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Joined: 2007/11/16
Posts: 88

 sharing the gospel

Situation 1:
Say you meet an unbeliever, someone who never heard of the gospel, a God or do you share and explain the gospel to them?

Situation 2:
Say you meet an unbeliever who has all sorts of pressumtions about christianity, how do you deal with that?


 2008/7/10 15:52Profile

 Re: sharing the gospel

Hi DirkW,

I think these two situations are two of the more difficult ones we will face in witnessing. I think they require more time and patience than someone with a Christian background who already has a concept of who the true God is and a knowledge of some kind they must be ready to meet him. There is also a much smaller chance there will be immediate fruit, but that is okay. You can still say something that the Holy Spirit can make a person never forget and easier for the next Christian they meet to deal with.

Situation # 1: I would share about who Jesus claimed to be, his resurrection as proof that he is who he says he is, and then talk about what he said about God's holiness and what sin is (sermon on the mount is example), God's judgment and hell, and ask the person if they are ready to meet God as they are seeing He is like that. Then as God leads share about how Jesus gave himself to redeem us from our sins so that we can live for righteousness and we can come to God by faith in his blood (I think that's 1 Peter 2:24). Explain repentance and faith and exhort him to come to God by him and be saved.

Situation #2: Really no different than situation #1 except emphasize that ANYTHING that is not from Jesus and his word is not true Christianity and that there are indeed many counterfeits, but this does not excuse him from not following the true Jesus.

Hope this helps

 2008/7/10 17:22


I'm not saying the poster before me is wrong... but I think if you speak in those terms, most unsaved people wont understand the terminology. I believe in keeping it direct and simple. Drop the "Christianese".

I would do what Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron do... stick to their built in sense of law and justice, which we all have.

Ask them if they've ever heard of the 10 Commandments. Ask 4 simple questions... 1) have you ever told a lie? (if yes, have them say that makes them a liar) 2) have you ever stolen anything?(if yes, have them say that makes them a theif) 3) have you ever used the Lord's name in vain? (explain that that's blasphemy) 4) have you ever looked upon a member of the opposite sex with lust? (or if you're witnessing to someone who is gay, just ask if they've looked upon anyone with lust) Then explain that Jesus said if you even look upon another person with lust you have committed adultery.

The simple answer for everyone to each of those questions is "yes".

By the way, everyone will admit to lying but some wont admit to stealing. This is why you ask the lying question first, so that when they answer "no" to stealing you can say "Are you sure? You just admitted to being a liar." That usually gets a laugh and helps to break the ice a little more.

Then you ask that if God holds you to that standard on judgement day, will you be found guilty? The answer is obviously "yes".

Then you say "by your own admission you are a lying, theifing, blaspheming & adulterer at heart".

Then explain that someone has already paid their penalty, their fine... for the laws that they have broken. However, they need to accept it on their behalf and put their trust in Jesus... and most importantly... [b]repent[/b].

Make sure you explain with scripture that there is a place called hell, and without the penalty for the laws they have broken they will go there to be justly punished.

If they insist they wont go to hell because they've never killed anyone or raped anyone, this is where you appeal to their sense of justice. Explain to them if someone breaks the law in this country we all agree that their is a penalty to be paid. If we as humans, imperfect as we are can understand that... how much more will a holy and perfect God punish the guilty?

Stay away from arguing about evolution, or getting too detailed about theological things when witnessing. It's a distraction, and many will use it as a subterfuge to get off point and confuse you.

Stick to the Law... their guilt... a need for a penalty (fine) to be levied and paid... and that Jesus paid it on their behalf. In order to make it paid if full they have to accept what He did, put their faith in Him... and [b]repent[/b] (turn around).

The only deeper stuff I would get into is explaining who Jesus was, and that He was God in the flesh. This helps a sinner understand the profound love that God has for us.

And dont forget your testimony!!

Takes less that 3 minutes to accurately explain the gospel to someone.


 2008/7/11 8:17

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: sharing the gospel

Dirk W;
Everyone is looking for love that lasts forever,
everyone is trying to find peace of mind, every-
one is hungering for the word of truth that will
set them free!! Simply share what Christ means
to you, how His love and mercy changed your heart
and life, and how you know you have a hope and
a place in heaven with Jesus!!

Martin G. Smith

 2008/7/11 16:56Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


I'm sorry, but I must disagree with Krispy. Doing the pre-canned "Way of the Master" thing that Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron do will cause you to share very little of the gospel with a person so as to lead somebody to the Lord... especially somebody who has never even heard that there is a God. It would indeed be a miracle if somebody got truly saved from that approach.

I would encourage you to speak from your heart whenever you share the gospel to anyone. Jesus said it was out of the abundance of the heart a man speaks. Humbly trust the Lord for the words to say, for every situation and every person is unique. Simply beating up on them with a pre-canned Way of the Master technique is not truly ministering to that person. The Way of the Master technique may have some good points to it, and may be a useful tool, but should only be employed in part, as it is entirely inadequete by itself.

In 1 Peter 2:9 it says that we should proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. When witnessing to somebody, simply relate to them what the Lord is to you. Tell somebody who He is, what He has done, and what He has taught. In relating to somebody what the Lord is to you, attempt to relate that to the person you are sharing with. Share with them your testimony and experiences of the Lord, and if you know anything about them, attempt to show them what the Lord says about their situation.

And contrary to The Way of the Master method of evangelism, we are not out to convince people they are hell deserving sinners who need to repent of their sins. That is not the gospel. The gospel is that the God's kingdom has come. That is, His rule and reign are things that are occuring right now. And He chiefly is raining through the LORD Jesus Christ, who was crucified for our sins, raised from the grave, and will soon return to judge the living and the dead. "What are you gonna do about that?" should be the question a person finds themselves asking in one form or another by the time they have encountered Christ in your witnessing. For if they truly come to believe that, and you convince them of these things, it should be clear to them that their life can never remain the same and that they must repent of their wicked ways.

For remember, Paul says that a man cannot be saved unless He believes that Jesus is the Lord, and that God raised Him from the grave. Therefore, we should with all our hearts seek to persuade men of those things. For, ultimately, they must have faith in those things so as to be saved. Those things are essential, and not mere rubber stamped formulas that we put on to the end of our "gospel" presentations that are trying to convince men they are sinners. Though of course, they must come to see that. But, such will ultimately come when one has a revelation of the excellencies of Christ. When they see the Light of Christ, and just how awesome He is, they will see just how filthy and dirty they are. Such is what we see in Isaiah 6, when Isaiah had his thrice holy revelation of God. When He had his revelation of God, then he saw just how wicked he was, to the point where he cried out "I am undone!"

I hope this has helped you. I pray you'll be effectual in the service of our Master.

Jimmy H

 2008/7/11 18:38Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


For remember, Paul says that a man cannot be saved unless He believes that Jesus is the Lord

First emphasis on who Christ is and not on what man's done or needs to do...that's some good reformed preaching, Jimmy!;-)


Mike Compton

 2008/7/11 19:11Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


First emphasis on who Christ is and not on what man's done or needs to do...that's some good reformed preaching, Jimmy

LOL. I'm a semi-pelagian with semi-reformed tendencies :-)

Jimmy H

 2008/7/11 19:21Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


I'm a semi-pelagian with semi-reformed tendencies

Finally, an honest man among us. :-P

I think that pretty much sums up most of us. Sometimes more pelagian, sometimes more reformed...depending on the day of week. :lol:



Mike Compton

 2008/7/11 23:24Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


I saw a good quote recently where somebody said we are all naturally Pelagian by nature.

Jimmy H

 2008/7/11 23:35Profile

Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia


16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean." 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:16-31

The Situation
Paul came to Athens after being forced to flee Thessalonica and Berea. Athens was the heart of Greek culture and thought, renowned for its art and philosophy and some of the most famous philosophers. The founders of two dominant philosophies, Epicurus (Epicureanism) and Zeno (Stoicism), had taught in Athens.
(v. 16) Athens was also the home of almost every man-made god in existence. In fact it was Athenian idolatry that drove Paul to preach the gospel in Athens--such idolatry offended him to the core .

(v. 17) In customary fashion, he marched directly to the local synagogue and was reasoning from the Scriptures (cf. v. 2) "with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present" .

(v. 18-21) Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers heard Paul's message in the market place and brought him to the Areopagus on Mars Hill before some of the most astute philosophers in Athens. Epicureanism taught that the chief end of man was the avoidance of pain. Epicureans were materialists – they did not deny the existence of a Supreme God, but they believed he did not become involved with the affairs of mortal men. When a person died, they believed that both the body and the soul together cease to exist.

Stoics believed in pantheism – All reality consists of one substance, God is simply a part of everything else. Stoicism taught self-mastery, that the goal of life was to reach a place of indifference between pleasure and pain.

Both groups had no interest in the gospel; Paul was simply a novelty to them. They set him in their midst as a specimen that would amuse their interest in "telling or hearing something new" . That's the setting for Paul's message and method for confronting a godless culture.

The Response
Paul spoke his message to an indifferent and arrogant audience, like many to whom you and I speak today. When we look at how Paul preached to the philosophers, you'll see three essential elements of an effective message to confront our post-Christian culture with the truth.

1. First, tell them what God is (vv. 22-23).
Here's Paul's first point: "You are ignorant and I'm going to give you the truth!" Try recommending that opening line as an evangelistic message. Some people think Paul commended their religiosity when he mentioned their many objects of worship. However, the word “religious” deisidaimonesteros actually means “superstitious”:

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. (NIV)

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. (KJV)

He wasn't commending them at all--their idols infuriated him (v. 16). Rather, he started with a given: all men are innately religious. All men are created to be worshipers--they either worship God or something else, but everyone worships something. The Athenians were no different.

Externally, God has given witness about Himself through what He created.
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:18-25
In today's age, we have several religions and belief systems that try to explain God and the universe, yet they are all different and fail to meet the truth.

2. Second, tell them who God is (vv. 24-29).
This is Paul's lesson to the ignorant about the unknown God. This is Theology 101. It's ironic that Paul was teaching the ABCs of theology to those who were known worldwide as supreme intellectuals.
Here are five things ignorant, rebellious men need to know about the "Unknown God."
God is the Creator - Verse 24a: He "made the world and all things in it." In Paul's day and ours, the truth makes no room for men's opinions regarding origins.
God is the Ruler - Verse 24b: "He is Lord of heaven and earth [and] does not dwell in temples made with hands." It logically follows that if God is the Creator, He is also the rightful Ruler of what He created. And if He is Creator and Ruler, He doesn't live in what His creatures have made.
God is the Giver. Verse 25: "He [is not] served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things."
God is Sovereign - Verse 26: "He made from one man every nation of mankind ... having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation." That statement was a blow to the national pride of the Greeks, who scornfully referred to non-Greeks as "barbarians." Nonetheless, God controls the affairs and destinies of men and nations.
God is the Revealer - Verses 27-29: Men should "seek God...He is not far from each one of us...Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like [anything] formed by the art and thought of man." God, by creating, ruling, giving, and controlling all things, has clearly revealed Himself in what He has made--men are truly without excuse (Rom. 1:20).

3. Third, tell them what God says (vv. 30-31).
Paul's evangelism method ends with a simple, powerful point: tell them to repent or be judged. In the past, God was patient. But a day is coming when He will judge the world through Jesus Christ. Some may say “What about the remote tribes that have never heard the gospel?” The truth is that cultural ignorance simply does not negate the Law of God, let alone the need for a savior. God gave sufficient proof of the truth of His Word in the resurrection of His Son--He holds all men accountable to that evidence. His grace in the past and His wrath in the future require repentance in the present. As Paul said elsewhere, "Now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation'" (2 Cor. 6:2). That message isn't popular today, but then again, it has never been popular. "Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to Paul went out of their midst" (v. 32-33). Paul expounded the essence of the 1st and 2nd Commandments, holding the greeks responsible for their idolatry.

Although Paul explained the concept of God (v24-27) and contextualized his message for the greek culture (v28-29), there were still those who didn't believe.

Paul in Ephesus
Later, when Paul preaches in Ephesus, a riot breaks out as a result of his preaching against worship of idols which disrupted the production of ornaments:
23About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. 25He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. 26And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. 27There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
28When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. 30Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Acts 19:23-30

Paul in Corinth
When it comes to being relevant to the culture, one would assume that in order to reach the greek philosophers, Paul would have had to match them intellectually in order to outwit them. While Paul was qualified to discuss difficult philosophical and theological issues (e.g., Divine Sovereignty vs Human Responsibility in Romans 9; his Jewish credentials in Phillipians 3:3-5), he deliberately chose not to meet them at their level.
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5

Benjamin Valentine

 2008/7/12 3:33Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
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