Two days ago I was sitting in my office with the door open when I heard our senior pastor (Dan) begin to talk to the unbelieving man who has been mowing the church’s grass for the last ten years (Ray). Ray started the conversation by asking Dan if he was planning on going out of the country on a mission trip any time soon. This turned into a dialogue about the different foreign foods each of them had eaten in the past. At this point, Dan transitioned to the Scriptures by jumping on the link he saw between food and the wedding feast of the Lamb. I think that was a little weird for Ray because he then interrupted Dan to change the subject and ask whether or not it was okay to eat pork. Dan was determined to share the gospel with Ray, so he seized on the question and segued into Acts 10 where God essentially uses pork (most likely) and other foods to show Peter that his plan was to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Explaining that he and Ray were both Gentiles, Dan then began to explain substitutionary atonement and how the glorious benefits of Christ’s sacrifice are for those who repent and believe.
Listening on to this conversation taught me three things about sharing the gospel:
1) We should not be so quick to give up – So often when I’m sharing the gospel, because of the fear of man, I take any escape from the conversation I can see. This way I can feel good about trying, but not have to endure the discomfort of telling someone they’re a sinner. Pitiful, I know. Perhaps you can relate. We must remember that Jesus is worthy of our persistence in gospel-telling and find a way to get back on course when the people we are sharing with try to derail us as Ray did with Dan.
2) If we can get to the Bible, we can get to Jesus – I’m not a smooth evangelist. I find that it’s difficult to slip from the natural to the spiritual inconspicuously in a conversation with an unbeliever. It looks more like kicking down the door to a house than lightly knocking and waiting for the owner to answer. Whether or not you look good getting to the gospel is not the goal here, but you do need to get to the gospel, so here’s a tip: concentrate on getting to the Bible first. To some, a transition from foreign foods to the wedding feast of the Lamb may have seemed awkward, but it got Dan into the Bible. See, Dan knew if he could get to the Bible then he could get to Jesus because the Bible is all about Jesus (Luke 24:27).
3) The more we know our Bibles, the easier this will be – For these conversations to take place, we need to be able to make associations between the natural, secular world and the Bible. We also need to be able to take different stories and principles throughout the Bible and connect them to Christ. This is another great incentive for knowing the Bible well. So read it, study it, meditate on it, talk about it, read books that help you understand it, and ask mature believers to explain it. This can only make you a better evangelist.