When you have shared your testimony of how Jesus changed your life, always finish with an opportunity to believe the Gospel. Start with these questions to discern their receptivity to the Gospel by taking their spiritual temperature. NOTE: in my book “Always be Ready to Give an Answer!” I spend a whole chapter describing how to take spiritual temperature. Start by asking:
- “Now that you understand the radical change that took place in my life, how about you? What do you believe?” or “Tell me about what you believe.”
The answer to these questions is critical to how you proceed by taking their spiritual temperature: cold, lukewarm, or hot. If they don’t shut you down at this point, go ahead. Remember you are working to bring them into a relationship with Jesus. If God has “given them ears to hear” they will hear and respond.
First, define their need. Ask, “How do you see you relationship with God?” Their answer will determine if they are ready to hear the gospel. Use some of these statements to move ahead.
- “You are separated from God because of your sin.”
- “As a sinner, you must pay the penalty of death.”
- “You are condemned, after death, to hell by your sin.”
- “You cannot ever do enough, in this life, to pay the debt sin creates.”
- “You are helpless, hopeless, lost, and undone before a perfect and holy God.”
- “There is no hope in anything you can do to merit heaven.”
After you have used one or more of these, ask, “Do you understand?” It is important at every step to verify their understanding.
Second, offer God’s solution. Continue using one or more of these statements:
- “Since you can’t pay this debt, God has to pay it for you. A perfect man has to die for payment. That’s Jesus.”
- “Someone who can pay the debt has to pay it. No son or daughter of Adam can pay it for you because they owe their own debt. Only a perfect man, without sin, can pay your debt. Jesus is the only one that can, and he did.”
- “If your debt is to be paid, either you can pay it or someone who has the ability to pay can pay it. No other man can pay, because they all have their own debt and no one pays twice. Jesus came for that purpose, as a perfect man, to pay sinners’ debts.”
Ask again, “Do you understand?” If God has enlivened them, they have ears to hear. They may have questions or objections. Handle them as best you can. Remember you want to get to the decision.
Third, if they agree, continue.
“Let’s summarize. You are lost and have a sin debt you can’t pay. Jesus has paid that debt for you by dying on the cross. God has made you alive, but you must now move from death to life. Do you believe Christ’s payment paid YOUR debt and desire to enter new life with Jesus?”
There! You have asked the dead man, who is now alive, to get up off the cold stone, like Lazarus, and walk out of the grave! When they have affirmed the understanding, welcome them into the kingdom.
NOTE: This material is from pages 96 and 99 of my book Always Be Ready to Give an Answer!” Get your copy at http://yourchristiananswers.com
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