At OakLeaf Baptist we have been in a series on evangelism in our Sunday Morning services. According to Matthew 28.19-20, it is every Christian’s responsibility to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world. We are to share the Gospel so that lost men and women might be saved. The Bible tells us that, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10.17). God the Holy Spirit uses his Word to enlighten the hearts and minds of the lost so they might see and understand their need of salvation. That brings us to the topic of this blog, where do we start when we share the gospel with someone? The best answer to that question is to look and see where Jesus began when He interacted with the lost.
In Matthew 19.16 a young man approached Jesus and asked Him, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” If we read the story we discover the young man had a good question with a preconceived idea to the answer. In his very question this young man revealed how he thought himself able to earn his way to heaven. He wanted to know what he could do to have eternal life, as if he was good enough or able to be good enough to get into heaven. Jesus confronted this young man’s error by holding up the law to him. Jesus told the young man to “keep the commandments.” Jesus was not telling the young man he could be saved by works, Jesus was drawing this young man to an evaluation of his life so that he might see he could not keep all the commandments. The young man should have realized he had not always obeyed all the commandments in word, thought, and deed. Therefore the young man should have been willing to admit there was nothing he could do to earn his salvation. That conclusion would have opened the door for him to place His faith in Jesus and receive forgiveness by the grace of God. The lesson for us when it comes to sharing the Gospel is Jesus started with the young man’s need. Jesus wanted the young man to realize he was a sinner and there was not one thing he could do to change that fact. When we share the Gospel we need to start with that fact that we are all sinners and have a need. It is the man or woman who realizes their need to be saved by grace that will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to call upon Jesus for salvation. If we read the story of Nicodemus in John 3 and the story of the woman at the well in John 4 we discover Jesus began with their needs and led them to faith in Himself. Let us emulate our Lord and share the Gospel with a lost world. Let us begin where He began, by sharing with people their need to be saved.