The world is full of very real dangers – violence, poverty, broken relationships, poor health, emotional disturbance, disrupted communities…so many things. All these things can hurt us and we spend our lives trying to avoid them or change them! But none of those things is as dangerous as failure to trust the only One who can provide our permanent hope and security – Jesus Christ.
The Bible describes the situation:
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son of God has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12
One either has eternal life in Jesus, called the Christ (Savior), or eternal life without Christ. God Himself sends people to be carefully served by us in our ministries and provides the opportunity for us to partner with Him to show people the way to Jesus and eternal LIFE.
We can help someone realize that when anyone leaves God out of their worldview, decisions, relationships, and actions it is called “sin” and causes the person to be separated from God, who is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Essentially the person is saying, “I can do this myself. I don’t need God.”
As a result, the person operates at a terrible disadvantage every day! He or she faces life without a relationship with the God of the Bible — from whom all truth and good comes! He or she faces eternal life separated from God forever. But God provides a remedy for this condition because He loves each person!
A person can be rescued from this sin condition, and receive God’s gift of relationship and LIFE. From the moment of decision to trust Christ alone as Savior, a believer is declared forgiven and adopted by God. Christ, the Son of God, died as the substitute for their sins, rose from the dead, and was seen alive by hundreds of people, proving that death and sin were conquered forever. (2 Cor. 15:1-8)
For those who trust Christ as the One who paid the full penalty for sin, God gives the gift of eternal LIFE in relationship with Himself. No one earns it. God gives it once and for all! Eternal life includes all the work of God’s grace day by day, to help the person who has been made new – no longer estranged from God but now adopted by God into His family.
This eternal life gift extends out through all of life on earth as the Holy Spirit gives strength to a believer to resist sin and choose truth. He provides comfort, teaching, and power as Christ continues to intercede for the believer, all the way into joyful eternity.
The message of God’s grace to sinful men is not merely a proclamation of eternal condemnation [for those who do not trust in Christ]; it is rather that the chief of sinners may be saved through the Savior that infinite love has provided.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Volume 4, p. 433)
In The Evangelism Study Bible, p. 1176, there’s a note on 1 John 4:11 that helps us understand why to share the gospel with someone. It’s entitled, “Love is Putting Somebody Else First.” It says, “Through His death on the cross and resurrection the third day, Jesus Christ satisfied the wrath of God against our sin. Now God freely extends eternal life as a gift to all who trust His Son.” And, “Christians who demonstrate sacrificial love stand out like a lighted billboard on a dark night. When others notice our love, we have a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus.”
Prepare to help a new Christian to grow in their faith, to learn to pray, to become established in their understanding of Scripture — in short, help them find a home in a church that loves new believers and knows how to help them grow in their spiritual life.
Pray that God will cause you and partners in your ministry to think of others first and share the gospel. Be one of those “lighted billboard” people that God will use to both LIVE the gospel through your ministry, and SAY the gospel so it can be heard by a person who does not know Him.
Learn more here: Online evangelism training is available through EvanTell, 24/7, Free Online Evangelism Training.