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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Witnessing Technique - Love God & People

The following is a basic transcript of another way to witness; I often hear people who use Living Waters' "The Way of the Master" method of evangelism accused of reciting a script. I know that is not true in most cases, but the following method will provide another method of "The Way of the Master", using Law followed by Grace, to share the gospel. More rationale for this method is located here: Condemned by Love

Evangelist: What do you think happens when someone dies?

Person: (potential answers) Heaven or Hell / Reincarnation / Nothing / Whatever you believe.

Evangelist: If Heaven is real, do you think you're going?

Person: I hope so / Yes / Maybe. (Proverbs 20:6)

Evangelist: Ok, imagine you die tonight, (crazy unlikely scenario, ie. This building falls on us; you get hit in the head by an errant football; you get run over by a bus; etc.) and you stand before God at the gates of Heaven and he asks, "Why should I let you in?" How are you going to answer?
Note: This is not at all a scenario found in the Bible, God will never ask this, but it gets the person thinking about their own righteousness (Romans 3:19).

Person: Because I've done more good than bad / because I'm a good person / because I love God / Because I do things (church, charity) / because I'm saved

Evangelist: The Bible says in order to go to Heaven you have to keep the law (Galatians 5:3, Matthew 5:48), which is found in the first five books of the Bible, in fact there are 613 of them, and they can be summed up in 10 Commandments, and even further, Jesus says they can be summed up in two: Love God, and Love Your Neighbor (Matthew 22:38-40); have you loved God and people?
Alternate: even further, Jesus says the law is summed up in one sentence, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (Matthew 7:12) Have you done that?

Person: (confidently) Yes.

Evangelist: Ok, I'm going to give you a short test to see how loving you've been. First question, have you ever lied to anyone?

Person: Yes.

Evangelist: Is it loving to lie to people? Would you like it people lied to you?

Person: No.
Note: I do my best not to argue discretion here, if the person wants to say the loving thing was to lie, I ask if they've ever purposefully told a lie that lifted them up and put someone else down. Almost always the person will say yes.

Evangelist: Have you ever stolen from someone? Regardless of value: music on the internet, something from a brother or sister?

Person: Yes.

Evangelist: Is it loving to steal from someone who worked hard for something?

Person: No.
Note: At this point their countenance almost always starts to change as they are convicted, do your best to not accuse, but continue asking questions.

Evangelist: Have you ever murdered anyone?

Person: (Laughingly/Relieved) No!

Evangelist: Would you agree it's not at all loving to murder someone?

Person: Yes.

Evangelist: Listen to what Jesus said: If you hate someone or call them an idiot or a curse word, you're in danger of judgment as a murderer. (Matthew 5:21-22) Have you ever done that?
Alternate: Use Matthew 5:27-28.

Person: Yes!

Evangelist: So that's three questions regarding people, and just like me, you haven't done very well. Let's look at a question about the love God part: Have you ever taken God's name in vain?

Person: Yes.

Evangelist: That is pretty serious, it's called blasphemy. The Bible says the reason we do that is to set our mouths against Heaven (Psalm 73:9), to declare war on the God who made us (Psalm 139:20). The Bible says we are at war with God in our minds (Colossians 1:21), so we take his blessed name and turn it into a curse word (Psalm 102:8). I've done that too. So we haven't done very well in either the love God or love people categories, have we?

Person: No.

Evangelist: So, if that is the requirement for Heaven, keeping in mind that we've only gone over four of 613 laws, do you think God will let you into Heaven?

Person: No / Probably not by that standard.

Evangelist: Actually the Bible says some really harsh things, it says that all liars will have their place in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8), it says no thief, no blasphemer, no murderer (and/or adulterer) will have any inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Most people set their hope on their love, but in fact we've all sinned and fallen far short of the glory of God. Does it concern you that if you died tonight you'd be judged guilty as a lawbreaker?

Person: Yes / Definitely / A little bit.

Evangelist: It concerns me too, which is why I'm talking to you, the Bible says the loving thing to do is to go out and compel others to flee from the wrath to come (Jude 22-23, 2 Corinthians 5:11-15). The bad news is that we've failed miserably at keeping the law, even in its most basic summation of loving God and loving people, but the good news is that we have a loving God who has done the most amazing thing to provide a way of escape from his judgment. Do you know what he did?

Person: Sent his Son / Gave his Son / Died for us / I don't know.

Evangelist: God, in the great love by which he loved us, gave his Son, Jesus Christ, who is God the Son. He was born of the Virgin Mary, he became God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). He lived a perfect sinless life, tempted in every way we've been tempted, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He reacted perfectly in every situation, always doing the most loving thing for people, which sometimes is correction, he said, "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline." (Revelation 3:19) He also said, "Love hath no greater man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) In the most amazing act of love, Jesus Christ gave up his life to die on a cross bearing the wrath of God for you (Isaiah 53:10). It was the great exchange, he who knew no sin became sin for us, so that may become the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus lived the most perfect loving life, but died as though he had lived our self-centered life, so that we can inherit his righteousness.

Three days later Jesus defeated death, for he had said that one reason his Father loved him was for his obedience, because he would lay down his life and take it back up again (John 10:17). His resurrection proved he was exactly who he said he was: God in the flesh, he proved his payment was accepted by his Father, and he proved that he in no wise will cast out anyone who draws near to God through him (Romans 4:24-25).

It was not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his Son to be the propitiation, the atonement, the satisfaction, for our sins (1 John 4:10). What is required of you to partake in the love of God in Jesus Christ is to repent of your sins, turn away from selfishness to God, and then put your full trust in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.

The way that this all works out is if we're all in Heaven someday, and somebody, maybe an angel, asks, "How did you get in here?" We're not going to have the faintest inclination to say, "Because I was so amazingly loving!" No, we'll be compelled to say, "Because Jesus Christ is amazingly loving, and he sought me, and he bought me, and to him belongs the honor and power and glory forever and ever." and everyone there will say? Amen. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Do you have a Bible at home?

Person: (Almost always yes; make sure they have a Bible or have access to one on the internet: http://www.biblegateway.com/ or http://www.esvbible.org/)

Evangelist: Good, don't take my word for any of this, though everything I've told you is true. Always trust the Word of God over a man. Open up that Bible and read it for yourself. A great place to start is the Gospel of John, it's been called the "Love Gospel" because it was written to fix a church (Ephesus) that was having some serious love problems (Revelation 2:4). It will really show you how much God loved the world, what he did about it, and what it means for you.

So in conclusion, in order to get to Heaven, you have to be perfectly loving; you won't make it that way. Fortunately, we have a perfectly loving God who gave his life for his church. You must repent and put your trust in Jesus, and in his love he will save you.

Make sense / any questions?

1 comment:

Michael Coughlin said...

I love you, bro. Praise Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to indwell this flesh.