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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelism:
The Time Is Now!

Section 1, Chapter 2

The Three Ingredients
of Christian Conversion

Chapter Illustration

Back to chapter 1
Study Questions

What is involved in bringing a person to saving faith in Jesus Christ and what does this have to do with you and I preaching the Gospel? There are three ingredients:

1. The Word of God

2. The Holy Spirit

3. And the Will of the individual

One of the reasons Christians do not take time in their week to go out and aggressively share their faith with others is because they wonít go out and share their faith unless they can be guaranteed immediate conversion of the hearer. I have been sharing the Gospel for over 43 years. Every once in a while someone will come up to me and tell me that I had shared the Gospel with them several years ago through a Salvation Tract. I had this happen to me one time after a Sunday School class while talking to a beautiful woman by the name of Marta Rios. As we were talking this man walked up and said to me, "Do you remember me?" I responded, "No." He then said, "A few years ago you shared the Gospel with me through a Salvation Tract. I put the booklet into my desk and thought about it. A couple of months later I took it out of my desk and reread it and gave my life to Jesus. I have been walking with him ever since."

The Word of God

The writer of Hebrews writes:

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is spiritually-alive48 and energetically-effective49 and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing50 as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the conscious-reasonings51 and intentions52 of the heart."

Paul the Apostle wrote,

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given-by-inspiration-of-God53 and profitable for teaching, for reproof for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

Romans 10:17 "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

Paul and the writer of Hebrews tell us that The Bible, Godís Word, is more than words on a page written down by men: it is Godís Truth containing spiritual life and effective power to release faith and bring change in a personís life.

What is Evangelism? EVANGELISM is explaining to a person what it means to be a Christian and how to become one. Evangelism is sharing Godís Word with a person about the claims of Jesus Christ, how He died for their sins, was buried and then raised three days later as absolute proof to those claims (1 Cor 15:3-8). Finally it is then explaining to the person that though Jesus died for their sins, his death does not become theirís until they receive Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their Savior and Lord.62 This and this alone is Evangelism. There are many other things that go on while doing Evangelism such as apologetics, but in a nut shell, what I have stated above is what Evangelism is.

This is what I did with this gentleman mentioned above. He was polite, he listened to the complete presentation of the Gospel through my Salvation Tract, but he was not yet ready to make that decision. Because I had successfully explained to him what it meant to be a Christian and how to become one through Godís Word, I had a successful time of Evangelism. This is because success in Evangelism is not seeing the person come to Christ, though that our ultimate goal, but making sure the person understands what it means to be a Christian and how to come to Christ when he is ready to do so. It is planting the seed of Godís Word into their hearts. This I successfully did.

I thanked him for his time and gave him the Salvation Tract so he could read it on his own. He took the tract. Sharing the Gospel with this man cost me ten minutes of my time and 70 cents for the Salvation Tract.

Because I shared the Word of God with him, I completed the first step of conversion which was to plant the seed of Godís Word into the manís heart. That is what Evangelism is and all that Jesus calls us as Christians to do. As we shared in the last Chapter, Evangelism is sowing the seed of Godís word and then watering and fertilizing that seed and weeding the soil.

The Holy Spirit

Why is it important that all of us as Christians commit our free time to aggressively go out and fulfill this first step of conversion of planting the seed of Godís Word into the hearts of men? It is important because until we do our part, the Holy Spirit cannot do His part which is the second step of conversion.

What is the second step in the process of conversion? It is the Holy Spirit bringing back to a personís memory the word of God we have shared with them and then quickening to them that these words are true and truly Godís Word.

The Holy Spirit does not work in a vacuum. His tool is the Word of God. Paul wrote, Ephesians 6:17 "And take... the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God." The only tool that the Holy-Spirit has to use in a personís heart to bring them to Jesus is the Bible: Godís Word. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will... bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." The Holy Spirit cannot bring the Word of God to a personís memory and convict them of their need of Jesus unless they first hear the Word of God. The Holy Spirit cannot even begin to work in a personís life until the Word of God has been implanted.

That is where you and I come in. Unless you and I take the initiative to go out and share the love of Jesus with lost humanity, the Word will not be implanted and the Holy Spirit will not be able to convict them of their need of Jesus. Your part in sharing the Word of God in the process of con-version is just as important as the Holy

Spiritís part in the process of conversion. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:13-15,

"For ĎWhoever will call upon the name of Adonai will be saved.í How then shall they call upon Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ĎHow beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!í"

Because I took the time in my busy schedule to share with this man the love of Jesus Christ through my Salvation Tract, I gave the Holy Spirit a sword to work with in his heart. Jesus said about the work of the Holy Spirit,

John 16:8-9 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin... because they do not believe in Me."

The Will of the Individual

When I first shared the Gospel, the Word of God, with this individual, he resisted the Gospel. In the mean time the Holy Spirit brought the Word of God back to the manís memory. The Holy Spirit made the Word of God I shared with him spiritually-alive48 and energetically-effective49 to convince him that he was a hopelessly lost sinner in need of Jesusí Salvation. What didnít the Holy Spirit do? He did not make him accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This is because God gave man a free will to choose whether he wants relationship with Him or not. God does not force men to receive His salvation for their sins through Jesus and His will and plan for their lives. Man himself must make this decision which is the third step in the process of conversion.

Why is it that not everyone we share Christ with immediately accepts Jesus? Many reasons: if they are hearing this message for the first time, the Holy Spirit has not yet had time to convince and confirm to them that this message is true. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:1 "Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses." Even the Bible teaches us that we are not to be gullible. We are not just to accept something because a man said it. The Bible teaches that we are to seek confirmation of the message we are hearing. Again, this is the job of the Holy Spirit. After we share the Gospel the Holy Spirit then steps in and confirms Godís Word we have shared with them. This takes time. This is a process.

Second, in todayís education men and women are taught not to believe or have faith in the Bible as Godís Word and that it is full of errors and not reliable historically. This is not true, but again it takes time for the Holy Spirit to bring into the personsís path information to show them that what they have been taught since they were born is not true (1 Peter 3:15). Again, this is part of the reason why we need to aggressively go out and share the love of Jesus Christ with men, so we can also give them honest answers to honest questions about the validity of the Christian faith.

The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense45 to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." This is why I myself have spent years doing research to this end and as a result have written the following books: The Bible: Godís Word Absolutely,58 The Literal Historical Reliability of Genesis,59 What Is Truth?,60 and Heaven & Hell an Absolute Reality.61  I wrote these books so that I could have something to share and leave with the person I am witnessing to as to why we believe that the Judeo-Christian Bible is the only Word of God to man and why Jesus and His death and shed blood for our sins are manís only means of redemption and way back to God. I wrote them so that manís faith can be released to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. These books are also part of this Basic and the Advanced Evangelism Training Textbooks.40, 41 Not only do you learn how to share your faith with others in this textbook but also how to address tough questions about your faith and then also have something to leave with the person you are witnessing to for further study and understanding about the Christian faith.

Third, Evangelism is more than just sharing the simple Gospel. Men are deceived about the truth of Godís Word and therefore have illegitimate reasons for rejecting the message of Godís love through Jesus Christ. We in love need to pull these weeds from their hearts and replace them with the truths of Godís Word. Jesus said in John 8:32 "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We are subverting computations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

Fourth, Jesus gave man a free will to reject Him if he so chooses. We are called to challenge a person to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord, but we are not called to make them receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. We are called to share with lost humanity what it means to be a Christian and how to become one. The Holy Spiritís job is to bring the Word of God we have planted into the heart of the individual to their memory, convince them that what we have shared with them is true and then convict the person of their sin and need to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. But in the end, that person choosing to receive Jesusí salvation for them is their decision and their decision alone.

Using my Salvation Tract, What Is Eternal Life? and my other books mentioned above make it possible for you to fulfill what Jesus has called you to do in Evangelism which is the first three points mentioned above. Once we have done our part, the Holy Spirit is then able to do His part. After the Holy Spirit had prompted and convicted this man of his need of Jesus through the Word I had implanted into his heart, he later pulled the Salvation Tract I had left with him out of his desk, reread it and gave his life to Jesus. He has been walking with Him ever since.

Why use the Salvation Tract What Is Eternal Life? in sharing the Gospel? Canít we just share with a person the message of the Gospel and leave it at that? Yes, you can do it that way, but when this person I shared Christ with began to respond to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, he did not remember all that he needed to do in order to be saved. When I shared with him, he was not interested enough to say to me, "Dale, this is interesting! I may want to know more! Would you please give me Your phone number so I may contact you later?" No, this is not what he did. He tolerated me, but in the end he was not interested, but he did take a copy of the Salvation Tract.

Later, after the Holy Spirit had sufficiently convinced him that the message was true, how did he know what to do next? He remembered that I had given him a copy of the Salvation Tract which he had put in his desk drawer months earlier. He went back and got it, reread it and when he came to the right page it told him how to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. With that he got down on his knees and prayed the prayer on the page and received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He has been walking with Jesus ever since.

This is why I use What Is Eternal Life? in Evangelism. In aggressive planned Evangelism it is the best way to present the Gospel. Not only, as we will discuss in and, does it cover all essential issues in presenting the Gospel, but the Person hears the Gospel, sees the Word and the illustrations on the pages and how to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord when he or she is ready to do so. Further, it explains to the person that once they have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord about the importance of discipleship and getting involved in a Church. There is also a place in the back where you can leave your name and phone number so they can get in contact with you for further follow-up. Without What Is Eternal Life? none of these things are possible. A Person may be ready to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, but without the tract he has no way of knowing how or who to get in contact with when he does for further follow-up. Using the Salvation Tract What Is Eternal Life? really is the best way to present the Gospel one-on-one, door to door and on the field.

America will not be turned around until we the Church do our part in turning her around. Our part is going out aggressively and doing the most loving thing we can do for our fellow man: Share with them the love of Jesus Christ and his work of salvation for them. Once we have done that, then God through His Holy Spirit can begin doing his work in the hearts of men by bringing back to their memories the Word of God we have shared with them. But until we do our part, the Holy Spirit cannot do his part.

The moral problems in America are not a reflection of a degenerate pagan society gone mad. Man is born spiritually dead and without God in the world. The moral decay of America is a reflection of the lack of aggressive Evangelism being done by all members of the Church. Jesusí will and call in Your life as a Christian is to use your free time to go out and share the love of Jesus Christ with men and women. That is the only way we will change America and bring America back to God. First, however, you need to be trained in how to lovingly share your faith with others. This is the discussion of the next two Chapters which talk about Why ALL Christians Need TRAINING in EVANGELISM.

Study Questions
Bibliography & Notes

Chapter 3
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