As we all know, the Lord’s final command to ALL of us was to go into all the world and present the gospel (Mark 16:15). How many of us really do that? Probably not nearly as many as should. How many of us would “like” to do that? Probably most of us. Why do we not do that – present the gospel message to our family and friends? I think there are three “main” reasons for that – not knowing how in terms of Bible knowledge, fear of rejection or fear of failure, and we think that is not our job but the job of leaders of the church. We can throw out number three because the Lord’s command definitely refers to ALL of us.
There is an old saying – there are two things you “never” talk about – politics and religion. Why is that? Because both of those subjects can generate strong feelings in all of us due to their divisive nature. We don’t bring up the gospel because we might anger someone, or we don’t know how they would feel about that topic; thus, we shy away. But here is a more important question:
Who would you rather please – God by bringing up the gospel message, or your friend or relative by not bringing up the gospel message?
IF your goal is to please God by obeying His commandment to present the gospel, then you have done just that by bringing it up in conversation. It is then God’s JOB to take it from there in terms of the effect your conversation has on that individual. Even if your person does get angry and says they do not want to talk about that subject, it’s no big deal. You pleased God simply by trying to share His message with someone.
HOWEVER, there are good ways and not so good ways to bring up the subject of the gospel message. Does God want you to go out onto a street corner and start shouting out His message? For most of us, probably not. For some, maybe or absolutely. That depends on how well they sense God is leading them. We each would desire to be “comfortable” in presenting the gospel message. How can we do that in comfort?
My subject today is a very, very “SIMPLE” example of how to “comfortably” bring up a gospel conversation in a very unique way with basically anyone. Most of us know about the question that Evangelicals like to ask which is – “If you were to die tonight and appear before God, and God said, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would your answer be?” The sad reality is that so many people get it wrong – even people who consider themselves Christians. The most common answer is – “Well, Lord, I guess you should let me into heaven because I am basically a good person. I give to charity. I go to church, I help people as much as I can, and I give money to the church and pray, etc.”
It is amazing how they miss the most OBVIOUS answer. I think most of us who read things on this website know those things they do are nice but that it is one humongous wrong answer. We’ll see the right answer in a moment.
But here is a much easier way to “begin” this conversation. Say something like this to the person you are talking to: “You know, I heard something the other day that got me to thinking. It was something presented in a way that I had never considered before.”
And, hopefully, your friend would say, “What is that?”
“Well, it’s a question actually, and let me try it on you. If you committed murder and were sentenced to life in prison with no parole BUT, if you come pay a 10-billion-dollar fine, you would be freed for the rest of your life. Obviously, only a very few could ever pay that; so let’s say you’ve been in prison for a year, and one day you find out Bill Gates for whatever reason heard about you and actually paid your 10-billion-dollar fine to have you released from prison for the rest of your life. Before you are released, you appear before the warden, and he says, ‘Why should I release you from prison?’ What would your answer be?”
Now, at this point, you would expect your friend to say the right answer to the warden – because Bill Gates paid my 10-billion-dollar fine. The last thing you would be saying to the warden is, “You should release me because I’ve been a model prisoner, I have led several Bible studies, I have changed my ways and am a good person now, etc.” That has ZERO to do with “anything” when it comes to releasing you from prison. It’s all about only one thing – has your fine been paid?
And the reality for ALL of us is that we are all born inside a SIN prison where we are sentenced to life without parole, and the fine that has to be paid to release us from sin prison is not 10-billion dollars; but it’s the largest fine that could EVER be paid – God sacrificing His life through His Son on the cross to pay our sin debt and take our sin onto Himself to give us His righteous.
On Good Friday, Jesus became our martyr when He died on a cross and paid the price for our sin debt, BUT you cannot “prove” you paid for anything without a “receipt.” And on Sunday, He became our SAVIOR when His resurrection WAS God’s RECEIPT of I accept your payment in full.
When we put our faith and trust in Jesus’ paying our sin debt and we repent and invite Him into our lives to be our Lord and Savior, then we become His child now and forever. Our sin is taken away, and we are given His righteousness in order to spend eternity with Him and to live a life here on earth that pleases Him – like when we present His gospel message to others, and many other good things we can do. The prison debt example is not really a “true” example because, in reality, NO ONE can pay for the sin debt of mankind but God Himself; and that is exactly what He did in order for us to be able to know Him and become His child now and forever.
So, back to the Evangelical question: “If God NOW says to someone, ‘Why should I allow you into heaven?’ what will your answer be?” It will not be because I am a good person or go to church, or “anything” that a person does. It will be the OBVIOUS answer – “Because Jesus paid my sin debt, and I put all my faith and trust in Him for saving me.”
The good things we do are one hundred percent out of gratitude for who Jesus is and what He’s done for us vs. us trying to earn our way into heaven.
I hope many of you will think this is a good and easier example to bring up the gospel message in a more interesting and comfortable way. It is a way that most people would probably not be offended with; and even if they are not interested, would probably still say, yes, that is an interesting way to look at it. Hope this example has been helpful.