Thursday, November 8, 2007

As promised... a much needed second half..

As promised in my previous post, I want to speak about sharing the gospel with lost people without using the 'sinners prayer'. I've been discouraged by my husbands 'blog' responses (not the responses on my blog.. but ones from his) because I'm afraid there are many who do not understand where we are coming from. I think that maybe part of the reason is because the blog did not explain things fully and clearly enough. My sweet husband truly has a heart that desires to honor God with every ounce of his being. I know this because I know him. It hurts me that someone might think that he is misrepresenting the gospel message and changed everything about the way he believes. That is just not the case. He has a deep burden for lost people. He faithfully goes out and shares the gospel of Jesus. He faithfully urges men to repent in and out of the pulpit and put their faith & trust in Jesus Christ. He (nor I) definitely do not have the attitude of 'we'll just sit back and do nothing and let God do it'.... and leave people hanging without an answer. That is foolish and is not what we believe. Christians should be compelled to share their faith. It should be a desire to share. A Christian who does not share is disobedient. Sharing the gospel is not just telling the story of Christ but telling others how they can know Christ as well. I believe that Christ died for the whole world(John 3:16-17), so we should do our best to tell everyone we can.
There are many different programs out there that 'help' you share your faith. The one we are currently going through is the Way of the Master. The reason why I like it is because it uses the Law (10 commandments) to point out sin in a lost person's life. Until a person realizes they are a sinner and have broken God's Law they cannot be saved. After a person has been shown their sin and realized that God cannot let their sin go unpunished, then the good news of the gospel comes. What did God do so that we don't have to spend eternity in hell? He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins on the cross. He paid our sin debt. He took our place. We must show them that repentance and turning from sin is the first step in salvation. Like I have said before, a lost person must be broken (humbled) over their sin with godly sorrow (not worldly sorrow- 2 Cor. 7:10) to be saved. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Explain that when we confess our sins, we will be forgiven (1 John 1:9). Secondly, a lost person must be shown that salvation comes by putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior of their life, not just 'believing' in Him; for even the demons believe (James 2:19). It's about surrendering your life to Christ.
Now, what a joy it is when after going through that you have someone who wants to pray and receive salvation! It's an amazing thing when God begins the supernatural work of salvation in someones life! It is definitely a work of God! What do you do then if you don't want to go through the 'repeat after me' type thing? Simply say, "You can pray right now! Confess your sins to God and turn from them. Tell God you are placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior of your life. Surrender your heart to Jesus. " Allow them to pray and then pray for them! Make sure they have a Bible and encourage them to read it & obey it (maybe suggest them to start in 1 John). Invite them to church or encourage them to get involved in a Bible-believing, Christ-centered church. And of course rejoice!!
Not everyone will pray to receive Christ when you share. Sometimes all you can do is share and let the Holy Spirit continue to work.... I believe that sometimes God has to really deal with people about their sin to get them to a place of repentance. Matthew 7:14 talks about entering the 'narrow' gate and that 'difficult is the way which leads to life'. That's why it's so important to give them the tools to know how to come to Christ and then grow in Christ. You never know who might walk away lost but and the Holy Spirit begins to deal with them when their head hits the pillow that night. I, myself repented and trusted in Jesus for salvation in my own bed... just me and God. You can read about it here.
Do I always share my faith in the same exact way? No, not exactly.. I may add illustrations or parts of my own personal testimony. It's important to let the Holy Spirit guide you in that. But the gospel never changes..
So often I fail in sharing my faith but I'm praying for a stronger burden for the lost. I pray for boldness.

Matthew 28:28-20- "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”