Evangelism Is… Asking for a Response, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #108)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Matthew 7:13-14 which reads: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Jacquelyn K. Heasley. She said: “How you believe God perceives people will determine how you respond to them.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 91 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Asking for a Response (Part 3)

Reasons We Don’t Ask for a Response

Here are some reasons Christians will share the gospel but fail to extend an invitation and ask for a response.

If the Person Says No, How Should I Respond?

The fear of rejection is always the most stated hesitation for not intentionally asking people to respond to the gospel message. Understandably, most people want to be liked and do not want to encounter conflict. They are somehow convinced that people are predisposed to saying no and will not listen.

This is, however, a deceptive misconception created by Satan. If the gospel is presented in a clear and loving manner by an obedient messenger, the person who says no is usually not rejecting the individual but rejecting Christ.

Therefore, if the response is no, ask why. After all, hesitation could be a simple misunderstanding. The key is the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If the person is persistent in giving a no answer, simply back away and ensure that your prayers will continue. Offer to answer any questions and to continue the conversation in the future.

Asking for a Response Seems Unnatural and Forced

People freely discuss sporting events, hobbies, or grandchildren! Unfortunately, the same is not true when it comes to intentionally asking for a response as the result of sharing one’s faith. Often the witness begins to feel awkward and even weird. Such conversations may seem unnatural and pushy. But why?

Paul reminded the Ephesian Christians that we are involved in a spiritual war. Ephesians 6:12 says: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The bottom line is that when a person shares Christ, the witness is being opposed by the dark forces of Satan. As the limited ruler of this earthly domain, he will not easily relinquish a soul into the hands of Christ without a desperate battle. The oppression the witness feels is often spiritual warfare.

Don’t fear; the God who is in you is greater than the enemy who is in the world.

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Evangelism Is… Asking for a Response, Part 2 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #107)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Matthew 7:8 which reads: “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Roy Fish. He said: “From beginning to end, invitations are extended in scripture. God’s probing question to Adam in the garden, “Where art thou?” in Genesis 3 is something of an invitation. The final chapter of the Bible contains an invitation, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who heareth say, come. And let him who is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Holy scripture reverberates with invitations to lost humanity to turn to God for forgiveness and new life.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 90 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Asking for a Response (Part 2)

Jesus Extended Public Invitations

Jesus’ first sermon was a public call to repentance.

Matthew 4:12-17 reads: “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, He publicly called people to make a decision to follow Him. Peter, Andrew, James, and John received public invitations as they were fishing.

Matt 4:18–22 says: “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

Levi or Matthew was also given a public invitation to follow Christ. Mark 2:13–14 says: “And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.”

Evangelism Is… Asking for a Response, Part 1 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #106)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Matthew 7:7 which reads: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Our soul winning quote today is from C. E. Autrey. He said: “If a pastor fails to invite his listeners to accept Christ, he is departing from the practice of the New Testament church.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 89 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Asking for a Response (Part 1)

Disciples Are to Catch Fish

A pastor went on a fishing trip every spring with a professional fisherman. The professional fisherman obviously loved Christ and was not shy about boldly proclaiming his faith, as he put it, “with everyone who sat in his boat.”

After two days of listening to exciting stories about his obvious evangelistic prowess, the pastor chimed in and made a simple observation. He said, “I am encouraged to hear about all the people who have heard the message of Christ while sitting in your boat; however, you have yet to mention if any of the people ever repented and surrendered their lives to follow Christ.” Then the pastor asked, “What kind of professional fisherman would you be if you refused to cast your line and bait into the water; after all, is not the purpose of fishing eventually to catch fish?!”

The professional fisherman responded by stating, “What do you mean? I am, after all, being obedient by sharing my faith with unsaved people.”

The pastor replied, “Yes, that is true, but like fishing, you cannot just show up at the lake and expect the fish to jump into the boat. Evangelism is more than merely sharing information and telling inspirational stories. Through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it is also being intentional about inviting people to follow Christ!”

The pastor’s words cut deep into the heart of the professional fisherman. He responded by promising the pastor that he would have a different testimony when they met again the next spring. The professional fisherman kept a journal of all the people he took on his boat over the next year. By asking for a genuine response to the gospel, the fisherman led more than 200 people to Christ in a single year!

Evangelism Is… Giving a Logical Defense of Your Faith, Part 4 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #105)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Acts 4:12 which reads: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Our soul winning quote today is from John Piper. He said: “If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism, but deception.”

Our soul winning devotional is Evangelism Is…Giving a Logical Defense of Your Faith (Part 4) from Dave Earley and David Wheeler’s book, “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Here is our last example of how we can give a reason for the hope that is in us when people question our faith:

Shouldn’t We Tolerate Others’ Views? Does It Really Matter What You Believe as Long as You Are Sincere?

Regarding Tolerance. Dave Earley says, “Yes, we should tolerate others’ views but only until those views conflict with the truth.” Tolerance sounds kind and open-minded. But too often tolerance is used as a cover for shortcomings. (“If everything is right, then nothing is wrong. I can ignore the issue of sin and salvation.”)

The biggest problem with “tolerance for tolerance’s sake” is that tolerance is actually cruel when it conflicts with the truth. Truth by its own nature is intolerant of error.

Let’s say a blind man stands on the edge of a cliff, and he turns to you to ask, “Which way should I step?”

I would be cruel to say to him, “Oh, it really doesn’t matter. Just be sincere and do the best you can.” The truth says that if he steps in the wrong direction, he will plunge to his death. But if he’ll turn in another direction, away from the cliff or onto the bridge, he’ll live. Tolerance is no virtue when it ignores reality.

Let’s say a cancer specialist knows you have a malignant tumor in your body that will kill you in a matter of weeks if it isn’t removed. Yet he doesn’t want to seem narrow-minded and intolerant. Of course, he’d certainly hate to offend you, so he says, “If you sincerely believe that the tumor is no problem and you are a pretty good guy, I am sure it will all be OK.”

What would you think of that doctor? How long do you think he would keep his license to practice medicine?

I would rather have a doctor tell me some narrow-minded, offensive truth than some nice little tolerant lie.

By the way, if something is not true, what is it? It is a lie.

Evangelism Is… Giving a Logical Defense of Your Faith, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #104)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 2 Timothy 2:24-25 which reads: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Richard Wurmbrand. He said: “We must win rulers; political, economic, scientific, artistic personalities. They are the engineers of souls. They mold the souls of men. Winning them, you win the people they lead and influence.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 87 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Here are two more examples of how we can give a reason for the hope that is in us when people question our faith:

Aren’t All Religions Basically the Same?

The answer to that question is no. Even though the golden rule (“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”) runs through most religions, they sharply contradict one another on many major points.

Consider some of the major differences between the major religions and Christianity.

First, is the Issue of God. Many other religions view God as one with the universe and/or impersonal. Eastern religions, like Buddhism, are pantheistic and say God is impersonal and permeates everything. God is everything. Everything is god. There is no real difference between god and the universe. As a result some, such as Hinduism, have millions of deities (Brahma (brah-muh), Shiva (shee-vuh), Krishna, etc.).

Christianity and Judaism say that God is independent of His creation. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Bible teaches that God existed before creation and is independent of it. Just as a painter is not his painting, God is not His creation.

Christianity worships a personal God. Psalm 103:13 tells us that the God of Christianity has personal feelings: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Jesus taught us to pray to a personal God: “Our Father who art in heaven”. John 1:14 tells us that our God became one of us: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Islam says there is one God (Allah), but he is impersonal. Nowhere in the Koran are Muslims instructed to call Allah, “Father.”

Evangelism Is… Answering Common Questions Seekers Ask, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #101)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 1 Peter 3:15 which reads: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Lee Strobel. He said: “I think apologetics without evangelism is a bit of a wasted effort. It’s been said that apologetics is the handmaiden of evangelism and I think that’s true. I’m passionate to reach people for Christ; that’s my goal. It’s not to win an argument, it’s not to try to play point-counter-point with a skeptic but to try to reach them with the gospel and try to lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. So I do see myself not as an apologist but as an evangelist who employs apologetics.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 84 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler from the book — “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence.”

Evangelism Is…Answering Common Questions Seekers Ask (Part 3)

As I said in the previous podcast, in order to evangelize effectively, you will often need to do a little apologetics first. In other words, you have to do pre-evangelism by offering at least brief answers to the questions raised by serious seekers and skeptics. Now, here are some more answers to common questions about God and the Bible.

Hasn’t the Bible Undergone Corruption as It Was Translated Hundreds of Times Through the Centuries?

Yes, the Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages through the centuries. But the actual text of the Bible has been accurately preserved. How do we know?

First, there is the manuscript evidence. Simply put, we have many more copies that go much farther back than any other ancient piece of literature. Today several thousand partial and complete, ancient, handwritten manuscript copies of the Bible exist, some dating as far back as the third century BC. In comparison the next best piece of literature regarding manuscript evidence is Homer’s Illiad with only 643 copies dated 500 years after the original. The biblical manuscripts have allowed textual critics and scholars to verify that the Bible we have today is the same Bible the early church had.

A second evidence for the reliability of the Bible comes from the writings of the church fathers. By church fathers I am referring to leaders in the early church within a few generations of the apostles of Christ. In their commentaries on the Bible, their letters to one another, and their letters to other churches, these men quoted the New Testament Scriptures more than 86,000 times. Their quotations have allowed scholars to reconstruct 99.86 percent of the New Testament. There are only 11 verses in the New Testament that the church fathers apparently never cited. These two evidences, the manuscript evidence and the writings of the church fathers, verify conclusively that the original text of the Bible has been accurately preserved.

Evangelism Is… Answering Common Questions Seekers Ask, Part 2 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #100)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Acts 17:23 which reads: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli. They said: “Now if the religious skeptic is right, we can know nothing about God. And if we can know nothing about God, how can we know God so well that we can know that he cannot be known? How can we know that God cannot and did not reveal himself—and perhaps even through human reason?”

Our soul winning devotional is part 83 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer.

Evangelism Is…Answering Common Questions Seekers Ask (Part 2)

The great apostle Paul tells us how we are to respond to those who are still outside the faith. He suggests graciousness, love, and integrity.

Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

In order to evangelize effectively, you will often need to do a little apologetics first. In other words, you have to do pre-evangelism by offering at least brief answers to the questions raised by serious seekers and skeptics. In this broadcast and in the next broadcast, I will offer some answers to common questions about God and the Bible.

What Evidence Do You Have That There Is a God?
The existence of the universe is itself evidence that there is a God. Only three options can be offered to explain the existence of the universe: (1) The universe has always been. (2) It came into being by itself. (3) It was created.

Option 1: “The universe is eternal” has been utterly rejected by the scientific community. The motion of the galaxies, the background radiation echo, and other evidences overwhelmingly point to the fact that the universe sprang into existence at a particular point in time, something scientists call the big bang.

Option 2: “The universe created itself” is philosophically impossible. Before the universe existed, it would not have been around to do the creating. Obviously, a nonexistent universe could not have done anything! It did not exist. Nothing cannot produce something. Nothing is nothing. Nothing cannot see, smell, act, think, or create. So options 1 and 2 can be thrown out on scientific and philosophical grounds.

Option 3: “Something or someone outside the universe created the universe.” This is the only reasonable option. For example, let’s imagine I am holding up a painting. When you see a painting, what proof do you need to establish the fact that a painter exists? The only proof needed is the painting itself. The painting is absolute proof that there was a painter. You do not need to see the painter to believe that he or she exists. The painting is all the evidence you need. It would not be there if the painter did not exist, and so it is with the universe. The existence of the universe itself proves absolutely that there is a creator.