In times of peril, people are much more open to accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, than at any other time. And since we could very well be on the verge of another Great Awakening, all of us should know how to lead a person to Christ.
Approaching someone with the intent of presenting the gospel to them can seem daunting, but when the ‘fields are ripe for harvest’ as they are right now, it isn’t as hard as you may think. Thirty-nine years ago, two men came to our home in Montana and presented the gospel to me. The first question they asked me was simply, “Have you come to the place in your life where you know that if you died, you would go to heaven?” As I stumbled through the question, they quickly followed with another question, “If you were to die tonight, and God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into heaven,” how would you answer?” These questions enabled me to open up, making me feel not only comfortable talking about my relationship with God but giving the two men insight into my spiritual condition.
Most people do not know that there is a way they can know ‘for sure’ that when they die, they will be with God in heaven. Getting the person to understand that eternal life is a gift that cannot be earned or deserved and that no amount of personal effort, good works, or religious deeds can earn them a place in heaven is essential. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Also, in Ephesians 2:8, it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God .”
People have trouble understanding why God should let them into heaven. Often they think it is because they are a ‘good’ person and therefore deserving of eternal life. Their concept of being ‘good’ comes from how bad they believe others are in comparison to themselves. They understand that lying, lust, cheating, deceit, anger, evil thoughts, immoral and selfish behavior, etc. are sins. Isaiah says in 64:6, All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” What Isaiah means is that even our best of intentions, our most righteous deeds, are often done with impure motives. That is why Paul tells us in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Merciful and Loving God
Many people think of God as being angry and hard to please when He is full of mercy and abounding in love. 1 John 4:8 says, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Furthermore, God says in Jeremiah 31:3, “The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” What we need to realize is the same Bible that tells us that God is full of love also tells us that God is just and therefore must punish sin. Acts 13:38-39 says, “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him, everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
God satisfies the love he has for us and the punishment we deserve through the person of Jesus Christ. Who exactly does the Bible say Jesus Christ is? The Bible tells us that he is God/Man. For, in the beginning, was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1,14. Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a sinless life, but while on earth, He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and rose from the grave to purchase a place for us in heaven. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way, But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him (Jesus).” God hates sin, but because of His love for us, He placed all our sins on His son, Jesus. Jesus took the wickedness of man upon His body, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross so that those that believe in Him will have eternal life.
This Gift we Receive by FAITH
Faith is the key that opens the door of heaven. Many people mistakenly think this about saving faith. First, that it is by intellectual assent, the Bible says the devil believes in God, so believing in God is not saving faith. Second, mere temporal faith, which is, trusting in God for temporary crises such as financial, family, or physical needs. Now, these are good, and you should trust Christ for these things, but they are not saving faith! Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. It means resting upon Christ and His finished work of the cross rather than upon what you or I have done to get us into heaven. Acts 16:31 tells us, “They said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” The question that God is now asking of you is this? Would you like to receive the gift of the abundant life here on earth as promised in (John 10:10) and the gift of eternal life? This means you are not trusting in what you can do but what Christ has done for you on the cross. By faith, you receive the resurrected, living Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior right now. Romans 10:10, 13. says, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” or, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Prayer of Faith
The following is a prayer that you can have the person repeat ‘aloud’ after you.
- Lord Jesus Christ, I know I am a sinner and I ask for Your forgiveness.
- I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead.
- I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life.
- I repent of my sins and now place my trust in you for my salvation.
- I accept this gift of His great love and peace here on earth and eternal life with Him.
If this prayer is the sincere desire of your heart, look at what Jesus promises to those who believe in Him. John 6:47 says, “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” You are apart of the Family of God! John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—”
At the beginning of our conversion, we have the Holy Spirit that enables us to begin the transformation and to convict us of sin. It is our recommendation that a new believer is baptized by water and by the Spirit. The importance of a person doing both of these is paramount. It is our observation that many people struggle after conversion because they do not make these two things, along with studying the word of God and Spirit-filled worship their priority. When solidification through water and Holy Spirit baptisms of His fire and love are implemented, they are more likely to repent and ask God to help them turn away from past sinful habits. Making Jesus Lord means that we give over to Him our right to self-rule. In knowing His great love for us both by experience and by obedience to His word, the transformation begins!
May God use you mightily as you bring many into the Kingdom of God during this Great Awakening.
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