I?m back. I know it?s been a while; to tell the truth it?s not that I don?t have any time to write new devo?s, it?s just that I really have no idea what to write about that I haven?t already. I think up until now I shared a bunch of stuff that?s been weighing heavily on my soul. I think the last month or so God has been letting me live into the revelation of Him I?ve recently received, I think I would probably have gone nuts with constant revelations and wouldn?t grow much if I didn?t learn how to apply them.
I think the most difficult thing about evangelism is that everybody tells you to do it, but nobody tells you how. Below is a way I?ve learned to do it from www.livingwaters.com, but I had to adapt it to suit my personality; so does everyone. There?s no ?formula?, this is just to get started. After a while you will stand and chat to people for a long time, and the Holy Spirit will help you to tell the person the right stuff. Let?s say Bob is your typical person. He?s heard about Jesus, been to church a couple of times, but doesn?t take it all to seriously.
Riaan: Good evening, have you received one of these yet? (I hold out a pressed penny with the 10 commandments printed on it)
Bob: What is it?
Riaan: It?s a penny with the 10 commandments it, it?s yours. (Making it sound like EVERYBODY has one, where has he been!?)
Bob: O cool! Thanks, man!
Riaan: Can I ask you how many have you kept? Bob: Oh, I guess about half of them.
Riaan: Can we do a quick test? Have you ever told a lie?
Bob: Sure, who hasn?t?
Riaan: What does that make you?
Bob: A bad person?
Riaan: No, what specifically?
Bob: A liar?
I would like to stress at this point I make Bob understand that I broke each of the commandments like he did ? by doing this he understands that I?m not judging him, just making it obvious that he has sinned.
Riaan: Ok, have you ever stolen something, even if it?s small?
Riaan: What does that make you?
Bob: A thief I guess.
Riaan: Have you ever looked at woman, wishing you could get her in the sack?
Bob: Sure, who hasn?t?
Riaan: Jesus says in the Bible that whoever looks with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. Now Bob, do you believe in heaven and hell?
Bob: Yes. (Most people say yes, you get atheists that will say no, and then the conversation will take a slight detour but will end up here again)
Riaan: So Bob, when you die and stand in front of God, you will stand before him as a lying, thieving adulterer at heart, and that is just 3 of the 10 commandments. The barrels of all 10 commandments will point at you. Will you be innocent or guilty?
Riaan: Will you go to heaven or hell?
Bob: Heaven. (People usually say this).
Riaan: So because God is loving and just he will oversee your sins and let you into heaven?
Bob: Yeah, that?s it! God knows me, he knows my situation.
Riaan: Let?s try that on earth. You stand before a judge, you?ve been found guilty of murder and rape. Do you think the good you?ve done will count in that situation? If you tell the judge, ?look at all the people I haven?t raped and killed!?. Do you think the judge will let you go? No! Obviously not. Because he is a good judge he will have to punish you. You see, God is so righteous that He will punish murderers, rapists and thieves. But He will not stop there, He will also punish liars, fornicators and adulterers. So, will you go to heaven or hell?
Bob: Hell. Riaan: Does that concern you?
Bob: No. (Some people get a little agitated at this point)
Riaan: It does, and I can prove it to you. Would you sell an eye for one million dollars?
Bob: Huh? Riaan: Would you sell one of your eyes for one million dollars? Tax free. Let?s say I know someone who will pay one million dollars for one of your eyes. It will be removed in a pain free operation, and they?ll give you a glass eye to match the other.
Bob: One million dollars? Ok.
Riaan: Would you sell both your eyes for 10 million dollars? 100 million? All the money in the world?
Riaan: Of course not. Nobody in their right mind will. What will you go and do? See the world? Now, if your eyes are merely the windows of your soul, don?t you think your soul is worth much more than all the money in the world?
Bob: I see what you mean.
Riaan: You see, we all deserve to perish, but God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. He paid the fine that we would have had to pay. That?s what happened on the cross. One day when we stand in front of God we will stand blameless because Jesus Christ already took the punishment for us. You need to trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and repent of your sins. Repentance means to be sorry and to turn your back on sin. You must learn to hate sin. Then you must find a good church, read your Bible daily and obey what it says.
Bob: Thanks man.
Riaan: Thanks for your time, this was fun.
This conversation above merely a framework, and for the most part the conversation is pretty predictable, but just as people differ, so does the conversation. Something I?ve learned is to be yourself . Be real and show you have real concern for the person you are talking to. I try to keep the conversation light hearted, smile and be friendly. Not at one point must the person think that you are thinking less of him than yourself. The purpose of using the law is to break down any self-righteousness that the person may possess, so show him that you know you are not righteous on your own, only by the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul said he did not know what sin was until the law taught him (Rom 7:7)
Bringing up hell is not for the purpose of making him accept Jesus Christ because he is afraid of going to hell. You should never focus on hell, most people know it?s bad (but I?ve met more than 1 person who thinks hell will be a 24 hour Marilyn Manson concert and they can?t wait to go). You don?t want a fear-filled convert, but a tearful one, one who is coming to God in repentance, truly sorry for the mess he/she has done.
I?ve learned that if at any point the person becomes stubborn and aggressive (that does happen sometimes when sin is brought into the light), just stop and tell the person why/how it came that you became a Christian. BE REAL! Show the person that you are human as well, that you don?t live in La-La land and you have concern for him. If you don?t witness in love, you might as well not do it at all. So many times Revelation 12:11 has sprung to mind which says that in the Christians will overcome satan by the blood of Jesus and the word of their testimony. Your testimony has tremendous power and I?ve witnessed many times how it breaks the ice off a cold-hearted person. I had that situation this past Friday, when the guy became angry and aggressive toward me. I was witnessing with a friend, and we both stopped and just shared our testimony. The guys? whole face changed and invited us to go to a pub for a chat. We obviously joined him, had a coke (not that I abstain from beer - I wanted to be 100 percent when talking to someone as bright as this guy) and spent about 3 hours talking to him and answering all the questions he had. At the end we exchanged numbers, shook hands and left. Made another friend. He didn?t give his heart to Jesus right there, but at least he can now think about Christianity clearly.
I have some real cool, bizarre and crazy stories about happenings while witnessing, which I will share at one stage. Sure, it?s hard to get started, I still have to fight to get going every time, but once you start? you?ll have to experience it for yourself.