Jeff Vanderstelt – How to Overcome Fear in Sharing the Gospel

God Is the One Who Saves

First of all, I want to remind people that it’s not their job to save others. God is the one who does the work of saving people, not us.

Second, I’ve found that when I walk out in faith, the Spirit of God tends to give me the answers that I need. So don’t overthink what you’re going to say. Ask God to give you what you need to say in the moment. Historically, God has used lots of simple people—and oftentimes very uneducated people—to be the most powerful means by which he shares the gospel. In those situations, he gets the glory, not us. So don’t put your confidence in yourself, put your confidence in him.

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Charles Spurgeon – The Soul Winner

What Is It to Win a Soul?

I purpose, dear brethren, if God shall enable me, to give you a short course of lectures under the general head of “THE SOUL-WINNER.” Soulwinning is the chief business of the Christian minister; indeed, it should be the main pursuit of every true believer. We should each say with Simon Peter, “I go a fishing,” and with Paul our aim should be, “That I might by all means save some.”

We shall commence our discourses upon this subject by considering the question —

WHAT IS IT TO WIN A SOUL?

This may be instructively answered by describing what it is not. We do not regard it to be soul-winning to steal members out of churches already established, and train them to utter our peculiar Shibboleth: we aim rather at bringing souls to Christ than at making converts to our synagogue. There are sheep-stealers abroad, concerning whom I will say nothing except that they are not “brethren”, or, at least, they do not act in a brotherly fashion. To their own Master they must stand or fall. We count it utter meanness to build up our own house with the ruins of our neighbours’ mansions; we infinitely prefer to quarry for ourselves. I hope we all sympathize in the largehearted spirit of Dr. Chalmers, who, when it was said that such and such an effort would not be beneficial to the special interests of the Free Church of Scotland, although it might promote the general religion of the land, said, “What is the Free Church compared with the Christian good of the people of Scotland?” What, indeed, is any church, or what are all the churches put together, as mere organizations, if they stand in conflict with the moral and spiritual advantage of the nation, or if they impede the kingdom of Christ?

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John Piper – 2 Timothy 2:8–10, Part 3: Election Gives Evangelism Power

If God chooses some for salvation, why do we risk our lives to share the gospel? God’s sovereignty does not replace human effort in ministry; it fills it with power. In this lab, John Piper pulls at the tension and draws several conclusions about our personal ministry to the lost.

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Keith Whitfield and Tony Merida – Sharing the Gospel in a Post-Christian World

In this episode of Exploring Hope, Keith Whitfield and Tony Merida discuss sharing the Gospel in a post-Christian world.

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Dr. Albert Mohler – The Christian Leader in the Digital Age

The Digital Age is upon us. In the span of less than three decades, we have redefined the way humans communicate, entertain, inform, research, create, and connect – and what we know now is only a hint of what is to come. But the greatest concern of the church is not a technological imperative, but a Gospel imperative.

The digital world did not exist a generation ago, and now it is a fundamental fact of life. The world spawned by the personal computer, the Internet, social media, and the smart phone now constitutes the greatest arena of public discussion and debate the world has ever known.

Leaders who talk about the real world as opposed to the digital world are making a mistake, a category error. While we are right to prioritize real face-to-face conversations and to find comfort and grounding in stable authorities like the printed book, the digital world is itself a real world, just real in a different way.

Real communication is happening in the digital world, on the Web and on the smart phone in your pocket or business case. Real information is being shared and globally disseminated, faster than ever before. Real conversations are taking place, through voice and words and images, connecting people and conversations all over the world.

If the leader is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world, and that population is shrinking every minute. The clock is ticking.

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Dave Jenkins – Effective Evangelism

Effective evangelism begins and ends with understanding who Jesus is and what He has done in His death, burial and resurrection. The content of the Gospel provides the fuel and motivation for why Christian’s are to engage in evangelism. Jesus sends forth His disciple’s with the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit to make disciples of all the nations.

In the Gospels, there are several snapshots that one could look at in order to learn how Jesus ministered to people. One of my favorite Gospel accounts is John 4. In John 4 Jesus goes out of his way to meet a Samaritan woman at the well. As the woman encounters Jesus, He uses questions designed to expose her need for Himself. In the course of the conversation, the woman learns that the One talking with her is none other than Jesus Christ, the Promise Messiah (John 4:25-29). Effective evangelism begins with meeting people where they are in order to share with them the Life-giving Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—His life, death, burial and resurrection.

The story of the woman at the well also illustrates that the one engaging in evangelism ought not to see oneself as better than others (John 4:27). Christians are often accused of being “holier than thou” but Jesus ministers His grace to the woman at the well regardless of who she was or what she had done. In the end the woman was confronted by the reality of who Jesus is and her life was so radically changed that she went back to her town, and called people to “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4:29) and “They went out of the town and were coming to him.” (John 4:30). Jesus had such an impact on the woman that she eagerly went to share the news among the townspeople whom she had previously avoided because of her reputation. Her witness and candor regarding her own life so impressed them that the came to see Jesus for themselves.

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Daniel Darling – 5 Reasons We Don’t Share Our Faith

Let’s face it. As Christians, we all know we are supposed to share our faith. Most of us have heard countless sermons on the importance of evangelizing. But . . . most of us don’t take the time to do it. Or we do, but not nearly as much as we should. So what’s the problem? Why don’t Christians share the good news of the gospel message?

Looking at my own life, my own disobedience in this area, I’ve found five reasons we aren’t more vocal about telling others what we ourselves believe:

1) We don’t share our faith because we don’t realize we have a mission. The command to follow Christ as a disciple, as an ambassador, as a proclaimer of the good news is just that . . . a command. And yet if we were honest, most of the time we treat our mission in this world as something that is optional. We look at the calling of a Christian, to die to ourselves, to take up the cross, as something we should do, if we have time. We don’t take our mission seriously. Or we think that perhaps this mission was given only to a select few specialists, such as the pastor or the missionary. This is why the world hardly notices a difference between God’s people and the rest of the world. We are so preoccupied with our own well-being, our own survival or success, that we blow off the mission of God.

2) We don’t share our faith because we misunderstand our mission. Even if we want to obey the sending mission of God, we often fail because we misunderstand the mission. Let me explain. I think much of the fear that keeps Christians from sharing the good news of the gospel with their friends and neighbors and coworkers stems from a confusion of two things: method and message. Sometimes we confuse the method with the message. So to evangelize means to dump the entire book of Romans on an unsuspecting mall clerk or it means reciting a memorized spiel of the steps to salvation. But while methods are good–they change with the audience. Paul knew this and so he didn’t necessarily try out the same method on every people group. When we do this, when we put so much confidence in a few Christianese phrases and memorized, out-of-context verses, we end up sounding like a salesman for something we don’t really want to sell. I think much of the fear would go away if we, instead, relied on the Holy Spirit to guide us in each interaction, if we resisted impatience, and worked to build long-term relationships that can one day lead to conversion. What if we were so in love with the gospel message, if we never lost our awe and wonder, if we made it a lifetime study? Perhaps that passion would so fill our souls that it would leak out into every single sphere of life and thus . . . the good news would be less of a canned pitch and more of a lifestyle. The gospel is good news, after all.

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Dr. John MacArthur – Personal Evangelism 101: Offer God’s Mercy

Too many modern evangelistic methods offer the wrong thing. The point of the gospel is not to bring contentment, purpose, or a sense of completeness to your life. It’s not about unlocking God’s plan for your happiness or fulfillment. Those are often by-products of saving faith, but none of them is the primary focus of the gospel. Christ didn’t die for the sake of our emotional stability.

He died to rescue sinners from eternal separation from Him—to be our substitute and pay a debt we could not pay. The offer of the gospel is that atonement is available through the mercy and grace of God, and that He has made a way for us to enjoy eternity with Him.

That was the offer Christ made to the Samaritan woman at the well in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel. In verse 10 He exposed her spiritual need, encouraging her to ask Him for the “living water” only He could provide. Her incredulous response indicates she didn’t fully understand what He was saying.

She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” (John 4:11-12)

There is a scornful sarcasm in her words. She’s mocking the idea that Jesus could get anything at all from the well without a bucket, or that what He could supply would be any better than what came from the well their ancestor Jacob had dug.

But Christ is not dissuaded by her scorn.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

It’s here that the analogy of water comes to its point. Christ isn’t concerned with satisfying her temporary thirst. He’s got far greater things in mind. He’s talking about an endless supply of riches and blessing—eternal satisfaction that she can’t imagine. It’s a permanent, consistent, everlasting blessing, and all she needs to do is ask.

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Matt Chandler – Heralding the Gospel in our Jerusalem

Why do we struggle so much with heralding the gospel in Jerusalem? Why are we comfortable with hopping on a plane and sharing the good news to a people we’ve never met yet uncomfortable with sharing the good news to our neighbors and co-workers, those we know and see every day? I think we need to understand this question to be faithful ministers of the gospel.

We’re all here because men took seriously the commands of God to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. For many generations, the Holy Spirit has transformed hearts through the heralding of the good news of Christ. These heralds experienced grace in such a way that it motivated them to preach on, speak on and share the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.

We can look back to Genesis 12 and hear God tell Abram, “I’m going to save from every tribe, tongue and nation on earth. I’m reconciling all things to myself.” We can look at the prophet Isaiah say, “The nations will gather and be glad.”

We can see the coming of Jesus. We can hear him say, “There are sheep that are not of this flock who are going to be a part of my family, of my flock. They’ll hear my voice. They’ll come.” We can watch and see the gospel roll out, through the book of Acts to the known world.

This is what God has accomplished, and it’s our turn to play in the great drama and in the great unfolding of God’s redemptive plan.

The refrain from Acts 1 has echoed from the beginning of creation in God’s redeeming work in Jesus Christ, and it was heralded to us – by parents, friends, co-workers, or even by people we didn’t even know. Now the message has been entrusted to us, and the command hasn’t changed: “To Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…”

In Acts, everybody heralded and talked about Jesus at home, in Jerusalem, but they didn’t want to get out of there. They didn’t want to leave. They were comfortable at home. Not until Saul began to ravage the Church did they go to Judea and Samaria.

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Dr. John MacArthur – Principles for Living to God’s Glory: Evangelism

As those seeking to live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Christians should always consider how their actions will affect their witness to a watching world.

Speaking of his own evangelistic ministry, Paul wrote:

Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:32-33)

Paul was far more concerned with seeing sinners embrace Christ than he was with the exercise of his liberty. Thus he was willing to set aside his freedom for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

Whether or not you are aware of it, your behavior—both what you do as well as what you don’t do—affects your witness for Christ. It is an issue of testimony: What does your life say about God to the friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, or even strangers who might be watching you?

That’s the point Paul makes in Romans 14:16-18:

Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.

The operative statement there is “approved by men.” Paul’s not talking about being a man-pleaser—he’s talking about the positive commendation of your lifestyle by the people who are watching.

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