Sharing The Gospel With Friends 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (KJV)

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me (wants to be my disciple), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23) KJV

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Mark 1:17 (KJV)

Our friends need to hear the gospel

When I got born again (became a Christian, got saved, came to Jesus, received Christ) I told all my friends and about a third of them became Christians. I was not an expert at witnessing the gospel, I did not have a fantastic understanding of the Bible, I don’t even think I did a great job of explaining salvation but I new Jesus Christ had changed me, I new I was forgiven for all my sins, for the first time in my life I felt free released from the chains of sin that had cruelly bound me. I had peace of mind for the first time in my life. I woke up in the morning excited about what Father God was going do in my life that day.

One thing I quickly realised was that if I didn’t share the message of salvation found only in Jesus Christ my friends would continue in the same darkness I had been in. That eventually they would be lost for eternityMany died young in the battlefield of life but they died saved and I know one day I will see their joyful smiling faces again as they gather to meet me on my arrival in Heaven.

If you are a Christian your friends need to hear this message of salvation. It does not matter how well life seems to be for them. They are lost in their sins and darkness rules their lives. 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 2 Timothy 1:8

It is our responsibility to pray and share the whole gospel truth, it’s their responsibility to respond

 

Remember its God the Father who will change their hearts

No one can come to me unless the Father — the One who sent me — draws him. And I will raise him up on the Last Day. John 6:44

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32 (KJV)

You need to share the gospel verbally with your friends and explaining things to them using the scriptures (see Romans Road) or using a good tract that goes through the whole gospel point by point. You do not have to be an expert. If they ask a question that you cannot answer write it down and explain to them you will find the answer and get back to them.

Its our responsibility because they are our friends and we could be the only person that shares this truth with them before they die. Have a long term vision and commitment, it is estimated that on average a person hears the gospel 7+ times before becoming a Christian.

Remember Jesus saidGreater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13.

First things first: Pray for your friend’s by name, really cry out to the Lord in prayer and ask for your friends salvation. Prepare yourself with a usable scripture based system (Romans road, The 4 spiritual Laws or a good usable tract) and then reach out to them sharing the full gospel truth     (see “1 Person a Year Plan).

Remember: Prayer, Prepare and share.

Reasons we don’t share the gospel message

Okay we know we are called to share the gospel (salvation found only in Jesus Christ) but why do we hold back?  We love our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, He is real in our lives. He is helping us and answering prayers. We are walking constantly in His grace and love. We enjoy talking to other Christians about our Christian experience but when it comes to non Christian friends we freeze up, Why?

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

We worry about what non Christian friends will think about us if we share the message of salvation.  We worry that they will reject us and no longer want to spend time with us. Some Christians fear they will be talked about behind there backs. It doesn’t matter if they have heard the message of salvation before or have visited Church, share salvation with them again and again.

Remember that if you are truly their friend you cannot stay silent and do nothing.

You cannot allow your non Christian friend to face the possibility of eternity in hell because you kept quiet or couldn’t be bothered to reach out to them!

Boldly Pray, Prepare and Share. One of the priorities in your Christian life is your non Christian friends hearing the full gospel message.

How to start the process of sharing the message of salvation found only in Jesus Christ.

The non threatening approach

  • Give your friends a copy of your personal testimony (see Sharing the Gospel with family for instructions). It should be a well produced and printed in booklet form with your photograph on the front cover (very easy to do).
  • Watch an interesting Christian DVD with them that deals with the subject of salvation.
  • Invite them to Church events, Christian meals or outreaches, if your Church is not hosting events then plan a “Friends Meal” outreach where someone else can preach/share their testimony.
  • Give them good Christian books, Christian CD’s or some Christian Music.
  • Mention what the LORD is doing or has done in your life casually in conversations (see sharing the gospel at work)

All the above are non threatening ways of introducing your non Christian friends to the message of salvation.  Once you have do this sort of outreach try a more direct approach.

The direct approach involves sharing the message of salvation with one Friend at a time

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Simply have conversations with your friends that lead to the subject of life after death (loads of Christian Testimonies on YouTube). When we talk about Life after death (eternal life) people have all sorts of idea’s. Listen carefully to their answers and be ready to explain that we can never be good enough in our own righteousness. Explain why we need salvation because we have all sinned against God by breaking His Law (see correctly presenting the gospel). Only through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour can we be forgiven and made righteous before God in His righteousness.  Only through the free gift of salvation (not by our good works or charitable deeds) can we be sure of eternity in Heaven.

One Friend at a Time

Plan a time when you can spend an evening with your friend.  Maybe organise a meal and get a Christian Film that you can both watch (do your research and get a film that challenges non Christians).  At the end of the film ask them what they thought about the message. Again try and talk about life after death as this will focus them on eternity:

  • Ask them questions like Do you want to go to Heaven? If they answer yes, explain the gospel message and pray leading them into salvation.
  • Ask them questions like “if you died tonight are you totally sure you would go to Heaven?  Have scriptural answers ready about how to get to Heaven (see Can I be sure I am going to Heaven). Explain that rejecting the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ is the only unforgivable sin and they should at least consider what you have said. The result of this rejection of Christ means an unsaved person will go into Hell. They Choose Hell themselves by rejecting salvation. The Lord God offers them Heaven but will not force or take hostages.
  • Ask them what do you think will be awaiting for you on the other side after you die? Listen carefully to your friend and bring the conversation round onto what the Bible says about salvation. 
  • Ask themif they were to died would they be ready to meet with God”? Explain that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father.
  • Ask them ” would they be good enough to get into heaven”? If they say yes that they are a good person, ask them have they ever broken one of Gods laws (have the laws printed off), Go through a number of laws, have you ever stolen? or lusted, Have your scripture solution ready – Salvation!

Thinking about life after death (eternity) is an important element in salvation. Helping your non Christian friends to talk about it will bring understanding that they have a choice to make. 

Be Prepared: Be ready to share the full gospel with them (use the Romans Road/4 spiritual laws or a good tract, all on this website). Explain how Jesus Christ the Messiah came and die in their place on the cross, took their sin and paid the price for their eternal salvation with His own blood. Go point by point through your salvation plan (Romans Road/Tract) so you don’t miss anything out. Listen to their answers and be patient, at the end of sharing the message of salvation lead them in the Prayer of Salvation. Explain they must pray from the heart.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9 (KJV). God the Father is interested in our hearts.

Prayer of Salvation

First you pray a line of the prayer and get them to repeat it, go through the whole prayer of salvation line by line. If they feel they want to pray their own prayer that’s okay.  The Lord will do the rest! (See prayer of salvation).

Do it all again!

Repeat the whole evening again with another friend as soon as possible.  Once you have gone through this practical plan with all your friends you will have a number that accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour. Now its time to disciple them (look after them and help them in their Christian life), start by taking them to Church and introducing them to other Christians. Get them onto a new Christian course (alpha course) or class at Church (go with them).

Possible outcomes

Some of your friends may experience shock that you are a Christian and think you have become a religious fanatic!  Bear with them and explain that you are okay. Explain that you have had a life and eternity changing experience and you would have to hate them not to share it with them.

Unfortunately some friends will out right reject the message and you for a while. Do not be discouraged; continue to pray for them and eventually the Lord will work things out. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful. Proverbs 27:6

Of course the good news is that a number of your friends will accept salvation! Value this greatly and do all you can to help establish them in the faith.  Encourage them and spend time with them being their friend not their judge or on duty policeman. If they have questions that you cannot answer write them down and explain to them that you will find the answers for them. Help them become part of the Church and stand with them as they grow up in Christ.

Some friends will want to think about what they have seen and heard from you before they make a commitment. They may want to watch your life for a while to see if you continue to be a Christian. That’s okay but remember to pray for them and follow them up. Do something fun with them and do not preach at them all the time. Try and talk about eternity, keep them thinking about the life Jesus offers them here and after death.

 

by C. H. SPURGEON

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Mark 1:17 (KJV)

WHEN Christ calls us by His Grace we ought not only to remember what we are, but we ought to also to think about what He can make us.  It is “follow Me, and I will make you”. We should repent of what we have been, but rejoice in what we may be.

  • It is not, “Follow Me because of what you already are.”
  • It is not, “Follow Me because you may make something of yourselves,”
  • but, “Follow Me because of what I will make you.”

I might truthfully say of each one of us, as soon as we become Christians, “It does not yet appear what we shall be.” It did not seem a likely thing that lowly fishermen would develop into Apostles; that fishermen so handy with the net would be quite as much at home in preaching sermons and in instructing converts! One would have said, “How can these things be? You cannot make founders of Churches out of peasants of Galilee!” That is exactly what Jesus Christ did and when we are brought low in the sight of God by a sense of our own unworthiness, we may feel encouraged to follow Jesus because of what He can make us.

 

 

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