Sharing the Gospel Effectively

January 22, 2008

ist2_3621127_evangelism.jpgHow can we share the Gospel effectively?

This question is often posed by people who want to share Christ, especially with people they know, but they oftentimes do not know where to begin. How do we share the Gospel with our friends?

Let’s look at Acts 4:23-31 to see what the early Christians did:

We need to understand that we can reach others for Christ primarily by praying. There are several aspects of our prayers that we should be concerned about when it comes to evangelism.

1. Know that we are praying to our sovereign Lord (v.23-24)

23When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,

Let us first understand that we are praying to God who is the ruler and creator of all. The first thing the disciples did when they approached the Lord in prayer was to praise him with adoration. God is in control of all and he is sovereign. Jesus did not chase down the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. When he was told what he needed to do, he left and rejected Jesus and Jesus let him leave. The Lord is ultimately in control of the salvation of others. Our job is to present the gospel, not make people accept, because it is their decision. We are praying to our sovereign Lord who is ultimately in control and we must trust the results to Him.

2. Know that we are praying for our enemies (v.25-28)

25who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Peter and John are quoting Psalm 2. They are acknowledging that Herod and Pontius Pilate and all the people involved in Jesus’ crucifixion were only acting within God’s will. They were enemies of Jesus but God used them to fulfill His purpose. Also, Romans calls unbelievers “enemies of God.” The truth is that before we accept Christ, we are at odds with God. Likewise, our enemies are the people who are not Christians. But, instead of wanting to harm them, like some militant religious fanatics, we are to pray for them, because without Christ, they are doomed. All people that are lost, who we are praying for, are our enemies. They are at odds with God and are desperate for redemption. We should pray for our “enemies.”

3. Know that we are praying for boldness (v.29-31)

a. Boldness to be faithful (v.29)

29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,

They prayed that they would be granted that they would share Christ with boldness. In Acts 17:32-34, upon preaching to the Athenians, the text tells us that some “sneered” at Paul but some accepted his message. People will either accept or reject the Gospel. And when they reject it, it may not be a good situation for faithful believers. Indeed, Christians have been persecuted for over 2,000 years. When people reject our message, we should, like Jesus and Paul, move on. We are called to be faithful in our message, but the conviction of the lost comes from the Spirit, not us, lest we can boast.

b. Boldness for results (v.30)

30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

They prayed for the Lord to heal and that signs may be done by His name…not their own. It is for Jesus’ name, not ours, that we witness. We do not witness to make “another notch in our belt.” Often, we may be asked the question,“ How many people have you led to Christ?” This question is not entirely accurate. First, it is not “us” who leads people to Christ, it is the Spirit. A better question would be, “How many people have you spoke to about Christ?” Pertaining to healing mentioned in this verse, in this day and age, the miraculous is less common. However, people also need spiritual healing. We should be bold in our prayer for results.

c. Boldness for conviction (v.31)

31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. “

When they prayed, the place was “shaken” and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that we will be able to faithfully proclaim the Word of God. We have to allow the Spirit to touch our hearts in order to do evangelism right. It is only through conviction, a heart change, that we will desire to share the Gospel. Pray for your heart to develop a burden for the lost.

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