“He who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I entitled my post today, "The Simple, Clear Gospel". The post is based on the Dallas Theological Seminary “Evangelism” Session #5, which had a little bit of a twist. Dr. Barry Jones, the regular instructor, turned the time over to Dr. Larry Moyer, another seminary instructor whose focus is on evangelism.
Dr. Moyer is the founder and CEO of EvanTell Inc., an evangelism training company. EvanTell's main goal about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is the following: "Keep it simple, stupid." No, not really. He actually said, “Don’t make confusing what God makes so simple.” I think that emphasis, which I so much agree with, is that the main reason people, including myself, don’t evangelize is that we think it’s way more complicated than it really is.
I think one of the most important principles Dr. Moyer taught is, “The Gospel in 10 Words”. I know that for many years I got stumped on the word “gospel”. I knew that it had the definition of “good news”, but after that I was almost paralyzed to understand and tell what the word “gospel” really meant.
Dr. Moyer said that less than 10% of Christians, even seminary students, know what the word gospel really means. He said Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, helped us sum up the gospel in 10 words: “Christ died for our sins, and rose from the dead.”
Dr. Moyer also emphasized that having a method of sharing the gospel doesn’t make us a “cold”, or “canned”, or “mechanical” person—but it helps make us feel more relaxed so that we can “lock” into people better. Dr. Moyer said that sometimes he gets so “locked into” communicating with people that he doesn’t even know anything else going on around him.
He summed up the presentation of the gospel to others as a clear sharing of the following: “Bad News”, and then “Good News”. He said there’s a pattern we can follow that can lead us.
The “Bad News” has two statements, two verses, and two illustrations:
- Bad news statement #1: We are all sinners.
- Verse: Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
- Illustration: “Rock”. “Two of us might throw a rock at the moon. You might throw it further than me, but we will both miss the mark.”
- Verse: Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death.”
- Illustration: “Wages”. “If I work a certain amount of time I'm paid a wage, of perhaps $50. It's what is owed to me. A wage is something we earn for our deeds. The Bible declares we all have earned the wages of death because of our sin, and not just a physical death, but a spiritual death separated from God.”
Dr. Moyer said that since we're unable to come to God because of our sins, the Bible says that God came to us. This is the good news! It also has two statements, two verses, and two illustrations.
- Good news statement #1: Christ died for you.
- Verse: Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Illustration: “Cancer”. If someone said they will take on your cancer cells to save your life, what will happen? They will die and you will live. They die in your place. That’s what Jesus did for us.
- Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
- Illustration: “Chair”. Just as you trust a chair to hold you up while providing no effort of your own, so you must trust Christ alone to get to heaven through no effort of your own. Any good thing you might do can't get you to heaven. It's through Christ alone.
Finally, Dr. Moyer gave info on how to start and close a conversation about the gospel. The first step to start the conversation is the following:
- “Plow and pursue”. (Note: At first, I thought that statement seemed a little aggressive, but the more I thought about it, I would rather be a little aggressive, and have a person trust Jesus as his or her Savior, than be passive, and the person end up in hell.)
- To plow and pursue we can talk about 3 things that people have in common:
- #1: Our families.
- #2: Our jobs
- #3: Our Backgrounds
- Ask the following: "Has anyone ever told you from the Bible how to get to heaven?"
- If they say, "No", say, "May I?"
- If they agree, proceed to the “Bad News, Good News” gospel presentation.
Next is "Closing the Conversation." You ask the following:
- “Is there anything that would keep you from believing in and trusting Christ right now for salvation?”
- If the person agrees, remember to tell the person it isn’t the prayer itself that saves him or her; rather it’s believing in and trusting Christ that saves. Prayer is simply how we tell God what we’re doing.
- Dr. Moyer said that the believing in and trusting Christ actually comes about 30 seconds before the prayer itself.
The presentation by Dr. Moyer was very good. I liked the fact that he emphasized that we make the gospel way too complicated, when it's really very simple. And at the end of the session he again stated the simplicity of “The Gospel in 10 Words”, “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.”
Dr. Moyer gave the freedom for people to use his tips. But said that presenting the gospel can be done different ways. I’ll likely stick mostly to the Roman Road presentation I’m familiar with, but I most definitely plan to use a lot of Dr. Moyer's tips to share . . . "The Simple, Clear Gospel".
See you next time,