Personal Evangelism Day 2: Presenting the Truth
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
It’s very clear in the Word of God that we have a responsibility to tell others about the person of Jesus. But when those opportunities come, what should we talk about? I listened to a pastor named Rico Tice who presented a wonderful way to think about how to communicate the truths of the gospel. It was all summed up in three words: Identity, Mission, Call. Let’s take a deeper look into each of these. Before we do, I have a quick disclaimer: the entire Word of God is the gospel message. There are many things that could be discussed, but in this short devotional the focus is to equip you with a few highlights to share with an unbelieving soul.
Identity: Who is Jesus?
Most people in today’s world are familiar with the name of Jesus. They will acknowledge that He was a historical figure and was a very good man. However, if we are going to properly present the identity of Jesus to them, we must focus on a minimum of three things: we must present Jesus as the Son of God, the Son of Man and the Savior of Sinners. These three identities working together is what make the gospel so beautiful. The Creator who was there when time began became a man; He was fully God and fully man. He would claim the identity of Savior of Sinners by sacrificing Himself at Calvary. The world needs to see that God isn’t distant. When Jesus died on the cross, He opened the door for us to have a personal relationship with Him. God loved us so much that He gave everything to redeem us. This is how we want to present the person of Jesus.
Mission: Why did Jesus come?
The word “gospel” means good news. Why is it good news? Because Jesus came to save us! He came to bring hope to all mankind. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, he GAVE His Son.” God loved us so much that He was willing to sacrifice the thing He treasured most: His Son. In doing so, He opened the door to heaven through the Lord Jesus’ death on the cross. Where would we be if the Lord Jesus had not come into this world to save us? The mission of Jesus was to provide hope to mankind and to redeem a lost creation.
However, we must also present the truth of why Jesus needed to come and what will happen if we choose to reject Him. The Bible clearly states that all of us are sinners. No one can escape that label. In a world so focused on division, it’s actually a beautiful thing to share that God views us all the same. Because we have disobeyed God, we are on a road that leads to hell and eternal judgment. It’s vital that we present a balanced gospel message. So many churches today fail to present this truth and, in doing so, are not properly presenting the mission of Jesus and why He came. If there is nothing wrong with mankind, why would Jesus need to come? It is scary to face the fact that we are sinners and on a road to judgment. However, God’s free gift of salvation is waiting for everyone, and all He wants us to do is accept it.
Call: What is Jesus calling us to do?
As I was reading through the Gospel of Matthew, I found something very interesting. When John the Baptist and Jesus began preaching, they both focused on one thing: repentance. This isn’t a word we use much today, is it? So what does it really mean? Repentance means acknowledging my sin before God, turning AWAY from it and turning TOWARD Christ. It’s a complete 180-degree turn. This is what Jesus is calling us to do: Repent. When we get saved, we don’t just believe in Jesus and then go back to the way we were living. We are expected to follow Him and His Word. We have a new life and a new desire to honor the One who gave His life for us. Jesus is certainly calling, and we must tell the world what He said when He first began preaching: Repent!
Identity. Mission. Call. While there is much that we can share with an unbeliever, focusing on these three areas helps us to properly share the truth of the gospel. However, we shouldn’t feel pressured to share all this information at once. Sometimes I find that when the door opens for me to tell people about Jesus, I feel pressured to cram in as much truth as possible. Remember, who does the saving? Only God! This takes the pressure off of us. He is choosing to use us in this beautiful work. Our job is to faithfully present the truth to the best of our ability and leave the rest in His hands.