Spreading the Good News
Every believer has the privilege and responsibility of sharing the gospel. For many of us, the process is overwhelming, discouraging, and even frightening at times. In this study, you'll learn how to become a more effective witness for Christ.
Before we begin, evaluate your attitudes.
- What motivates you to share your faith?
Now, let's look at five principles of evangelism.
A. Choose to fear God rather than man.
1. Many people don't share their faith due to concern about what others will think. The best way to conquer this fear is to replace it with a reverential awe for God.
- What did the disciples do when they were told not to preach any longer in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:17-42)?
- What does Peter suggest believers do instead of being afraid (1 Peter 3:13-16)?
- Why does he say to "always be prepared"?
- What attitude does Peter say Christians should have when sharing the gospel?
2. Remember Whom you serve.
- Meditate on the fact that Jesus possesses all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18-20). How does that change your perspective, especially with regard to sharing the gospel?
- According to the passage above, what does "making disciples" include?
B. Commit the process of evangelism to prayer.
1. Ask God to give you a genuine love for unbelievers, opportunities to share, and fruit from your efforts.
- According to 1 Peter 1:12, who empowers people to preach the gospel?
- Why shouldn't believers worry about knowing exactly what to say (1 Thess. 1:4-6; Eph. 6:19)?
Make a list of friends and family who need Christ, and pray through it once a week.
2. Study scriptural prayers and learn from them.
- How did the disciples begin their prayer in Acts 4:24-31?
- What did they request of God?
- Examine their prayer. What principles in it could you use?
C. Prepare yourself to share the gospel.
You don't have to present the good news perfectly. Nor do you have to know the answer to every difficult question. But you should know how to share the basic gospel message and your own experience.
1. Memorize important verses about salvation. When the opportunity arises to share about Christ, you won't always have a Bible available.
- One key passage is Romans 10:8-10. List the essential truths of the gospel given in this passage.
2. Prepare a short testimony that describes how Christ changed your life. Include how someone can accept God's gift of forgiveness. In addition to a two- to three-minute version, you may wish to have a brief thirty-second presentation.
3. Change your approach to reach different audiences.
The apostle Paul used various methods to share the story of the Messiah, depending on his listeners.
- How did he open his speech in a city full of idols (Acts 17:19-32)?
- What do you think Paul meant when he said, "I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:22)?
- How have you changed your style of witnessing to reach different audiences?
4. Take an evangelism course, study your Bible, and attend discipleship classes.
- Considering all the above suggestions, what should be your next step?
D. Demonstrate unconditional love to your unbelieving friends.
If all your friends are believers, think of creative ways to meet new people. Then, enjoy developing relationships with them, yet seek to be a spiritual influence in their lives. One note of caution: don't let them displace godly friends who can encourage you spiritually.
- How did Paul describe his feelings for the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 2:8)?
E. Don't expect instant results.
1. The Bible never promises that sharing the message about Christ will be easy. In fact, it warns us to expect persecution.
- What does 2 Timothy 1:7-8 encourage in light of those who oppose us?
- In Athens, how did the people respond to Paul's clever presentation (Acts 17:32)?
2. Evangelism often takes time.
- What analogy did the apostle use to describe conversion and spiritual growth (1 Cor. 3:5-7)?
From the passage in 1 Corinthians 3, we can see that all who participate in the process of evangelism are equally important in God's eyes.
Closing: Jesus commanded every believer to help spread the good news around the world. Allow His Spirit to work through you to impact others for eternity.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be a better witness for You. Guide me as I reach out to people that don't yet know You. Empower me to speak Your word with great boldness, and use me to help fulfill the Great Commission. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.