There are many different forms of evangelism. Everything from personal one-on-one evangelism, to open-air crusade style evangelism. Whatever form you are engaging yourself in, my guess is that you are ultimately looking to share your faith in Jesus Christ. For some Christians, this comes quite easily. For others, not so easily. And I think what separates “the men from the boys” when it comes to sharing the gospel, is ultimately those who are more mature and seasoned in the faith have a better grasp of the nuts and bolts of the gospel message, than those who are still younger in the Lord. Therefore, when they share the gospel with others, they are generally able to do so in a clearer and more confident manner.
Having been trained in many different forms of evangelism over the years, and having shared the gospel to literally thousands of people, I would like to briefly take a moment and share with you what I believe to be the key points that we should look to share with others when we are engaging in evangelism. I believe these points to be the “essence” of what the gospel message is, and believe they should take top priority in our minds when we share our faith. What are these points? They are the very same points that the apostle Paul said he stressed in his evangelistic endeavors.
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand… For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve…” (1 Corinthians 15:1,3-5; NASB)
If we wanted to break this down into simple talking points, the apostle Paul says the essence of his gospel message was this:
- Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins and was buried.
- Jesus Christ was brought back to life after three days.
- Jesus Christ was seen by many eyewitnesses after He was raised from the dead.
While there are many other things that we know the apostle Paul talked about when he preached the gospel message, one might say all of those other points were but commentary to these three points. Whatever else he said, he wanted to ensure that his audience heard and understood these three things loud and clear. Therefore, when you share your faith with others, and share your personal testimony, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I would encourage you to emphasize these three points above all other things.
The love of God, repentance, judgment, etc., while all important topics to talk about, are ultimately subservient to these three points. If the people you are sharing the gospel message with fail to understand that the thrust of your preaching was about these three points, then there is a good chance you likely failed to make these three points the heart of your message. And if you did not make these three points your thrust of your message, I don’t care what else you preached about, I can be certain you did not preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. And in failing to preach these things, your hearers will have no room to receive the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, for you gave them nothing to have faith in. For the apostle Paul said:
“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9; NASB)
If we wish to see men saved, we must give men something to believe in. Merely convincing men that God loves them, or that they need to turn from their sin, while important things preach about, will ultimately save no one. For the saving knowledge of God comes through men believing that the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins, and was raised bodily from the dead. And if they would but believe those things, then they would come to understand that God loves them, and that they need to turn away from those things which resulted in Christ being crucified in their repentance. And from there they would understand the depths and the riches of the mercy and grace of God.
Therefore, in closing, let me just exhort you to take great pains in your sharing of the gospel with others, to place great emphasis upon the person and work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. If you ever are wondering what you should tell others about when you share your faith with them, tell them about the Christ who was crucified, risen, and seen. And in doing so, you will find yourself in the company of men like the apostle Paul, who emphasized these truths above all other things.