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#26617 - Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:51 PM means of evangelism  
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thredj Offline
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Scenario: You have one day (8 hrs.) with a non-believer who is inquiring about the faith (Note: The entire 8 hours is committed to this person) . Your goal is to be faithful with an opportunity to witness for Christ - you're not seeking results of any or any so called profession of faith - if it happens we all know the One who brings it about...

You have the following tools at your disposal

Which will you use?
single choice
Votes accepted starting: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:00 AM
You must vote before you can view the results of this poll.

tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#26618 - Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:48 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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I would use the Bible (if I am to be faithful with an opportunity to witness for Christ)! Why do you wish to substitute one of these books above for the Book? Even the Gospels are not the whole counsel of God.

In addition, it depends on the person's needs and even nationality. Mark is "normally" the least offensive NT Gospel to most Jews (John being the most offensive) and Romans the best NT book to minister to them with (and what of the OT? ...). In Islam you will be jumping all over the Bible, proving the doctrine of God (as Islam says men cannot conceive what God is like because He has not revealed Himself), the doctrine of Revelation, the doctrine of salvation (as Islam denies the sacrificial death of Jesus and His resurrection), prophecies come into question (as Islam claims that the Bible was changed to eliminate the Prophecies of Mohammed), etc. Of course, I am speaking of mere "beginning" points and thus the Holy Spirit could have your lead them throughout all of Scripture, before it is all finished ... Indeed, you would have to in finality answer the question, 'What is the Gospel?" for the individual.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#26619 - Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:52 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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I would pick one of the four Gospels because I believe the Word is a means of grace. So therefore you only allowed one option that uses the Word of God. although some of the other options have scripture in them, but I believe that I would evangelize each and every time with bible in hand.

I would pick the gospel of John, if I could only use one gospel. But I'm curious why you didn't allow us to choose "the Bible" as an option? But any way, I believe that I would feel most comfortable trying to articulate the gospel from John.

Dave.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
#26620 - Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:00 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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tj,

I think you could use the eight hours quite well by using the Gospel of John. In it we can find examples of Jesus' discourse with people and the miracles He performed that not only make it clear who He is but what He came to do.

John highligts the reality of sin in various ways especially by emphasizing our total dependence on God for salvation alone. Just as our physical birth was not the result of our own effort or will, so our spiritual birth is not do to us, but to God's will and the power of His Spirit (John 1:12, 13; 3:5-8).


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#26621 - Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:13 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: Wes]  
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As Wes and Dave, I am thinking of the Gospel of John.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#26622 - Sat Jul 16, 2005 10:21 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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Actually, none of the above because A Gospel Summary is missing. I believe that what is contained in that short summary there would be enough questions asked to keep me busy for whatever remained in the allotted 8 hours. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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#26623 - Sun Jul 17, 2005 7:54 AM Re: means of evangelism [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I chose personal testimony, but in doing so I do not mean my life story. I mean that in those 8 hours I would testify (read proclaim) the gospel using the Bible, depending upon the Holy Spirit to equip me and enable me to recall what I have learned from His Word in answering the questions that the non-believer asks. I would welcome the person to my own home, and not meet in a public place. I would also prepare and serve a meal or two, allowing the person to talk freely and I would listen very carefully. Since time has been purposely set apart in order for someone to inquire about the faith, I would simply summarize the Gospel and then field questions. In other words, I would treat the person as a guest, not a project.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#26624 - Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:36 AM Re: means of evangelism [Re: J_Edwards]  
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Quote
I would use the Bible (if I am to be faithful with an opportunity to witness for Christ)! Why do you wish to substitute one of these books above for the Book? Even the Gospels are not the whole counsel of God.


J,

I agree with your statement. Actually, this was a question that popped into my head during my Ethics class last week. I quickly jotted down the question and some options and that's what I posted here. Personally, I couldn't see myself not using the Word of God as a whole; when I have the opportunity to witness, and am faithful with it, I begin to recall many Scriptures (within their context) and that are relevant to the conversation. I posted one of the Gospels as an option because it seems that many, when witnessing, take this route. Even though the Gospels aren't the whole counsel of God, you would say that they are thorough and sufficient to reveal Christ right?


tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#26625 - Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:55 AM Re: means of evangelism [Re: gotribe]  
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gt,

I think this is a great answer. This line of thinking is where my question originated. During our class discussion I thought about how much the Scriptures are twisted by the unregenerate and counted as foolishness. However, I'm just not sure many can deny the power of a life transformed by Christ (well they can but the transformation IS clearly evident); this is what we are known by isn't it - being born again. The Scriptures are absolutely necessary in witnessing,

Quote
"But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." Romans 10:14-17


and the Word must be lived out through us before the world. It's very eye opening to realizing that they (the world) are, for the most part, paying attention to our professions and our lifestyles. I know this is not revelation to many of you but as I examine my own heart I'm brought down by the fact that I don't always live out the Word before men or my wife or my children. My hope and prayer is that my heart and mind will continue to be renewed that God may be glorified in everything I do.


tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#26626 - Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:32 AM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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Pilgrim Offline
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tj,

Gotribe spoke wisely and echoed what I intended in my own reply, i.e., one is to speak clearly about those things; the Gospel, found in the Scriptures and summarized by the article I wrote, it containing the minimum information we should convey. She also was very wise in stating that she would NOT relate her own personal experiences as a Christian, known so endearingly today among so many as "my testimony". Why? because it is fallacious to make what God may have done in your life as being paradigmatic. Let me illustrate it in this way:

There are two men who stand up and give their "testimony" before a group of people. The first stands and says,


Let me tell you what has happened to me since I asked Jesus into my heart. Before I made a decision for Christ, my life was in shambles. My business was going down the drain, my marriage was on the rocks, my children were disrespectful, I was involved in several sinful situations, etc. But afterward, my whole life was radically changed. My business suddenly took a turn for the better and it has been most profitable since that day. My wife and I have never been happier. My children are all now joyfully obedient and are excelling in school and I have totally cast off those sinful practices which formally dominated my life. I love Jesus!


The second man stands and says,


Let me tell you what has happened to me since God took pity upon me and by His grace brought me to the Lord Christ. For years I was skimming money from the very profitable business of my employer, my marriage relationship was way beyond average, my children were great and everything seemed to be going marvelously well. But after the Spirit of God convicted me of my sin and I sought forgiveness in Christ through repentance and faith in His name things radically changed. One of the things I had to do was confess my stealing money from my employer's business. Consequently, charges were laid and I was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. While I was in prison my wife began seeing another man and although she hasn't divorced me, our relationship is the pits. My children began flirting with drugs and one was expelled from school for assaulting a teacher. And the day I was released from prison, as I was praising God while walking across the street, I was hit by a car and was paralyzed from the waist down due to the injuries I sustained from the accident. Praise the Lord... Jesus Christ is my heart's desire!


Now, the question is, which of these two testimonies would you choose to speak before a group of unconverted friends? Would you choose man #1 or man #2? If #1, why would you choose him? Is it because you think it would be far more effective in persuading your friends to become Christians because his testimony better represents what becoming a Christian is all about? In other words, does God promise those who turn to Christ in repentance and faith a life of immeasurable earthly joy and what happened to man #2 is is not representative of the grace of God toward His children? Of course, even a cursory read of Hebrews 11 should put such a notion to flight.

The point of all this is that what we should be testifying to is NOT the "gospel of the changed life", but rather "the Gospel that changes life"! We are not to speak necessarily about what has happened in our life but rather of the objective truths of what was accomplished in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ's life which made possible reconciliation with God. And being justified by His blood, we can have peace with God and be delivered from the presence, power and penalty of sin.

In His Grace,


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#26627 - Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:52 AM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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Quote
Even though the Gospels aren't the whole counsel of God, you would say that they are thorough and sufficient to reveal Christ right?

Even the words "Jesus wept" when applied by the Holy Spirit are sufficient.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#26628 - Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:34 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: thredj]  
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None of the above. I'd use Romans, if I really only could choose one book.

But I would much rather use the whole of Scripture!


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#26629 - Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:28 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: J_Edwards]  
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thredj Offline
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<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" /> Right on


tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#26630 - Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:27 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: J_Edwards]  
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Could to explain that more?

Are you saying that the words "Jesus wept" could be used by the Holy Spirit to bring someone to faith, even if the person knows of no other Scriptures? Or are you saying that a person who has heard the Gospel before, upon hearing that verse later, could be convicted of sin and repent and believe?


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#26631 - Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:00 PM Re: means of evangelism [Re: MarieP]  
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Quote
SemperReformanda said:
Could to explain that more?

Are you saying that the words "Jesus wept" could be used by the Holy Spirit to bring someone to faith, even if the person knows of no other Scriptures? Or are you saying that a person who has heard the Gospel before, upon hearing that verse later, could be convicted of sin and repent and believe?

Yes, a person hearing those words and "understanding them" is sufficient to bring them to faith. Of course, just the name of Jesus is enough to make the knee bend. When we speak of "application" by the Holy Spirit, we are speaking of sufficient revelation to understand the Gospel. In that simple text even someone who had never heard the Bible before could gain information sufficient to regeneration. The Holy Spirit could apply such questions and answers from this text, as: Who is Jesus? Jesus is. Why did Jesus weep? Jesus is God, does God weep? etc. etc. etc. There is a lot of information in the shortest verse of the Scripture. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
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