As the final segment in this three part series on sharing our faith, I wanted to address the final practical step that we can engage in as we pray for and pursue those people that are in our lives and need Jesus. This third topic is one that may bring out a negative response from you at first, but give me a couple of minutes to explore this idea with you. Our last topic is: PERSUADE!
Perhaps you are thinking…Three P’s is a cute thing to remember but I should have picked a different word than persuade. Persuade is a strong word, and when I first considered this as a means of sharing our faith in Jesus, it didn’t seem quite right. This is because when I think persuading, I think of “arguing.” But let me give you a few other synonyms for persuade: influence, convince, plead your case, win over, or change somebody’s mind. I literally want you to think of persuading as pleading your case about Christ to someone, or influencing your friend in such a way that it leads them to Christ, or convincing your friend that God is real in your life and loves them, or changing your friend’s mind about the way they are living and submitting their lives to Christ. Persuading is not arguing at all in this context, but influencing people in their thoughts about Jesus. The ultimate goal of persuading someone is to change their mind about a certain subject. We as ambassadors of Christ, want to share who God says He is and what He has done to reveal Himself to the world and to us personally.
We can persuade many people about God by how we live.
Are we practicing what we preach at work, at home, at church, or wherever we go? We are told in by the apostle Matthew that we are to live in such a way that unsaved people will glorify God and submit their lives to Him just by looking at our lives (Matt 5:13-16). A practical way you can persuade someone to follow Christ is by living for Jesus in the choices you make and the way you live. You can invite them to spend time with some of your Christian friends to see what people who follow Jesus are really like. The Bible says that when two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name, He is there. Are your friendships a place where unsaved people can come and see Jesus living? You can invite some of your unsaved friends to church or community group. As a pastor, I want you to know that I WANT UNSAVED PEOPLE TO COME TO CHURCH!!! Why wouldn’t we want people to come to church and hear the word taught and have a chance to worship God and have an opportunity to pray with people and even accept Christ?
We can also persuade people to understand the truth about Jesus by clearly explaining who He is and what has done.
The apostle Peter said “in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).” We as Christians are told to be able to explain the gospel to people and what we believe with love and respect. Paul asked the Roman church, “How will unsaved people know how to have a relationship with God unless you tell them (Rom 10:14-15)?” Paul also lived out this principle and “reasoned” with the people of Athens and clearly explained the Gospel to them (Acts 17:16-34). Sadly, God has been misrepresented to a lot of unsaved people, and we, as Christians, are told to share the truth with these people so they can get a clear and accurate picture of our Savior. So we need to know what we believe and why!!! Can you clearly explain the gospel to someone? Will you allow God to use you to share with people that God loves them and wants to have fellowship with them?
So, as we continue to do the work of the ministry, I want to encourage you to make the most of every opportunity you have to share the love of Christ with people. I hope this series of blogs has helped you see that you can reach people in wherever you are. Remember that God wants to use you and has empowered you with His Spirit and will give you the words to say (John 14:26-27). These are just some practical tips and principles and nothing here is set in stone. The reason why I wrote these blogs was to get you thinking about sharing your faith with others! Hopefully you can think of other ways as well. This is great because my heart is that people would come to know and love Jesus Christ, and I believe that God wants to use EVERY Christian to share His love with as many people as possible.
Could you imagine if every Christian in our community began to PRAY for at least one friend, PURSUE bringing God up in conversations, and PERSUADE them to come to Christ by clearing explaining the gospel to them and THEN made disciples for Christ?
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”