Christ…sent me “to spread the Good News. I didn’t use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning” (1 Cor. 1:17 GW).
Many of us will connect with friends and family during this Christmas season. Have you wondered how you might discuss the “reason for the season” with those who may not know Jesus?
My son and I recently joined my sister and brother-in-law and their ministry team on university campuses. We asked students if they would take a short survey with us. Many shared their thoughts with us. Afterwards, one man told me he wanted to continue our discussion. (For your convenience, links to the tools we used are included in this post.)
Use Open-ended Questions
God has placed eternity into the human heart. We want to know why we are here and if our lives matter. Yet problems, pleasures, and the pursuit of the urgent distract us from the inner longing to know God. The Great Exchange uses a survey to tap into that natural curiosity.
It was fun talking with these students. Anyone can use the survey, or its questions, to stimulate meaningful conversations anywhere we go. Simply ask the questions one at a time and listen to the answers without judgement.
The last question reads, “If you could know God personally, would you like to?” Even those who doubt God’s existence often express interest in knowing how to know Him.
Share the Good News
We read through a little tract by Bill Bright called “Would You Like to Know God Personally.” It shows what the Bible says about how to begin a relationship with God through His Son.
Leave Them with a Challenge
Those not yet ready to invite Christ into their lives may be up for “The 21 Day Challenge.” Here’s the challenge: Read the gospel of John, one chapter a day, with the sincerity of a child’s heart and a simple prayer—“God if you are real and Jesus is the answer, please show yourself to me in a way I will recognize.”
Recognize Internal Resistance
When I presented these tools to a group, some expressed concern that people are bombarded with information and require deeper answers to their complicated questions today. They feared a simple message no longer works. And yet, we found bright university students responding to this simple approach. Ten students prayed to receive Christ with my brother-in-law alone in two days, including twin athletes!
The message of the cross has always looked foolish to the world, and yet it is “the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16 NIV). Despite the Apostle Paul’s vast knowledge and religious education, he refused to use clever arguments. He preached Christ crucified (1 Cor. 1:23).
What better way to stop us from sharing the hope that is within us than to believe we must be able to answer any question thrown at us. Intellectual excuses often cover lifestyle choices. The Gospel reveals God’s righteousness which exposes human sin. Resistance is often a moral issue, not an intellectual one. (Below I offer some resources for those who want help in answering tough questions.)Someone said, before you talk to people about God, talk to God about them. #GoodNews Click To Tweet
Someone said, before you talk to people about God, talk to God about them. The Bible reminds us not to quarrel but gently instruct and give the Holy Spirit room to work (2 Tim. 2:24-26). We can’t control the soil of a person’s heart, but we can ask God to soften the hearts of our loved ones. Pray in faith, knowing God wants them to know Him (2 Pet. 3:9). Pray for divine appointments and boldness to walk through open doors.
Some of us plant, some water, but God makes things grow (1 Cor. 3:5-8).
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Rom. 1:17 NIV).
Here are some resources for those who wish to dig deeper into the defense of our faith.
- I’m Glad You Asked by Ken Boa and Larry Moody
- Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh and Sean McDowell
- Know and practice biblical wisdom: Psalm 119:99-104
- What You Need to Know About Easter
Sometimes I link with these great sites:
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