Last night a group of 20 people met in our home to talk about evangelism. This wasn’t just a talk-fest – we were considering the best strategy for our church to proclaim the gospel to people who didn’t know Jesus.
We came up with a few simple definitions of ‘evangelism’. The two that I liked are; evangelism is explaining the gospel to non-Christians in a language they can understand, and evangelism is introducing people to Jesus. Simple!
We discussed the idea that while the Bible teaches that some believers are given the spiritual gift of evangelism, this does not mean those who do not have this gift are given a ‘pass’. All believers are expected to be able to give a reason for the hope that is within. ()
To that end, we divided into couplets to practice explaining the gospel in 3 minutes. This was more challenging than many expected. I came across this outline of the essential elements of the gospel message which I think is an excellent summary that would help any believer explain the good news about Jesus.
A summary of the Biblical Gospel
1) GOD: Identifying there is one true God as God, Creator of all, Holy, righteous, sovereign and just, perfect in every way.
2) SIN: Evil exists due to the fall of man and affects all mankind and all of creation is cursed as a result. All humanity by very nature and deed are fallen and corrupted in every way imaginable. Because of this sin, we have rebelled and are separated from being in a right relationship with our Creator and God.
3) LAW: There is a standard, a reality outside of ourselves that governs all of the created universe, which all mankind is morally accountable to. We will have to give an account of the lives that we now live according to the Law of God.
4) CONSEQUENCE OF SIN: The just punishment/penalty for the sin of mankind is the full righteous and holy wrath of God…DEATH. (both physical and spiritual).
5) NEED OF A SAVIOR: Upon a clear understanding of man’s sinful condition, as he stands before his creator, he/she is burdened by his/her need of a savior. The only hope that mankind can find is if God intervenes into mankind’s sinful condition and makes it possible for him/her to be made right before God and to enjoy a right relationship with this Holy God.
6) JESUS: The Good news, “The Gospel” is that God in His loving kindness did not leave sinful man in his depraved state, but sent His Son to become flesh and to walk among us, to live the life that all men live. But without the stain of SIN! He was the spotless sacrificial lamb that atoned for the sins of mankind. He conquered sin, death, Satan, and gave life to all those whom cry out to God, “Save me.”
7) LIFE OF REPENTANCE: True saving faith is validated by a life that produces the fruit of God’s grace. You might say this is the evidence that points to God’s redeeming work. This new life of repentance is a lifestyle of fighting temptation minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day and finding joy in the pursuit of Glorifying God in every aspect of life.
I am not suggesting that these seven points be merely memorise and parroted. However, they are very useful in helping present the gospel in a coherent way.
Devising a strategy for evangelism is a good thing. Too many churches never address the issue in any way. And remember, we normally don’t require any urging to talk of things concerning about which we are passionate. Most of us could go on ad infinitum about our favorite sports team. Keep in mind that we are not trying to convince by clever argument or slick presentation. That results are up to God. Ours is to be faithful deliverers of the message.
Here is another contemporary way to share the gospel. This is a video discussing the use of social media to spread the message.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to draw the attention of readers to the, “What is the Gospel” page of this blog. This will take you to the “Two Ways to Live” presentation from Mathias Media. This is the best gospel presentation I’ve come across on the web.
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”