I was flying back from Portland when I tried an easy way to evangelize, taught to me by good friend, Dr. Steve Lewis, President of Rocky Mountain Seminary.
Here’s how it works.
If you meet someone who professes to believe in Jesus, you ask them, “Would you like to know an easy way to share your faith with others?”
They’ll probably say, “Sure.”
“Are you familiar with John 3:16?”
“I think so,” they might say.
So you take out your NT, turn to John 3:16 (or a similar passage) and start going through it with them. “If you’re going to evangelize someone, you might do what Jesus does here, and tell them about God’s love for them.”
“And then tell them about who Jesus is, and why He was sent. You know, that He died on the cross to pay for sin.”
“And now for this next part, it can get tricky.”
“Yes, because you really need to make sure they get this. What’s the one condition Jesus mentions here to be saved? What’s the one thing you gotta do? And, by the way, when you ask most people that, they’re going to give all kinds of answers—you have to do good works, you have to give to the poor, you have to get baptized, etc. So be prepared for that, and point them to what Jesus says here. So what is Jesus’ one condition, according to John 3:16?”
“He says, ‘whoever believes.’”
“Right, so is the condition works?”
“Is it baptism?”
“No, it’s believing.”
“Right! Believing is the only condition. Now what do they get if they believe? This is really important too, because people believe in Jesus for all kinds of things, without really getting the ‘big picture’ of what He offers. So what do believers get?”
If they hesitate, point to the words “everlasting life” to help them out.
“Oh. They get everlasting life.”
“Right. And then you tell them what that is—forever salvation, life with God forever, life that can’t be lost, etc. But make sure they understand they’re not just believing in Jesus for a good job, or a pay raise, or a physical healing, or something temporary. They are believing in Him for everlasting life. That’s what he offers.”
“Oh yeah, yeah,” they’ll say.
“And now, this is really important. Make sure the person you are witnessing to understands when they get everlasting life.”
“Yes. Because most people just don’t know. They think they might get it after they die, or sometime in the future. But when does Jesus say a believer gets everlasting life?”
“Umm…I don’t know,” they might say.
“Well, what does Jesus say right here? Does it say they’ll get everlasting life in the future?”
“No. He says they ‘have’ it.”
“And what does that mean? When do believers get it?”
“…Umm… when they believe. They have it.”
“Exactly! Isn’t that great? So many people go to church all their lives, and they miss those simple things, right? So you’ve got at least three things there you need to make clear to anyone you are witnessing to. The condition: believe in Jesus. The consequence: everlasting life that cannot be lost. And the when: believers have everlasting life as a present possession. And it’s all from one simple verse. Easy, right? And then you do one more thing.”
“You ask them a question. ‘If Jesus promises that believers have everlasting life as a present possession, and you believe that, then what do you have?’”
“I have everlasting life!”
“Exactly. Now, isn’t that an easy way to evangelize someone?”
“Wow,” the guy on the airplane told me. “I’ve never heard it explained like that. Thanks!”
It’s simple. It’s non-confrontational. It’s inductive. Give it a try and see your evangelism opportunities take flight!