Last week I shared a story about sharing theGospel with people who came during a free medical-clinic run by a missions team in St. Vincent. It was interesting how many of them had a basic knowledge of Scripture (knew what to say) but didn’t know what the right answer actually meant. For instance when asked where they would go when they died people would quickly say “heaven” but when I asked why God would let them into Heaven a look of fear was their only response.
It’s easy to condemn that unsaved person for their lack of knowledge about God’s Word and they should be. However at the same time Christians face some of the blame as well for sharing “tidbits instead of the Gospel.” In other words much of our evangelism is done through out outreaches or events instead of one on one sharing.
Bill Faye in his book “Share Jesus Without Fear” explains giving out tidbits this way
A survey from the Institute of American Church Growth showed that 75 to 90 percent of new believers come to Christ through a friend or acquaintance who explains the good news on a one-to-one basis. Only 17 percent of all conversions come through what is called an “event”—a pastor giving his Sunday morning message, a Billy Graham crusade, or a Friendship Sunday. Yet, most churches denote the majority of their time, energy, and money to these kinds of events.
Please understand I’m all for outreach events because often that’s the only time the unsaved will visit a Church. But I also agree with Bill Faye that a greater emphasis should be placed on Chrisitians sharing their own faith since it has a stronger affect. And in the end events or evangelism programs can only give the foundational truths of the Gospel.
- You are a sinner
- Your sin separates you from God
- There is nothing you can do to reach God in Heaven
- Because we are in need God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins
- Through blood of Christ and His resussurection we can be saved through Faith
Of course those foundational truths are a powerful thing but sadly it’s not possible to personally counsel or share with everyone in attendance so many of them go home with a clear knowledge of Scripture but a false interpretation of it. Or in the worse case they will honestly admit not knowing what it means at all!
While living in a culture that can quote Romans 2:23 or 6:23 but doesn’t know what it truly means can be frustrating it’s also an incredible blessing. Because the knowledge of Scripture is in their mind just waiting for someone to explain it! All it takes is a humble Christian willing to explain God’s truth in clear terms, and then get out of the way so that the Holy Spirit does the work. He does a better job anyways.
The other blessing of this knowledge is they already have the answer for our deepest questions…
- Why is there so much violence and crime in the world? (Because we chose to rebel against God Romans 3:23)
- Why can’t I find happiness? (There is a gap (separation) between us and God)
- If God is loving then why is there a Hell? (He doesn’t want to but that’s the price that we chose Romans 6:23)
It’s an incredible blessing to see the light go off in someone’s eyes when they realize Heaven is a free gift, and they don’t have to earn it or work for it anymore, Salvation is accepted by faith in Christ. Yet they need someone who will come explain it to them.
We live in a generation that doesn’t understand Scritpure but that’s okay…because they live with a generation of Chrisitans that do.