to publish something in “gospel message” section, because I believe that this is one of the most important things on our blog.  So here is my explanation.

Matt says:

First off, we need to realize that we are all sinners, whether we think so or not.  Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (emphasis added).  We all do things that God tells us not to and avoid doing things that God tells us to do.  The judgment for this is death.  Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death…”  Now realize that I mean spiritual death, not physical.  After we die physically, there is a judgment where God decides what happens to us next.  Either we go to heaven, or we go to, well, you know.  If we were judged based solely on our deeds and how much good we did, no one would go to heaven.  It takes one sin to kick you out for good.  Here is where the good news comes in.  Romans 6:23b says, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christs our Lord.”  God has given us a chance to spend eternity in heaven.  He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.  He came to earth, was born as a baby, lived a sinless life, and died in our place.  He was then buried in the tomb of one of His followers.  Finally, after three days, He rose from the dead, fully alive.

Levi says:

There is so many important aspects of the gospel. God’s probably thinking, “Levi, get realistic, you don’t know half.” I will attempt to say what I think to be important. First “Gospel” means “Good news”, I think that for you to see that news is good, you first have to hear the bad news. The bad news is: Rom 3:23 ” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Lets face it. I think I can safely say that we have all lied (at least). And if you have lied then “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10) That means that if you have lied that you are guilty of of murdering, theft, it all. Further more the Bible says Rev 28:1b “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire”. That puts everybody in quite the pickle. God is such a righteous judge that He will send you to hell for sinning once.

Now for the gospel (good news). God doesn’t want to send you to hell. So why doesn’t he automatically send everyone to heaven? Because he is righteous. What righteous judge on earth would let people guilty of murder and theft go scott free? No, God requires something. Also, God had a lot of effort on his part for us to be able to be saved. He sent His Son to earth to live in the same temptations each of us have. His Son, Jesus, didn’t fall for those temptations, Jesus was and is most thoroughly perfect. He was killed for our sins. Jesus gave up his life so that we could be saved from our sins. He took our sins onto himself. Its a hard concept. It would be like a surgeon taking our disease ridden brain and switching it with his own. Or a stranger coming into a courtroom and paying our 500 million dollar fine. Jesus paid our debt that he didn’t owe and we couldn’t pay. Hallelujah! He then rose from the dead defying death! He asks you you to believe and have faith in Him and he will forgive you of your sins and give you eternal life. You must repent (change) of your ways and be made new.

He also says that you shall know them by their fruits. The things you do (what you watch on TV, think about others, things you say) are evidences of your faith and belief. Reports have shown that their is no difference between the morality of those who call themselves Christians and those who say they are not. What does that tell you? It should tell that their is a lot of hypocrytes who are going to hell thinking that that one prayer when they were three will save them. I know this sounds extreme, but a good tree won’t have bad fruits.                    There you have it. That’s my gospel message.

History Maker says:

I see the gospel message as one of love, Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” I think that is amazing while we were still in full rebellion against God, He sent His son to die for us. While we were still doing wicked deeds, while we still hated God, He sent His son for us.  John 15:13 says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” Again, we see that word “love” again. Because of His amazing love for us He lay down his life, so we could go into eternity with Him. The last “proof” of love I see is that He gave eternal life to us as a free gift, we don’t have to do anything to enter into a relationship with Him all we have to do is believe. Ephesians 2:8-9 say, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works so that no man may boast.” Three words stand out to me, grace, faith and gift. Grace is getting something good you don’t deserve, faith is believing, and a gift is something you get, you don’t work for a gift. So, what does the gospel mean to me? In a nutshell it’s LOVE!