Now then, brothers and sisters, because of the Lord Jesus we ask and encourage you to excel in living a God-pleasing life even more than you already do. Do this the way we taught you.
This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.
“If you have known me, you will also know my Father. From now on you know him ⌊through me⌋ and have seen him ⌊in me⌋.”
You know, you can never truly gauge another person’s salvation because salvation belongs to the Lord.
That’s one of the first things my first pastor taught me.
The Lord weighs our hearts and motives.
He sees the unseen parts, the unspoken things, what we think is hidden.
If Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, how much more the human heart.
What does this have to do with evangelism and sharing our faith?
Well, I think simply that we must be respectful to everyone we talk to and interact with.
If we were to judge by outward appearances, it would seem that no one is saved based on their sinful words and behaviors.
But the Lord is faithful, and we are weak and fallible creatures.
Perhaps you’re having a bad day.
Perhaps the devil tempted you, and you failed to resist the temptation and gave yourself over to the practice of sin.
You follow anyone around long enough and you’ll realize no one is perfect.
But we’re not the judge.
There is only one fair Judge and even He waits until we’re dead to judge us according to our deeds.
What am I saying?
There’s still hope as long as you’re alive.
We’re all works in progress in the Master’s hands.
He loves us with an undying love, literally.
We’re being sanctified and made holy in His presence.
We’re growing from glory to glory.
God’s not done with us yet.
Thank God for that!
I’m still learning the art of evangelism, but I’m finding it’s best to start with the fundamentals of the heart.
We need to get our hearts right first before we try to share our faith with others.
Don’t let people drink from your polluted well.
Purify your hearts before the Lord.
Confess your sins so that you might be healed.
Hidden sin rots us from the inside out, like being strapped to a dead corpse decays living flesh.
Get rid of sin in your life.
It only leads to suffering and death.
There is suffering for the Lord, but that leads to life and eternal riches in heaven.
So what’s your approach when you meet a stranger of unknown faith persuasion?
Just remember A & E.
Ask and encourage.
Ask them questions and encourage them in the faith.
God is the One who converts people.
We just have to be true to our God.
It’s much less abrasive when we are rooted and grounded in love and seek to love and encourage others.
Ask them if they know the Lord.
That cuts to the chase real quick.
Many will acknowledge they do, but maybe they are estranged.
This is the perfect opportunity to model grace and offer to pray for them.
If they don’t know the Lord, ask them if they know what the Gospel is.
If they do, ask them to explain it to you.
Draw Christ out of them.
Prime that pump of faith.
The good thing about God is that the more you give, the more you receive.
So just let it flow!
We all can use reminding of the Gospel everyday.
If they don’t know the Gospel, ask them if it would be okay to briefly tell them the Good News.
Respect their answer.
We’re not selling anything, and we’re not earning a commission based on souls won to Christ’s Kingdom.
We’re freely giving away the best news that anyone could ever hear.
And there’s no commercials.
Money is not the motive.
The love of God and neighbor is.
At this point, you should be thinking, I need to brush up on my Gospel sharing skills.
You’re in good company.
We all do.
And hopefully, training will be coming to a Christian fellowship near you soon.
If not, ask your pastor to provide that training.
This is what we’re all meant to do.
And it’s the job of ministry leaders to equip the saints for the work of ministry.
So remember, ask questions and encourage people.
Maybe you’ll meet another on-fire believer who fellowships at another congregation.
Pray and bless each other.
Demonstrate the fact that there is only one Body of Christ, and we are individual members of it.
Who doesn’t like getting prayed for?
Only a fool.
In summary, the key that opens the door to Gospel conversations is the proper heart motive and the inclination to ask and encourage.
May God bless your soul today as you live your faith boldly for all the world to see.
From then on, Jesus began to tell people, “Turn to God and change the way you think and act, because the kingdom of heaven is near!”
For further reading and study: 1 Peter.