I recently had a conversation with a lady who said that she was going to be taking an evangelism course. However, all you need to know about evangelism is found right in the Word of God. So, I told her to take those she spoke to through the Ten Commandments. As common sense as this might seem, to actually show people their transgressions (Isaiah 58:1), I would venture to say that about 99% of Christians who actually evangelize do not even bring them into the equation.
The Bible says in Proverbs 20:6, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness…” So, the first step in evangelism would be to first ask the person you are witnessing to a simple question: Do you think you are a good person? I have never met anyone yet who has said no.
Proceed to take them through the Ten Commandments. Pick three to begin with. I like to use these three. First, I’ll say, have you ever told a lie before? And, of course, if they are honest they will say, “Yes.” Then I’ll say, so, what does that make you? And they’ll say, “A liar.” Then I’ll say, have you ever stolen anything before, even if it was small or forgot to pay someone back the $5.00 you borrowed, anything like that? And they’ll again say, “Yes.” Then I’ll then ask them the same question again, what does that make you? And they’ll say, “A thief.”
Finally, I’ll ask, have you ever looked upon a man or a woman to lust after them before? And they’ll say something along the lines of, “Well, who hasn’t?” Then I’ll say, do you know what that makes you? And maybe they’ll say “human” or something along those lines or maybe they won’t even really know because they’ve never been taught God’s standards before. So, I will explain to them what the Bible has to say on the subject.
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, but Jesus came along and intensified them in grace. For example, God gave Moses the commandment that said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20), but Jesus came along and intensified that commandment in grace and said that even if you look upon a man or woman to lust after them, you’ve already committed adultery with him or her in your heart (Matthew 5:28). Then I’ll say to them, by your own admonition, I’m not judging you, you’ve just admitted to being a liar, a thief, and an adulterer at heart. This is probably news to some people because they don’t realize the seriousness of their violations of God’s standard (His Holy Law – The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20) because they were never told anything like that before! You have now awakened the sinner’s conscience, which is an absolute must if they are ever going to see their need for a Savior!
Now that they have some alarm and knowledge of their true state before God, you then can ask them this: Knowing that you are a self-admitted liar, thief and adulterer at heart, where do you think God should send you when you stand before Him on Judgment Day, Heaven or hell (2 Cor. 5:10)? Amazingly, most people will say “Heaven!” Now why do you suppose that is? Because they have been taught a lawless gospel all their lives, which does not show sinners their need for a Savior.
It is a false gospel message to say to a sinner, “God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life.” Do you think Paul thought that God’s plan for his life was wonderful? That message will never give a sinner any type of alarm for their sinful state (Keeping in mind that sin is the transgression of the Law – I John 3:4). Death could seize them at any moment, they are literally dangling over hell and yet the professed “Church” has not even loved them enough to tell them the truthfulness of their condition! But when you put it into perspective for them, they begin to understand.
They’ll say something like, “Well, supposedly God is this all forgiving good Judge, so He knows my heart and He’ll just forgive me. After all, I do a lot of good things in my life that far outweigh my bad.” However, what they don’t realize, is that’s exactly the problem. God does know their heart and He sees a lying, thieving adulterer and we’ve only looked at three of the Ten Commandments!
What if a criminal tried that in a court of law? Let’s say that someone raped your sister, burned down your house, stole your car and got away with it. When they were finally caught, they even admitted to their crimes, but when they stood in front of the judge they did something unthinkable. They said, “Judge, I admit that I did these things, but I have heard that you are a good and loving judge and because you are so good I am sure that you will just overlook my crimes and let me go free. After all, I do a lot of good in my life too and it’s not like I do those bad things all the time. My good far outweighs my bad Judge, so I think I deserve to go free.” And let’s say that the judge said, “You know, you’re right, I am a good and loving judge and as you’ve said, you do good things too, so I guess I will just overlook your crimes. That’s fine you are free to go.”
Now, would that be a good judge or would that be a bad judge? Of course, that would be a bad judge! Any judge who would let a known criminal get away with violating the laws of the land is not a good judge at all! And so it is with the Lord. Because God is just, and because God is good and loving, He must punish evildoers and you and I are evildoers. That is precisely why we need a Savior! But if you first do not see your transgressions, how are you going to realize that?
So, just in the same way that a known criminal does not deserve to go free and deserves to be sentenced in prison, so the sinner does not deserve to go free and deserves everlasting punishment in hell for their violation of God’s Holy Law. But the true Gospel or “good news,” is the fact that Jesus Christ came in and paid your fine. He, in his mercy, died on the cross taking your just penalty for the crimes against heaven you committed, and took upon Himself your punishment on the cross of Calvary. And because Christ took your punishment upon Himself, upon your true repentance (And that means to fully turn from your sin) because of His mercy, you will receive forgiveness of your sins and everlasting life (I John 1:9). When you confess your sins and repent before God, you are set free from your sins (all of them) and granted the gift of everlasting life. Jesus Christ died, that you might live. The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
What you need to do is repent of your sins, turn from your wicked ways and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Only He can grant you eternal life. You cannot earn salvation through works or by anything that you can do. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It’s only because of the love of God, which was shown in a demonstration to you on the cross (I John 3:18), that you are able to receive salvation.
So, you see, the way to deal with a sinner is to show them their transgressions. The true Gospel message, when presented as it was intended is Law (To show you your sins), Judgment (The punishment that you deserve on account of your sins), Mercy (What Christ did for you on the cross) and faith (The faith of the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you – Galatians 2:20) and then to simply put your faith and trust in Christ and rest on His merits alone for your salvation.
The next time you share the message of the Gospel, make sure you do it right as the Bible says. Then, and only then, will you see true conversions for Christ!