A Simple Way to Share the Gospel
Mortality is on the news and in our minds in a way we haven’t experienced for a while. While it has always been true that everybody dies, there is nothing like a viral disease to expose our fragility.
There are going to be quiet times—away from the stocking up and checking up on 401Ks—when people will turn their minds to questions about eternity. You may very well find yourself given an unanticipated opportunity to share the gospel.
What should you say to a spiritual seeker besides, “Got your phone? I’m going to give you the pastor’s phone number.”
God may have uniquely positioned you, not your pastor, to share the gospel with that friend, coworker, or family member.
So, where do you start? It’s true that actual conversations are better than scripted formulas. But at some point in the conversation, the gospel needs to be shared.
With that said, I would like to pass along a method of sharing the gospel which you will find helpful.
It was told me by a good friend who has used it effectively ever since he heard it. He first heard it from a longtime Christian Church minister in Lawton, Oklahoma, the late Dick Williams.
The method walks you through a paragraph in the Bible. The paragraph is taken from Peter’s sermon on the first day of the church. It’s just seven verses, and from these verses, we’ll find 9 steps. I think you’ll find this 9-step method both simple and comprehensive.
Let’s walk through the 7 verses and talk through this tried-and-true method of sharing the gospel.
This is Acts 2, starting with verse 36. Peter says, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” This starts with the lordship of Christ. When you realize Step 1) Jesus is Lord, that leads us to the second step: we feel convicted.
Let’s look at verse 37: “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” Step 1 is lordship, followed by 2) conviction and 3) a question. They were cut to the heart and asked what they should do.
So far, we have three steps in the process: 1) the lordship of Jesus, 2) conviction, and 3) the question: “What do we do?”
Let’s move on to verse 38: “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Did you catch step 4 and 5? After someone wonders what he or she should do, the answer is 4) repent, and 5) be baptized.
To repent means to change our minds—no longer being okay with being led astray by sin but choosing to be led by Jesus. When we repent and are baptized, we are given two beautiful promises from Acts 2:38: our sins are forgiven and we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So, do you remember the first 5 steps? They are 1) lordship of Jesus, 2) conviction, 3) question: “What do I do?”, 4) repent, and 5) be baptized.
At this point, someone might wonder just who qualifies for this promise.
That’s where the next verse comes in. Verse 39 says, “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Step 6 tells us that this promise is for everyone.
With all that said, we come to the last 3 steps. This is where you invite someone to make the decision. Here are steps 7-9: 7) the challenge, 8) the decision, and 9) a lifestyle of discipleship.
Three more verses. Verse 40 says, “And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’” That’s the challenge. You go ahead and invite someone to be saved. That’s step 7: the challenge.
Then comes step 8 in verse 41: “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Step 8 is the decision. A person makes the decision to be baptized.
And all this culminates in step 9, which is the lifestyle of discipleship.
This lifestyle is described in verse 42: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” It is so important that people know that they aren’t just signing up for a one-time decision. Rather, they are devoting themselves to a lifestyle of being a disciple of Jesus, someone who trusts and follows Jesus.
The Bible tells us to make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16). If you have an opportunity to share the gospel with a lost person, then by all means make the most of the opportunity.