14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:14-17)
In our last two sermons, we observed that Jesus wants every Christian to be a soul winner. Sharing Jesus with others is part of our “job description.”
As we studied Romans 1:14–17, we learned there are three indispensable elements in order to become a soul winner:
- You must have a burden for the lost;
- You must be bold in sharing Christ; and
- You must have a Biblical based belief about what it takes to become righteous in God’s eyes.
As we thought about being bold in sharing Christ, I observed that the only way to get past personal barriers such as fear, timidity, and not knowing what to say, is to do what Paul did. He equipped himself to know how to share Christ.
In part two we learned a method for sharing Jesus with others, ending with the question, “Would you like to open the door to Jesus right now?” In this message, we will focus on what to do if the person with whom you are sharing says “yes” to that question.
We now continue from the last sermon.
4. “Wonderful, Bill. Would you like me to help you know what to say to God in order to open your heart to Him and begin a personal relationship with Him?” [Wait for response. I have never had a person say “no” to an offer to help him know what to say to God. Most people, even those raised in church, are not certain how to pray a prayer of repentance. When they respond with a “yes,” say: “If you will repeat after me the prayer I pray and really mean everything you say with your whole heart, Jesus will forgive your sins and come into your heart. I’ll pray, and you repeat after me. O.K.?” Wait for a response. If he agrees, continue with step Number 5. Be sure to pray just as you would if you were seeking to be forgiven of your sins. Pray slowly and in short phrases so the person can remember what you have said. Below is a sample prayer.]
5. “Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sins. I ask you to please forgive me of all my sins and blot out the record of my wrongdoing. With Your help, I promise You that I will stop doing what I know is wrong. Wash my heart in your precious blood. I open wide the door of my heart and invite You in as Lord and Savior. You promised that you would come in, and I invite you into my heart right now. Thank You for coming in. Thank you for forgiving my sins. Thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.” [Now Turn to Bill and ask the following:]
6. “Did you mean what you just prayed? Did you open your heart to Jesus and invite Him in? [Wait for response.]
7. “Do you believe that Jesus forgave you and came into your heart?” [Wait for response. If the person is not sure that Christ has forgiven him, do not try to talk him into a mere mental belief by logical argument. Be patient and remember that years of unbelief are not always cured in a moment. Do the following:]
- Review the Biblical promises—Rom. 6:23; Acts 3:19; Rev. 3:20.
- Explain that we are saved by grace through faith, and not by works. (Eph. 2:8, 9).
- Explain that Biblical faith has three essential parts. He must do each of the three aspects of faith (read Heb. 11:6 to him):
- Faith believes what the Bible says. He will reward those who seek Him.
- Faith commits to do what the Bible requires He will reward those who diligently seek Him.
- Faith trusts in and rests on what the Bible promises. He promises to reward you.
- Ask, “Do you believe what the Bible says about your sin, God’s offer to give you eternal life, His willingness to forgive your sins, and Jesus’ promise to come into your heart?” [Wait for response.]
- Ask, “Are you willing to do what the Bible says? With His help, will you stop doing everything you know is wrong, and start doing what you know He wants you to do?” [Wait for a response. If he can honestly say “ yes” to the above two questions, then the problem of assurance focuses on “trusting in”
and “resting on” what God promises.]
- Say, “Bill, the Bible says God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Are you willing to trust Him to do what He says He will do for you? Will you commit your life to Him and trust Him to save you now?” [Wait for a response. If the answer is “ yes,” say the following:]
- Say, “Bill, let’s pray again. I want you to know for sure that Jesus has forgiven your sins and has come into your heart.”
[Lead him in the sinner’s prayer once again. If a lack of assurance persists, do not force the issue. Instead, urge him to keep seeking God and begin reading the First Epistle of John. Make an appointment to counsel and pray with Him again within a week.] If the person with whom you have shared the plan of salvation is confident that God has heard his prayer and that Jesus has indeed come into his heart, congratulate him and welcome him into the family of God. It is at this moment you ask him the following important question.
“Bill, let me ask you an important question. Do you want to be a strong, victorious Christian, or a weak, anemic Christian?”
[Wait for a response. When he tells you he wishes to be a strong Christian, say as follows:]
“Great! Let me show you how to be a strong, victorious Christian.
[Continue the conversation in the following sequence.]
- “Bill, living the Christian life means you have to learn how to develop your relationship with God through Jesus. Developing a relationship is just like a table that has four legs.”
- “What happens to a four-legged table when one of the legs is missing? Not very stable, is it?
- “The Christian life has four legs.” [Write these steps out for him on paper]
- “One leg is daily prayer.” [Write a simple prayer for him to follow]
- “Thank God for saving you. Thank Jesus for coming into your heart.”
- “Ask God to help you live each day like He wants you to live.”
- Anything else you wish to pray about.
- “A second leg is daily Bible reading.” [Have him begin reading in the First Letter of John. This letter talks about assurance.]
- “The third leg is faithful church attendance at all of the church services.” [Show him Hebrews 10:25. Explain about Sunday morning worship. Tell how important Sunday night is for Bible teaching. Explain how Wednesday night is when all the Christians gather together for encouragement and to praise God for his help that week and to pray for one another.]
- “The fourth leg is sharing Jesus with others.” [Show him Revelation 12:11. Explain how important it is for him to declare his faith publicly. Ask him if you can pick him up for church and tell him you will sit with him, introduce him to the other people and will help him know what to do during the worship service.)
- “One leg is daily prayer.” [Write a simple prayer for him to follow]
Have a final word of prayer with him before you depart and make sure that you have an appointment to see him in church the next scheduled service. Tell the pastor before the service so he will know what is happening and will be sure to have a time to profess publicly Christ at the end of the service.
Leading a person to Christ is just the first step in fulfilling the Great Commission. It is of utmost importance that you meet with the new Christian weekly and personally teach him how to live the Christian life. Find a discipleship program that you like and teach your Christian friend the basics of developing their relationship with Christ.
Make sure he realizes how important faithful church attendance is. Plan to spend a minimum of six months personally discipling him.
Your ultimate goal is to equip your new convert and friend so that he can win others to Christ and will know how to disciple his new converts.
Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.