In part 1 of the Evangelism 101 series, I recommended practicing delivering your gospel message in front of or with other saints. This is a biblical pattern – Romans 1:15 “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”
Paul is speaking to the believers in Rome, so if he thought it was a good idea to share the gospel with them so that he “may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (v12) why would we think less of doing the same with saints we know?
Early church preachers
By way of evidence the early church was abounding in gospel preaching. Some examples: Mary Magdalene declared that Christ was raised to the mourning disciples (John 20). Peter preached the gospel in the Spirit and in power to a throng of Jews on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Peter and John declared the gospel in the temple despite threats from the rulers and elders of Israel (Acts 3,4).
Stephen shared the gospel,confident in Christ even unto death at the hands of the Sanhedrin (Acts 7). Philip, at the leading of the Spirit of God, shared the gospel with a eunuch traveling in a chariot (Acts 8). Paul presented the gospel in a prison, in a courtroom, in the market place, by a stream, in houses. He preached the gospel by sharing his testimony, how the Lord saved him in letters and in the presence of kings.
Are we preaching like them?
Do we abound in preaching today? If not, why not? My simple estimation is we either do what we are comfortable doing, or we lack assurance of our salvation. The only way to be comfortable sharing the gospel is to share the gospel. You may have heard the axiom, “more sweat in training, less blood in combat” or “you fight like you train.”
Remember this: our heavenly Father sent His only Son to die for your sins, for my sins. He poured out His divine wrath on His Son for us. Why would we worry about earthly consequences? He is the greatest preacher.
Practice, practice, practice
I recommend asking to give a brief gospel message or your testimony, how God showed you your need and His salvation in Christ, at your church’s gospel meeting. Don’t have one at your church? Prayerfully, talk with those in leadership to schedule them. Still getting resistance? Go to God to find a brother or sister to disciple you in evangelism or just sharing the gospel.
I also recommend reading or listening to good gospel messages either in person, or from an online source like voicesforchrist.org or even sermon audio. Find old messages from Billy Graham, or T.E. Wilson, John Wesley, George Whitfield, A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Paul Washer, Charles Spurgeon, Warren Wiersbe , J.B. Nicholson or Ravi Zacharias. Read or listen to their presentation. Surely one or more ‘styles’ will feel comfortable to you.
Spend time quietly thinking about the gospel and the God who declares it to us. Meditate on the content of gospel messages. Prayerfully meditate on potential rebuttals. Practice sharing these things with likeminded believers even if you are just discussing the content of a good gospel message. Practice with a rebuttal. Most of all practice pointing the hearer to Christ.
A lot of the presentation can depend on the circumstances surrounding the presentation or the specific conversation that lead to the presentation of the gospel. Are you doing open-air work? Are you counseling a camper? Are you talking with a co-worker who has opened up about a non-work problem? Is this a conversation that began around science or entertainment?
But none of these circumstances changes the fact that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. None of these circumstances change the truth that the wages of sin is death, therefore all man is guilty before God, deserving of His wrath. None of these circumstances change that Jesus Christ died to save sinners. In no way does science or entertainment change that you are saved by grace through faith, not of works.
A relevant message
What is relevant is the message of condemnation from sin, and the message of justification by faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. However, sharing the gospel in differing circumstances can train you to direct the conversation to Christ. Circumstances can train you to detect the root cause of the hearer’s rejection and point them to Christ. Circumstances can aid you in shaping the conversation at the outset to be fixed on the Lord Jesus and His atoning work for all mankind.
Make no mistake, Satan does not want you to share God’s glorious gospel. Be ready, be clothed and armed properly and pray.
For more practical tips on preaching the gospel take a look at the article, Tips for Preaching the Gospel.
Evangelism 101 Series
Check out all of the posts in this series Evangelism 101.