The disciples came out on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, overflowing with the Good News, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter preached a message to the Jewish people, “You with wicked hands crucified, and put to death whom God has raised up… repent”. Their response was repentance and about 3000 souls were saved.
The early church in Acts 4 prayed not for opportunities to preach, but for boldness in doing so despite opposition, and the earth shook in response. So zealous for the truth were the disciples, so clear was the message, so Spirit filled that the church multiplied.
The importance of learning God’s Word
The disciples had their personal witness of interactions with the Lord Jesus Christ. They had the witness of creation, and they had the witness of the law, the prophets, and the wisdom books. They had the witness of the Holy Spirit within them and the witness of His working through them.
We should be studying the Word of God. We could spend our lives researching the false teaching or researching the ideologies of people groups, only to find ourselves distracted and depressed. A dear older brother gave this advice concerning counterfeits. “The agents of the U.S. Secret Service do not study forgeries, they study the real currency so that when the forgery is in front of them, the differences are glaring. “ We ought to research and study the Truth. Research and study the character of the God who loved you enough to send His Son.
Talking about the gospel
The absolute best, 100% guaranteed way to have a conversation about the gospel is to talk to people about the gospel. So what preparations do you need to evangelize? Of paramount importance, you yourself must know for certain where you will spend eternity and how you’ll fare in the courtroom of the Almighty God.
Wordless book: God is perfect like the gold standard only better. We are not, we sin, and we are stained black with sin. The red blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sin. He stepped in to take our place, taking our due. Now by faith we are justified, declared legally free from charge, sanctified, and are white as snow. In Christ we have new life like green leaves on a tree.
Basic topics of the gospel
You should know these topics: man’s sinful state by nature, the universality of sin, substitutionary death, justification, sanctification, regeneration (new birth), atonement, propitiation, mercy and grace. It would be good to know Israel’s history and God’s promises to them according to the Bible. You should be able to relate each of these to the person or work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Know your testimony.
Knowing about these topics as a primer by themselves will not make you the next Billy Graham. Paul aimed to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). But knowing about these topics with the indwelling Holy Spirit of God will equip you to present the universal truth of sin, the consequences of sin, the redemption of Christ and the universal hope for the believer.
Additionally, studying these topics will open your eyes to false teaching and doctrines that rob Christ of His glory, doctrines that deny the fullness of Christ’s work, and doctrines that make God out to be a fickle monster. Remember the apostles Peter, James, Jude, John and Paul all taught to avoid these false doctrines that distract from the central message of Christ.
Worship is critical
A critical component of gospel preparation is worship. Not passive, unengaged entertainment, but real heartfelt worship of the Creator God who sent His Son to die for you and your sin. We must be worshipers, prayerfully spending time in His presence and in utter awe of Him. If we spend time broken before Him, rejoicing in His finished work, we are well equipped to share that joy with the lost.
Use plain language
After some research and study, you should be prepared to share a simple gospel message in plain language. Know the related Scriptures and have them memorized from a clear translation. Be able to visualize the message like an outline in your head. Quoting or reading from the Word of God with a simple message is powerful. Be able to share your testimony of how the Lord saved you.
Practicing the gospel
Practice the gospel message with other believers. You’ll gain tremendously from this as will the saints. You gain the practice of presenting God’s glorious good news. The listening saints will be encouraged and might even be stirred up to do likewise. The listening saints can offer feedback and possibly point out some pitfalls to avoid in your presentation.
Pray. You will surely face opposition. You will face attacks and hostility that you will feel totally unprepared for. Philippians 3:8 “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but dung, that I may win Christ”.
Pray for the Lord’s preparing of souls, for His direction on whom, how, and what to present to the lost around you.
Practice seeing your fellow man in the hell described by the Bible. Remember friends or loved ones who died in their sin rejecting the Savior. Remember God forgave you of much and there is a lost hurting world around you, so go. Isaiah 55:11 “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
Evangelism 101 Series
Check out all of the posts in this series Evangelism 101.