- Jesus started His ministry with a call for followers to become fishers of men.
Matthew 4:18-20, “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”
- Jesus passed His ministry on to believers with the Great Commission.
The Gospels Matthew and Mark record the last instructions Jesus spoke before He ascended to Heaven:
Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.””
Mark 16:15-18, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.””
|GO DEEPER Read Matthew 28 and Mark 16. Reflect on what Jesus said and did during His last days on earth before returning to Heaven.|
Let your Light shine
When you became a Christian, your spirit was reborn. The inner most part of a person is the spirit. Also, the Holy Spirit took residence inside you – you are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). Change is the by-product of this spiritual event. This change should be noticeable. The commitment you have made to the Lord is to follow Jesus and turn from your sinful ways – not just on Sundays, but all the time. You should be growing in your relationship with Jesus by reading the Bible and putting the principles in the Word into practice. People will notice this. They will hear how your language is different. They will see how your actions are different. This is a witness to the Lord and His changing power. This is the light that is being referred to in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
We must remember that we are God’s ambassadors. The world is looking at us as Christians to see who Jesus is. They should see a difference. We are not perfect but a work in progress.
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
|GO DEEPER Be honest with yourself. Are you living the same life you lived before you received Jesus as your Lord? Are you refusing to look at the areas in your life that need to change to the principles of the Bible? Are you ashamed of Jesus? If you said “yes” to any one of these, then now is the time to start making the changes. Some of these changes may be very difficult but with God, nothing is impossible. Just ask the Lord to show you which ones to begin on and He will help you all the way. It is your will, your “want to” that you must change.|
How should we interact with non-Christians?
Colossians 4:2-6, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Ephesians 6:19-20, “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
1 Peter 3:15-16, “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.”
Be careful not to get caught up into a purely intellectual conversation. When this happens, you will often start relying on your intellect or knowledge instead of the moving of the Holy Spirit. Discussion is good but the bottom line is that the Bible (Word of God) is Spirit, only the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth and life it contains. If a question arises that you do not know the answer, do not panic! Remember you have prayed for the Holy Spirit to help you. Sometimes you will need to tell the person that they have a good question and that you will find the answer and get back with them. Do not allow yourself to get into an argument or conflict. Strife and confusion is from satan. You should back away from this. Satan will come after your love walk. If he can get you with hurt feelings or anger, it will be difficult for you to demonstrate God’s love. Always walk in love and forgiveness. Remember who the enemy is: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms .” – Ephesians 6:12.
How to Present the Gospel
When considering the prospect of presenting the Gospel, do you question if “you will be rejected” or “what will your friends think” or “you can’t share with your coworkers” or “you don’t know enough” or “you will lose your friends or relatives” or “you don’t know how”? You will have to let go of these concerns and move on to obedience. Besides, God promised “I will be with you.” – Exodus 3:12 and “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13. It is difficult to take those first steps but you can do it. Here are some links that will help you with methods and techniques:
The best way to feel comfortable about presenting the Gospel is to practice talking about Jesus to fellow Christians. Find friends that have a strong walk with Jesus. You will find that the majority of the conversation will be about the Lord or principles of the Bible. This will help you mature in the Lord and solidify your beliefs in the Word.
Often, the thought of talking about the Lord, Bible or Jesus to a non-believer may seem daunting and challenging. Just relax. Remember to pray first, ask God to direct. Then let the Holy Spirit do the work. You should be obedient to what the Holy Spirit leads you to do or say. Remember God’s great love – remember how it was His love that drew you to Him. It is by the wooing of the Holy Spirit that all men are drawn to the Lord. Only do what the Lord is prompting you to do, nothing more – nothing less. Trust the Lord to bring back to your remembrance the appropriate scripture or personal experience that will help the conversation flow.
John 3:16 provides a simple outline for the presentation of the Salvation message:
“For God so loved the world” – God is love, includes everyone
“that he gave his one and only Son,” – God gave Jesus as the sacrifice to the cross for sinners, we all are born into sin
“that whoever believes in him” – by faith, receive God’s gift of grace
“shall not perish but have eternal life.” – life instead of death – because Jesus died and arose from the dead – He paid in full the price for us to have life, now and forever
Just share the love of Jesus. Do not count it as a failure if the person does not pray the sinner’s prayer with you. That decision is between the person and the Lord. It often takes several times of hearing the plan of salvation before people will commit. Just be ready to move into whatever role the Lord would have for you in that person’s life.
|GO DEEPER Write down your testimony. Share it with your Christian friends. The more you discuss it, the easier it will get to share what the Lord means to you and what He is showing you in the Bible.|
As you start sharing your faith, you can expect to see the Holy Spirit move and work in the lives of others. Don’t be surprised but satan will not be happy about this. He will try to trip you up and weaken your faith. Continue to grow in the Word of God, spend as much time daily reading the Bible and fellowshipping with other Christians.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39
|GO DEEPER For more in-depth information on witnessing to others, read Sharing Jesus Without Fear, see the Resources page.|