Grace Fellowship (Rusk)
D201 Lesson 12: Personal Evangelism
- Personal EvangelismKey Verse: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV)Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to give the disciple a basic set of tools necessary for bringing a person to saving faith in Jesus Christ.How to use this lessonAlthough Jesus Christ is the “only way to the Father”, the Father uses believers to lead people to Jesus Christ. Soul winners will meet people of many different backgrounds, experiences, prejudices, biases, levels of knowledge and understanding, ages, etc. Like an electrician, we must troubleshoot their spiritual disconnection with God and then rely upon proper spiritual “tools” to connect them with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Every soul-winner is different in their personality, style, and presentation. Every soul-winner is unique in their personal “witness” or “testimony” of how Christ reached them and changed their life. This lesson is designed to give you the basic tools needed to lead a person to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Incorporate these tools inside the tool chest of your heart so that they are available in your soul-winning encountersThe basic New Testament word for sharing the gospel is EVANGELISM.The word “evangelism” comes from the New Testament Greek verb euangelizo, which means “to bring or announce good news.” From the noun form of this word, we get the word “gospel” which means “good news.” “Evangelism”, therefore, is the work of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to lost and dying souls.“Soul-winning” is another term used for evangelism, especially to describe one-on-one evangelism.Before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave to His disciples what has been called the GREAT COMMISSION.Matthew 28:18–20 (NKJV) “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go 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, 20 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.’ Amen.”Mark 16:15–20 (NKJV) “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.’”Jesus preached the gospel of the KINGDOM.Mark 1:14–15 (NKJV) “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”Jesus said that the gospel of the kingdom must be PREACHED in all the world as a WITNESS to all the nations before the end will come.Matthew 24:14 (NKJV) “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”What is the “Gospel of the Kingdom”?The “gospel of the kingdom” is the good news that God has provided a way through which sinners can be delivered from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). This salvation is made possible through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross followed by His subsequent resurrection from the dead. This salvation is made available to all who will believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, repent of their sins (Matthew 1:21; John 3:16), and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). This gospel of the kingdom includes not only salvation from the penalty of sin but also the blessings and responsibilities for those who enter. The kingdom of God is spiritual. It is not observable with the human eye. It dwells in the hearts of those who believe. Because Jesus Christ is the King of this kingdom, the preaching of Jesus Christ is central to entrance into God’s kingdom. He is the Door into God’s kingdom. Those who wish to enter must first believe in Jesus Christ and then bow in complete surrender and submission to Him as King. Thus, the gospel is also called the “gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1).Basic Truths of the Gospel MessageSin SEPARATES human beings from God (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2).Isaiah 59:1–2 (NKJV) “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”Adam and Eve violated the holiness of God’s love when they disobeyed His command. As a result, they were removed from the intimate fellowship of God’s love when they were removed from the Garden of Eden. God never stopped loving Adam and Eve, but sin separated them from His holy Presence. The same is true for us. One sin will separate us eternally from God. God is love but He is also holy. Without holiness no one can see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). Thus, we see the dilemma caused by our sin.All have SINNED and fallen short of the GLORY of God.Romans 3:10 (NKJV) “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one;’”Romans 3:23 (NKJV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”The imagery here is that of archers shooting toward a bullseye. The bullseye represents perfection, complete sinlessness in this life. Some may come closer in their aim than others, but the reality is that we have all “missed the mark”.Why do we all miss the mark? It is because we are sinners by nature. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners because of the sinful nature that we inherited from our first father Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; see also Romans 7). When we sin, we confirm our status as a sinner.Illustration: A pig can be removed from its wallowing hole, washed, perfumed, and decorated with a nice bow. However, once the pig is released, he will always go back to his wallowing hole. It is in his nature.The Bible teaches that not only is something wrong with our sin, but something is wrong with us. We are like sin factories. Sin has been the product of our lives.Illustration: Imagine that you and two other people were running for your lives from a deadly killer when you came to the ledge of a narrow canyon that was a thousand feet deep. Twenty feet away was the other ledge. With the killer soon approaching, there was no choice but for each to attempt the jump. The first person jumped and fell three feet short of the other side. The second person jumped and fell two feet short of the other side. Then came your turn. You did better than the other two and fell only one foot short of the other side. Question: Would you be any better off because of your better effort? The point is clear: we are separated from God and nothing short of perfection can get us to heaven, a perfection of which we have already fallen short of the glory of God.Those who keep the entire law and yet stumble in ONE thing are guilty of breaking the entire standard of God’s law.James 2:10 (NKJV) “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”No one has lived up to God’s perfect standard. Therefore, all are guilty of sin and are subject to the divine penalty for sin.Illustration: Imagine that someone was to draw a circle on a piece of glass and section it into ten sections like a pie. Each section represents one of God’s Ten Commandments. Then imagine that they gave you a hammer with this instruction: “Break only ONE of these Commandments.” The point is clear: The Law of God is perfect in its entirety. No one can break ONE of God’s commands without being guilty of breaking them all.The WAGES of sin is DEATH.Romans 6:23 (NKJV) “For the wages of sin is death…”God is a Righteous Judge. He cannot ignore sin in any measure and remain just. He MUST judge sin. The “paycheck” for our sin on judgment day is death. In addition to physical death, there is spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God in a place called the “Lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15). No amount of good works can “balance out” or “cancel” the penalty of our sin. Even if we lived perfectly from this time forward, we are still guilty of what we did in the past. Not even “religion” can save us since it involves our efforts to please God.God LOVES sinnersGod hates sin, but He loves those who have been trapped in it.Although we are sinners, God still loves us and is working to reconcile us back to Himself by dealing with the sin issue (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18).Many sinners sense the love and wooing of God. Sometimes they mistakenly think this is a sign that they are not separated from God by sin. However, God’s ongoing activity in a sinner’s life is not an indication that he is approved before God. It is evidence that God’s love is at work to draw and reconcile the sinner to Himself (See the account of Cornelius in Acts 10).God provides the opportunity for reconciliation through His Son, Jesus Christ, who died as a Substitute for sin to all who will believe in Him.John 3:16 (NKJV) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”Salvation cannot be EARNED. It is an OFFENSE to God to try. Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God.Although salvation is offered freely to all who believe, salvation was not free. It cost the Father the death of His beloved Son, and it cost Jesus the pain and suffering of the Cross.The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23).Although it is impossible to be reconciled to God through our efforts, it is possible to be reconciled to God Cross so that we might receive salvation by faith as a gift, the gift of imputed righteousness through faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through Christ’s substitutionary and sacrificial death on the cross, the justice of God is satisfied so that eternal fellowship with Him can be restored. Salvation is a gift of God’s “grace” (i.e., “unmerited favor”) (Ephesians 2:8-10).FAITH and CONFESSION are essential to receiving the gift of salvation.Romans 10:6–10 (NKJV) “But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, ‘ “Who will descend into the abyss?” ’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”We receive God’s gift by faith and confession. Although God’s salvation is free, it must be received to become effective in our life. To receive God’s gift of salvation, we must let go of our hold on this world (repentance) so that we may take hold of God’s offer of salvation.Faith is not mental assent. Biblical faith is a spiritual belief springing up from the heart. It includes both heart belief and mouth confession.Illustration: Suppose you went to a circus and watched a tight rope walker push a wheelbarrow across a tight rope. The crowd cheers. After several successful passes, he looks down and asks if you believe he can push his wheelbarrow across the rope one more time. With enthusiasm, you say, “Yes, I believe!” He says to you again, “Do you really believe?” You insist again, “Of course, I believe!” In response to your enthusiasm, he says, “Great! You are just the person I’m looking for. For my next demonstration, I would like to push you across the rope to the other side. Would you please get in my wheelbarrow?” The point is clear: We do not really believe until we put our life in God’s “wheelbarrow” of salvation. We do not really believe until we are willing to act on what we say we believe.When we believe in our hearts the message of the gospel, the result becomes righteousness (i.e., “right standing”) with God (see also Romans 4:5). When we confess with our mouths Jesus Christ as Lord, the result becomes salvation from God (see also Matthew 10:32-33). When we obey God’s requirements for salvation, then God will perform in our hearts the miracle of the “new birth”. It is through the new birth that we enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5).Jesus and the “New Birth” (John 3:1-21)Nicodemus was a Pharisee, one of the most devout of the religious Jews. He was also a ruler of the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin. Yet he was not satisfied with His religious efforts to be righteous in the sight of God. He knew he was missing something important. He came to Jesus at night to seek answers.Jesus said unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.John 3:3 (NKJV) “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”Those who are born again are born of the SPIRIT of God.John 3:6–8 (NKJV) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”To be born again, one must look upon and BELIEVE in the only begotten and crucified Son of God.John 3:14–16 (NKJV) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”Numbers 21:8–9 (NKJV) “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.’ 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”God did not send His Son to CONDEMN the world.Sinners are already dying in their sin and separated from God. If they are condemned to eternal separation from God, then it is because they refused to look to Jesus and believe so that they might be saved.John 3:17–21 (NKJV) “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman (John 4:3-38)Jesus is our best example of a soul winner. Through His encounter with the Samaritan woman, we can learn basic principles to help bring a sinner to salvation.Be aware of divine APPOINTMENTS to witness to sinners.“But He needed to go through Samaria” (verse 4)Position yourself in strategic areas for witnessing opportunities.Jesus sat down by the well, a key place to which people came daily.Establish a common INTEREST.Jesus did not begin to witness to the woman immediately but talked about a common interest—thirst and water.Arouse an interest which stirs the person to ask QUESTIONS.We are never being “pushy” in our witnessing so long as people are asking questions.“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (verse 10)Focus in on the FELT need of a person. Jesus knows that every person’s “real” need is spiritual in nature. However, Jesus cares about every part of a person’s life. Ministering to a person’s “felt” (natural need) need is a key to opening their heart to God. “Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’” (verse 16)Allow the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT to operate.God has clothed us with the power to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Be open for God to release the manifestations of His Spirit through you. The activity of the Holy Spirit is released to convince a person of God’s reality and of His personal concern for them.Jesus operated here in the word of knowledge: “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly” (verse 17-18).Do not CONDEMN.People are usually aware that they have sin in their lives but do not know how to live above it. Jesus did not condone the woman’s sin but neither did He condemn her. He knew that the real answer was not to condemn her sin but to satisfy the thirst of her soul with His living water. Repentance from sin is necessary for salvation but we must never lose sight of the fact that it is “the goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).Stay on TRACK.Sinners with a religious background will often try to turn the focus off of their need to a religious topic. Non-religious sinners may begin talking about other opinion-related issues. Don’t allow this to happen. Try to answer their questions in such a way that it leads back to their need for a genuine relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.The woman said, “’Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father . . . God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” (verse 21, 24)Bring the person to a point of DECISION.It does not matter how well we have presented Christ if we do not give the person an opportunity to receive or reject Christ.“’The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”Remember that there are people in every field of life who are READY to be saved. Therefore, we must be diligent to lift up our EYES and LOOK around.John 4:35 (NKJV) “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”We must be ready to either SOW the gospel or REAP the harvest depending on their readiness.John 4:36–38 (NKJV) “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”Practical Steps in Leading a Person to ChristOnce a person is ready to accept the message of the Gospel, repent of their sins, and give their lives over to Jesus Christ, we must allow ourselves to be used by God to assist in the new birth delivery. Many “deliveries” take place in the sanitized setting of the church, but the most common births in the Bible were performed by midwives out in common settings. Here are a few important steps that will help in the delivery process.Offer to lead them in PRAYER.Some are knowledgeable to pray on their own, but most do not really know what to pray. They need your help. Tell them that you will lead them in a prayer out loud. Tell them that the important thing to God is that they mean it in their heart.Assure them that God will HEAR their prayer and save them if prayed in sincerity and faith.Romans 10:13 (NKJV) “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)Invite the Holy Spirit to perform the MIRACLE of the new birth.Before you lead them in the prayer of salvation, begin with a simple prayer to invite the Holy Spirit to come and to bring forth the miracle of the new birth in their heart as they pray. Acknowledge in prayer that you cannot do this miracle but can only lead them to the One who can. End by thanking the Holy Spirit for coming.Ask them to take your HAND or to lift their hands if they are ready to pray to invite Christ to save them.This gesture allows the final decision to proceed from the one needing salvation. It will also give you the confidence you need to know they have made a choice that God can honor.LEAD them in prayer.There is no prescribed prayer mentioned in the Bible, but there are basic requirements that should be covered in the prayer of salvation.Ask the person to pray after you as you lead them phrase by phrase through a prayer like the following: “Dear God, I come to you as a sinner. I confess that I have sinned and lived my life without You. Without Your mercy, I have no hope of salvation. So today I choose to receive You, Lord Jesus, as my personal Lord and Savior. I believe that You died on the cross for me, that You were buried and rose again. Forgive me of my sin and wash me clean through Your blood. Come into my heart and take Your place as the Lord of my life. From this moment on I belong to You. Take my life and use me as a vessel for Your glory. Thank You Jesus for saving me today. It is in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”CONFIRM the new birth.The new birth is not based on feeling but on faith.You can determine whether faith was released by asking a few questions.Ask them if they meant what they prayed.If yes, then ask them if they believe that God heard their prayer.If yes, ask them if they believe that God has saved them and that they now belong to Him.If they say yes to all the above, then the miracle of the new birth has taken place. If they cannot say yes, then take them back to God’s word to bring forth faith in their heart before praying again.Ask God to SEAL the new believe with the Holy Spirit.After confirming the new birth, pray over them once again thanking the Lord for hearing their prayer and saving their soul. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and seal the work of the new birth in their heart that they would never question or stray from its reality.Ephesians 1:13–14 (NKJV) “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”Instruct them to follow the Lord in believer’s BAPTISM.Jesus commanded those who believe to be baptized in water as a step of obedience.This is not an option; it is a command and the first step of obedience to Christ’s Lordship in their lives.This should be done as soon as possible.Help them get CONNECTED to a local CHURCH for nurturing and ongoing discipleship.Not only did Jesus command us to present people with the gospel but also commanded us to make disciples. We need never take this follow-up command lightly.Jesus is looking not only for fruit but fruit that will remain.Personal Project:Have you ever led a person to the Lord personally? _______ If not, what has been the greatest obstacle? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________If you have lead a person to Christ, what might have been the most difficult part? __________________________________________________________________________________________Has this lesson helped prepare you to do personal evangelism more effectively? ___________ If so, in what way? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Are you willing to be used by God to bring souls to Christ? __________ If so, then take time to do the following:Ask God to send forth soul winners into His harvest fields.Ask God to use you as one of His vessels.Ask Him to give you the wisdom of a soul winner.Familiarize yourself with the basic soul winners tools and carry them in the tool chest of your heart so that you might be a vessel prepared for the Master’s use.Develop a daily lifestyle of soul-winning byPraying for soulsPlanting gospel “seeds”Reaping the lost
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