weekly word – 4/06/23

Effective Easter Evangelism

Good Friday and Easter are two Christian holidays which are still recognized by many across America. How can you use them to share the gospel? Follow the pattern laid out by the Apostle Paul.

In Colossians 4:3-4, Paul makes a request of the church "Pray at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been bound, that I may make it manifest in the way I ought to speak."

This passage states that Paul asked for two prayers: 1) that God would open a door for the word and 2) that Paul would make it clear.

Think of the people you interact with at work, at the grocery store, and family members you'll see this weekend. Do you want an opportunity to tell them about Jesus' death for sins on the cross and resurrection from the grave? Would you like them to be saved?

First, pray that God would give you opportunity to share the gospel. He may give you an opportunity to initiate a gospel-conversation; or someone may ask you a question and you can answer it in a way that leads him or her to the gospel. 

At this time of year, you might ask questions like "Do you celebrate Good Friday or Easter?" "Do you know why it's called 'Good Friday'?" "Why do you think people celebrate Easter?" or "Why do you think Jesus was crucified?". Pray to God and ask Him to give you an open door.

Second, pray that God would help you "make it manifest in the way you ought to speak". Ask God for clarity, boldness, and accuracy. Listen for cues in the conversation that connect to the gospel message. Ask people probing questions. Request permission to share what you think after the person has answered.

The gospel is stated in its most basic form in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 "That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." God will save those who believe this and confess that Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9).  

That is the gospel. And while you can get to it any number of ways, you haven't given the gospel unless you have talked about sin, Jesus' atoning death for it, His resurrection, and the salvation that comes by repenting and believing in Him.

A few days ago, I visited a warehouse to buy some fungicide for a project at home. The man who helped me was a relaxed, talkative person. I could tell he wanted interaction. So as we talked, I asked him about his past, his life now, and his spiritual beliefs. We had a lengthy, enjoyable conversation for 30-40 minutes within which I was able to share the gospel. 

As you pray and as you share, remember that even people who seem confident, moral, or successful are not what they seem. They are, as Revelation 3:17 says "wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked." We are all sinners in need of salvation in Jesus Christ. There are no exceptions to this rule.

See people as God sees them. Pray for them like Paul. Share with them what Christ has done.

Pastor David