How do I share the gospel with strangers? Dr. Bruce Lowe encourages believers to share the gospel with love and boldness.
Oh, what a great topic for us to be talking about, sharing the gospel with strangers. Why is it such a great topic? Because the gospel needs to go out, doesn’t it? The Bible tells us that God is in the business of redeeming the world. And so from creation to recreation, the world is being renewed. And part of the key way that the world is being renewed, is by people being saved, by people coming out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of the light of Jesus Christ, into true life. What is Christianity really about? It’s about life. It’s about life lived. When we become Christians, we live life the way that we are meant to live life. I often say to people, it’s like, you know, you wouldn’t park your car at the bottom of a river, because a car is not made to be a submarine. You wouldn’t park your boat on the road in front of your house, because it wouldn’t be able to perform. We are made to live under God’s rule, and that is life itself. So to our topic, what do we do when we seek to share the gospel? Bring the good news of Jesus to those who are complete strangers to us, whether on a bus, or in a shopping mall, or wherever it might be that we have opportunity to do this. Well, there’s a few principles that I want to talk about.
Pray for Opportunities
The Bible tells us that God is in the business of redeeming the world.The first one is prayer. Pray for opportunities. What I have often done in the past in my life, is prayed for opportunities, and for the grace to take them. So often I think to myself, the Lord is going to answer that first prayer. He wants to give me opportunities, but will I take them, or will I see them? And so, the grace to take them. So we’re committing the whole thing to the Lord in prayer. Sharing with your neighbor begins with praying in the morning for opportunities for that day to share the gospel with your neighbor.
Love People Well
But what about the mechanics of things? Well, I would say that so many people longed to be loved, that really, we begin by loving people. We begin by being interested in them, by asking questions about them. And pretty soon, you’ll find that as you ask questions about them, they’ll start asking questions about you in a genuine way. And that’s when you get to tell them about things that are important to you. You might tell them that, you know, what’s really important to me in life, is Jesus, and that’s where there’s going to have to be boldness, of course, when they ask back about you. Start by asking about them. They’ll eventually ask about you, and you then tell them what’s most important to you. Now that moment, there could be a “lead balloon” moment, right? Uh-oh. We’re into the religious topic here. Can I encourage you that you need to ask for grace, and seek to be as normal as you can, as light-hearted as you can, and speak about the gospel in a normal way? Because that’s what the gospel is. The gospel is about life. So often, when we have an opportunity, it’s like we’re kind of talking. And then suddenly, we see there’s the opportunity before us, and we kind of panic. And I think, this is the big moment. If I blow it now, the Lord is not going to be happy. Hey, the Lord is just happy that you have been willing to pray about it, and you’ve been willing to seek out and share your faith with others. So be natural, be normal. Talk honestly and transparently about your struggles and your failures. It’s not about you promoting yourself. It’s about you promoting Jesus. And lead the conversation towards talking about the Lord.
Share the Real Gospel
Now, can I thirdly say, don’t mix the gospel up with other gospels? Gospel means “good news,” and we might think that we have good news in a certain area, but that “good news” can muddy the water from the true good news.We have so many gospels kicking around today: the gospel of our political view, the gospel of what we think about masks or non-masks, or vaccinations or non-vaccinations. There are so many things that get us excited. Remember, the gospel means “good news,” and we might think that we have good news in a certain area, but that “good news” can muddy the water from the true good news. Make sure that you focus on the real good news. The real good news is not, “I go to church.” The real good news is Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection. And so, make sure you stay on cue, you stay on task.
Persist in Sharing the Gospel
Now, when you fall off the horse—this is the last thing I want to say—when you come away and you do the postmortem on how it went, you’re bound to be very hard on yourself. You’re bound to feel down on yourself and think, I failed. I’m never going to do it again. Can I encourage you to get back up on the horse? The Lord is not looking down [as if] he’s displeased. Remember that Jesus says that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety-nine that are already his. So when you were doing it before the ninety-nine, doing your thing, ministering to them, of course, they’re going to be appreciative. Of course, it’s going to go well. You’re speaking to an audience that’s receptive. When you’re talking to the one who’s lost, maybe they don’t want to be found. Maybe they are going to be difficult with you. Maybe you’re going to feel like you said the wrong thing. Don’t be discouraged. The Lord loves it when we reach out with the gospel, and when we reach out to strangers.