by Guest Blogger Alvin Gan
Most of us are aware that God wants us to share the Gospel. Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We are to go and tell others about the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so that they may receive eternal life through Jesus.
But perhaps what is less clear is how we should go about doing this? Pastors and preachers preach the Gospel over the pulpit. Missionaries travel the world to share the Gospel. But what about the rest of us?
Align Your Life with the Gospel
Before we go around telling others about Jesus, it is important that we first align our lives to the Gospel.
“But in your hearts revere 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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16
We can break this passage down into four parts below:
- In our hearts, revere Christ as Lord
In other words, be a true follower of Jesus. Let Jesus take the lead. Don’t live according to your own agenda, your own likes and dislikes, but according to the Word of God.
- Be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason of the hope that you have
What is the hope that we have? We all have sinned, and our sins separate us from God. But God has forgiven our sins; we now have a relationship with God, and we will one day be with Him in heaven.
What is the reason for our hope? Christ is the reason for our hope. He has taken the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross. He was buried but became alive again on the third day. Because we believe and have put our faith in Jesus, our sins have been forgiven.
The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us for the reason of our hope. But take a step back and think about this: Would anyone ask us anything about this hope unless they see evidence of it in your life? Does your life give any hint that you have a relationship with God, and that you are looking forward to spending eternity in heaven with Him?
- Do this with gentleness and respect
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” When we tell others about Jesus, not everyone will accept the good news. Some may refuse to listen and other may disagree or even be outrightly hostile. We must be Spirit-led in our response. Do not pick a fight with anyone or try to shove Jesus down their throats. Instead, pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts to the Gospel.
- Have a clear conscience
Actions speak louder than words. Walk the talk; ensure that your actions and lifestyle match your belief in Jesus. In that way, others will see the good work of the Holy Spirit in your life and be more receptive when you tell them about Jesus.
When after we have internalized the Gospel and have God in our lives, we can be ready to share it with others. But there is more . . .
What to Say When Sharing the Gospel
“For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:13-14
It is important for us to tell others about Jesus, so that they can call upon Him. But what exactly do we say?
- Your personal story
One of the most powerful stories you can tell is that of your own life. You can tell them about your life before knowing Jesus, how you met Jesus, and how Jesus has transformed your life.
- The Gospel
The apostle Paul explains the Gospel this way:
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scripture.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
A simple way you can share the Gospel goes like this:
- God is holy.
- We are not holy. We all have sinned. We have done things that are wrong.
- Because of our sins, we are separated from God.
- Jesus is the Son of God. He is without sin but came to earth and died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. He was buried and became alive on the third day.
- Because of what Jesus has done, we can receive forgiveness for our sins. Jesus is the only way for us to become reconciled with God.
- If we repent of our sins and ask God for forgiveness, He will forgive us. We can have a relationship with God now and one day be with God in heaven.
Using Gospel Tracts
Gospel tracts are a useful tool for sharing the Gospel. These small pamphlets explain the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They help us communicate the key points of the Gospel and show readers how they can receive salvation by putting their faith in Jesus. There is a large selection of Gospel tracts to choose from, catering to different audiences. For instance, tracts for the elderly have bigger font sizes. But more important than readability is relatability. Choose one that fits your reader’s profile. The most common tracts are designed for adults generally, but some designed for specific interest groups contain tailored language, humor and analogies. Tracts for youths feature visuals and topics that appeal to them. A good children’s tract contains features that capture and hold the child’s attention while not distracting them from the good news.
Another advantage of the Gospel tract is they usually contain pictures and colors that are helpful in illustrating the good news. Research has shown that more than half of the population are visual rather than auditory learners. Sharing the Gospel with illustrations and other visual aids often helps the listener better grasp and remember what you are telling them. For example, the bridge Gospel presentation illustrates that sin separates man from God but Jesus, through His death and resurrection, is the only way to bridge the gap. Another classic example uses the colors to share the Gospel. This can take the form of the Wordless Book or, more creatively, salvation bracelets, wordless magic bag, Gospel plane and other examples.
Rely on God
Whether you choose to share the Gospel with or without the use of a Gospel tract, bear in mind that it is the Holy Spirit who will minister to the hearts of your listeners. Pray for your listener and be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.
If you have the privilege of leading someone to Jesus, remember that it is important to continue following up with the new believer. Remember Jesus’s commandment, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Sharing the Gospel and leading someone in prayer is only the beginning of a long discipleship process.
Guest Blogger Alvin Gan
Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.
www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.
www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.