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HOW TO LEAD SOMEONE TO CHRIST
Selected Scriptures
Sunday Morning, June 2, 2024
As a congregation, for the past several months we have been studying the Acts of the Apostles on Sunday morning. We noted that as the Apostle Paul went into the region of Asia he proclaimed “the message of salvation” (Acts 13:26), and that message included “the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38), and when any man or woman believed that Jesus died and rose again, that God rewarded their faith with eternal life (Acts 13:48). The Apostle’s mission was to “preach the gospel” (Acts 14:21) so that people would be saved.

Later, Paul wrote, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:13-17).

The Lord has called His people to reach out to those who are lost with His message of salvation. This has been true for centuries. In the Old Testament, Isaiah wrote, ““Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool”” (Isaiah 1:18). God has always called His people to confront others with the message that they must repent and believe in Him to be saved. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can sins be forgiven and cleansed by His grace and mercy.

J. I. Packer wrote, “People are responsible to God for the way in which they react to the good news of His grace. As Christians, we are under orders to devote ourselves to spreading the good news. Evangelism is to present Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit so that men and women, girls and boys may come to put their trust in God through Christ, to accept Him as the Savior and serve Him as their Lord in the fellowship of His church.”

To be evangelistic, then, is the purpose of the church and the mission of each of its members. Both individually and collectively, every born-again believer is called to lead others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. My question to each of you this morning is, do you know how to lead someone to Jesus Christ and explain to them how they should be saved? Next week, we will conduct a Vacation Bible School with the main mission being to pro-claim the gospel of salvation to girls and boys and lead them to Christ. This has been the purpose of our Vacation Bible Schools for many decades now and I have personally met many women and men who received Christ through our Vacation Bible School. Today, it is my objective to equip you to lead children to saving faith in Jesus. We begin with the biblical mandate to spread the gospel.

COMMISSIONED TO BE A WITNESS. Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8

Called to Make Disciples. All who are saved by God’s grace by faith in Jesus Christ are called to make disciples. They do that by proclaiming the truth concerning Jesus. This proclamation includes preaching the truth about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to groups and it also includes proclaiming that same truth to people one on one. Those who receive Christ are to be trained and equipped to follow Jesus themselves, beginning with following the Lord in believer’s baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those who believe are eternally forgiven and have been granted everlasting life. This is the ongoing work of evangelism for which every true believer has a part.

Called to be Witnesses. In this verse, the Lord was speaking with His disciples as they were gathered on the Mount of Olives. There, just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus called believers to be His witnesses. A witness is somebody who tells what he or she has seen and heard. When you are on the witness stand in court, the judge is not interested in your ideas or opinions; he only wants to hear what you know. All Christians should be prepared to tell others what Jesus has done for them. All of God’s people are expected to be witnesses and tell the lost about the Savior. Every Christian can bear faithful witness about the Lord Jesus. There are always people who will benefit from your witness about Jesus. God will use your testimony of faith to bring others to Christ if we will submit ourselves to God’s Spirit and just tell what He did in our lives.

CALLED TO GIVE AN ANSWER. 1 Peter 3:15

Be Ready. Many of us feel uncomfortable confronting other people, especially strangers, with the gospel of Jesus. But what if an unsaved person asked you how to be saved? Would you know what to tell them? This verse tells us that we should be ready if such an opportunity comes to us. The follower of Jesus should stand ready to seize the moment as an opportunity for witness.

Make a Defense. There is always the need to defend the truth about Jesus when called upon. The gospel is identified as “the hope that is in you” and means the hope of eternal life guaranteed by God’s grace. Hope is synonymous with the Christian faith because the motive for believer’s embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is their anticipation of escaping hell and entering glory. This hope, the gospel, is the focal point of any rational explana-tion believers should be able to provide regarding their salvation.

CHALLENGED TO PRESENT THE GOSPEL. Romans 1:16-17

Our Witness Depends on Our Spiritual Walk. The Apostle Paul has told us the focus of our message is the gospel, “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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17). It was this gospel that transformed lost souls into born-again believers in the past and still does today.

The Bible says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). A spirit-filled life is characterized by faith and godliness. Billy Graham was arguably the best-known Christian evangelist in recent memory. He was responsible for leading thousands and maybe millions to faith in Jesus Christ. His organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association continues to be involved in evangelism. Billy Graham said, “One of the best ways to share your faith is to live a godly, Spirit-led life. Non-Christians often look at Christians as hypocritical because we say one thing but do another. Show those close to you that you care–spend time with them, help meet their needs and offer to listen when they have problems. You might not be able to answer all of their questions, but they can’t deny the reality of what Christ has done in your life. If you find this is hard to do, per-haps God is speaking to you about your own need to walk more closely with Him every day.

Another important part of sharing your faith is to pray for those you interact with. If you can’t think of anyone who isn’t a Christian, pray for God to place someone in your life who needs Him. Also make a habit of reading the Bible, praying and going to church. These things shouldn’t be done for attention or for the sake of doing them, but to help you grow in your own faith. Being passionate about Christ will help others see that there’s something different about you, and they will want to know what it is. You can also reflect Christ through kind words, patience, a gentle temperament, choosing to love even difficult people, carefully monitoring what you watch or lis-ten to, and treating others with respect. At the same time, we must do more than live godly lives. People need to hear the Gospel–to hear that God loves them, Christ died for them and that they can have eternal life.

Four Simple Steps. In presenting the Gospel, we can follow four simple steps: First, tell them about God’s plan–peace and life. God loves you and wants you to experience the peace and life He offers. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). He has a plan for you. Second, share our problem–separation from God. Being at peace with God is not automatic. By nature, we are all separated from Him. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God is holy, but we are human and don’t measure up to His perfect standard. We are sinful, and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Third, talk about God’s remedy–the cross. God’s love bridges the gap of separation between you and Him. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for your sins. The Bible says, “‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by His wounds you have been healed’” (1 Peter 2:24). Fourth, our response–receive Christ. You cross the bridge into God’s family when you accept Christ’s free gift of salvation. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

A Four-Fold Response. To receive Christ, a person needs to do 4 things: 1) Admit you’re a sinner; 2) Ask forgiveness and be willing to turn away from your sins; 3) Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross; and 4) Receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life. You may have heard Dr. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, urge people without Christ to pray a prayer like this, “Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In your name, amen.”

EVANGELISTIC EXAMPLES.

The Wordless Book. The Wordless Book is an evangelistic tool developed by Child Evangelism Fellowship. It has been modified over the years, but it still remains a useful tool for leading children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.” The Wordless book presentation begins like this, “Have you ever seen a book without pictures or words? The colors of this book tell the most wonderful story in the world. I call my book a Wordless Book because it has no words. Have you ever peeked at the back page of a book to see if the ending of the story is happy or sad? Let’s look at the last page first.

The gold page reminds me of Heaven. Do you know what Heaven is? Heaven is God's home. Heaven is filled with the glory; the shining brightness of God. There is no night there. The Bible says, ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5). The Bible tells us that in Heaven, the street of the city is pure, clear gold–like glass (Revelation 21:21). God tells us many other things about His home. No one is ever sick there. No one is crippled or blind. No one ever dies. Every person in Heaven will be perfectly happy–always! The most wonderful thing about Heaven is that God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus, will be there. God made Heaven. He made you, too. He loves you very much. Because He made you and loves you, He wants you to belong to Him and be with Him in Heaven someday. But there is one thing that can never be in Heaven. That one thing is sin. Because you and I are sinners, we want to have our own way instead of God’s way. Wanting our own way is sin. Doing, or saying, or thinking bad things is sin. Sin is anything that isn’t pleasing to God. Sin has caused sorrow and sadness in our world. God tells us in the Bible that all have sinned (Romans 3:23). All means every one of us.

This dark page reminds me of our sinful ways (Proverbs 4:19). When it is dark, you stumble and cannot find your way. Because of your sin, you cannot find God. Your sin separates you from God who is holy (1 John 1:5). God cannot allow sin where He is. I am sure you can think of a sin which you have done. God has said sin must be punished. The punishment for your sin is death–to be separated from God forever (Romans 6:23). Jesus, God’s Son, said that if you die in your sin you cannot go to Heaven where He is (John 8:21; 24). God knew there was nothing you could do to get rid of your sin. He knew you could not be good enough to please Him. But He loves you and He made a way for you to be forgiven.

This red page shows the way God made for you to have your sins forgiven–taken away. God loves you. He sent His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, from Heaven to take the punishment for your sin (John 3:16). Bad men nailed the sinless Son of God to the cross, but while He hung there, God put all your sins on Him. The Bible says, ‘God put on Him (Jesus) the sins of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6). All your bad temper, all your lies, your meanness–all your sin–was laid on the Son of God, and He suffered, until He cried with a loud voice and said, ‘it is finished’. When you finish a job, how much is left to do? Nothing! What did the Lord Jesus come to do? He came to save us from the punishment for sin, didn’t He? And He finished the work. When He was nailed to the cross, what came from His hands and His feet? His blood. God calls it the ‘precious blood of Jesus Christ,’ and He says, ‘the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all our sin’ (1 John 1:7). There is no other way, because God says, ‘Without the shedding blood of there is no forgiveness of sins’ (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus not only died for you, but He was buried, and He rose again. He is a living Savior (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). God showed His love for you by sending His own Son to die for you. Now, He says there is only one way for you to be saved from your sin.”

The white page: Tears cannot wash away sin. Prayers cannot wash away sin. Doing good cannot wash away sin. But the blood of the Lord Jesus can wash away sin (Psalm 51:7; 1 John 1:7). This page reminds me that you can be made clean from sin. Did Jesus die for everyone? Yes! Is everyone going to Heaven? No, because some do not believe that Jesus died for them. They have not received Him as their Savior from sin.” “God's Word says, ‘as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name’ (John 1:12). God has promised you that when you receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you become a child of God. The Lord Jesus Christ died to save you from your sins. He wants to live in your life and give you power to obey God. Are you sorry for your sins? Do you believe Jesus died for your sins? Would you like to receive Him today? You must decide.” “God promises to you when you receive Him, He ‘will never leave you, nor forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5). Ask Him to help you each day to please Him. When you do sin, tell God that you have sinned. He will forgive you right away (1 John 1:9). Ask Him and trust Him to help you not to do it again.

The green page reminds me of the new life, everlasting life, that you have received from God. The color green reminds us of things which are growing outdoors, like leaves, grass, flowers, and trees. When you receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior from sin, you are like a newborn baby in God's family. The Bible tells you to ‘grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

The Bridge Illustration. The Bridge Illustration was developed as an evangelistic tool by the Navigators and can take as few as 15 minutes to present, or it can be stretched out to an hour or more. A normal presentation will last 20 to 30 minutes. The flexibility of this presentation is one of its greatest assets. It can be tailored specifically to a person or situation. You will need to convey four concepts as you draw out “The Bridge”: God’s Love, Man’s Problem, God’s Remedy, Man’s Response. God’s Love: The Bible teaches us that God is love and that He loves us. He desires that we experience an abundant life. This would include such things as love, peace, purpose, and fulfillment. Man’s Problem: All of us have made decisions, done actions, and had thoughts that were contrary to what God desires. The result of turning away from God and doing things that are displeasing to God is spiritual death, eternal death. Mankind’s problems include sin, death, and judgment. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

God’s Remedy: In spite of the fact that we have turned our backs on God and have disobeyed Him, God still loves us and desires that we know Him personally so that He can bless us. Only one adequate bridge can cross the gulf that exists between man and God, and that bridge is through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. The Bible teaches that when He died on the cross, He died in our place. He paid the penalty and the judgment for our sins so we could be forgiven for all our wrongdoings. When a person receives Christ as Savior, they are granted God’s gift of eternal life, they will not face judgment and they have crossed over from death to life. Man’s Response: We need to take action; we need to ask God's forgiveness and ask Jesus Christ into our lives.

These two methods should prepare you to reach children for the Lord Jesus. The Lord may give you the opportunity to lead a child to Christ at VBS this week. Or, it could be a son or daughter, grandson, or granddaughter, or any other relative. The reality is, you and I should be prepared to explain the gospel if someone asks us to. Are you a believer in Jesus Christ. Maybe this morning, the gospel has become clearer to you and you are ready to trust Christ as your Savior. Will you pray right now and ask Jesus to forgive your sins and grant you everlasting life? He stands ready to save you forever.

Updated by Pastor Vernon Welkner, 6/3/2024