Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about witnessing brings fear of rejection to many. However, a well crafted, effective plan and practice takes the guesswork out of things, and reduces anxiety. It is also more effective.
There are many systems on how to explain the gospel of Christ. One of the most successful is the Four Spiritual Laws by Campus Crusade for Christ. It is simple. You just read the booklet. Here is another plan, which is an adaptation of a system called the Roman’s Road.
This witnessing plan is adaptable for a friend, sermon, hospital or home visitation. The secret is to courteously move into the presentation. Start with a short, warm conversation before starting the witnessing. Smile. Be friendly. Use their names.
If you are talking to strangers, focus on their family, occupation, recreation, etc. One secret with people is to let them to talk about their interests. People seldom like to visit with people who only talk about themselves. Next, bridge the gap from the secular things of conversation over to the sacred. The point: establish a affirmative relationship first.
Bridging the Gap
This process involves four questions. Memorize them.
1. “Do you often think about spiritual things?” If the person shows marked resistance, then do not go any further. Build trust and a positive relationship. If they show interest, then proceed to the next question
2. “If there was a way you could know for sure you were going to heaven, would you like to hear about it?” (cf. 1 John 5:13). This question will again measure resistance and interest. It also gains the person’s permission to witness to them about the gospel.
3. “May I ask you a spiritual question?” If the answer is yes, then proceed. You have again reaffirmed their permission to listen to your witness.
4. “If you were to die tonight and stand before God and He would say to you, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’ what would you tell Him?’”
Let them talk, then summarize their answer. For example, “Let me see if I understand you correctly. You would say something like, ‘I did the best I could.’ Is that correct?’” After they agree, then proceed with the witnessing presentation.
You can say, “The Bible has good news. It tells us that God loves (John 3:16) and has given us eternal life and forgiveness as a free gift (Ephesians 2:5-9). It tells us we can know for sure if we are going to heaven. That is good news, isn’t it?”
Use the following outline to make the gospel presentation. Memorize the verses, and quote them from memory – or read them from the Bible – when appropriate. After you memorize the process, then you can use your own words and transitions to make it your natural, personal witness.
1. The Bible tells us everyone is a sinner in need of salvation (Romans 3:23).
2. There is a penalty to sin (Romans 6:23). To illustrate, “We have a problem. We must be perfect to stand before God (Matthew 5:48), but one sin is enough to send us to hell (James 2:10).
Let us say we only committed one sin per day. If we lived to be 70 years old, that would be over 25,000 sins. Now, if we stood before a judge and were convicted of 25,000 crimes, what would the judge do to us? He would lock up and throw away the key, wouldn’t he?”
3. Christ paid the penalty (Romans 5:8). Illustration: “We are told that all our deeds are written down in a book, and we will be judged on them (Revelation 20:11-15; 22:12). But we are also told that ‘The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him’” (Isaiah 53:6).
4. All who receive Christ by faith are saved and forgiven (Romans 10:13; cf. vv. 9-13). We receive Christ by saving faith. All faith does not save. Even Satan believes, but is not saved (James 2:19).
Here is an illustration with a chair. We can believe the chair exists and that it will hold us up – yet still not trust ourselves to that chair. Only when you sit in the chair with your entire weight do you fully trust the chair to hold you up. In the same way, we must fully trust Jesus alone to save us.
Now you ask the person to receive Christ. Remember that the witnessing process is a cooperative transaction between the Holy Spirit, you and the other person. You just clearly present the gospel, and leave the results to God. Let the Holy Spirit do His work. Maybe the person will accept Christ, maybe not. You just do your job.
Relax. Smile. Be friendly. Say something like, “(name), do you recall when I asked you if you were to die tonight, and stand before God and He would say to you, ‘Why should I let you into my Heaven”? Do you recall what you said? Wasn’t it “I did the best I could?” Do you see how that is different than trusting Christ alone?
Wouldn’t you rather receive Christ now and be sure that you would go to Heaven?” If they answer yes, then proceed with your witnessing, “If you mean it in your heart, just repeat this prayer after me.”
Here is a suggested prayer in short segments that the person can repeat after you. My father in heaven (pause). I admit I am a sinner in need of salvation (pause). I cannot save myself (pause). I believe Christ died for my sins (pause). I believe He rose from the dead to give me eternal life and forgive my sins (pause). I receive Christ as my Savior the best I know how (pause). I want to live in obedience to you the rest of my life (pause). I ask this in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Assurance of Salvation
To solidify the commitment the convert has just made, and to ward off the doubts sent by Satan, show them from the Bible how they can know they are saved.
Just as a baby is not left in the delivery room to fend for themselves, a new convert should not be left to themselves. They need to be lovingly folded into a Christian group, taught and grounded in the Faith. Bring the person to church or Bible study group and enlist them into a follow up program. Here are some immediate things to instruct your convert.
With this tightly packed study on witnessing, Esmie and I pray for your many successes in witnessing to others about the gospel of Christ. This is only a primer. There is much more – but first get this down pat.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS:
1. What is Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)?
2. What did Jesus command us to do (Mark 16:15)?
3. What does Acts 10:42 tell us about witnessing?
4. What does 2 Corinthians 5:11; 14; Colossians 1:28, 29 tell
us about Paul’s attitude and action toward witnessing?
5. What is the Holy Spirit’s role in witnessing (John 16:7-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13)?
6. What does Peter tell us about follow up with new Christians (1 Peter 2:2)?
7. What insight does Hebrews 10:25 tell us about follow up?
8. What does Acts 8:26-37 tell us about the various characters and their roles in witnessing?
9. What does John 1:13 tell us about the sequence of the witnessing experience?
10. What stands out to you the most about this Bible teaching about witnessing?
Here are several extra verses to memorize regarding salvation.
•John 1:12, 13
•Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14.
•Acts 16:30, 31
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