From Darkness to Light: Sharing the Gospel of Love
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. Colossians 1:3-5
A few years ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone to do God’s work and share the gospel with complete strangers. It was an awesome time in my spiritual life and one I will never forget. We had an outline we went by and we took two other people with us to knock on doors to see if we could get anyone to listen to us. I was considered a trainer and would train these two people how to share the gospel with lost people. They would learn a part of the outline every week, and had to share it with me. Then if they were ready, they would share part of it with the stranger. We were bathed in prayer and we would pray as we walked from door to door. Of course one of my prayers I am ashamed to say was; “please don’t let anyone answer the door, amen.” As I would do this week in and week out, I was constantly bothered by the fact it seemed that one very important element was missing; that element was love.
There are two ways the church shares the gospel, that really are not the way God intended for us to share it. The first way is what I call the Fire and Brimstone method. This is where we use the bible as if it were a club and beat people over the head with it telling them to repent or they are going to hell in a hand basket. I think this day and age that is the fastest way to turn someone off from God and the church. It’s also judgmental in statements that point out the persons sin. In most cases, you don’t have to tell someone what there sin is, they already know. The second method is the Watered Down method. In this method, we water the gospel down to not allowing even the Holy Spirit to convict them. We are so afraid of offending them that we really fail to share truth.
God’s method is the Relationship method. It cuts to the heart like a sword. This is where you love the person into salvation. A great quote I found on twitter by an unknown author puts it this way:
A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart.
There is nothing like a smile to help someone who may be having a tough time feel better. I think one of the most attractive and contagious things you can do is have an enthusiastically positive attitude toward people. Some people are born with this gift. They can light up a room simply by their presence. This is what Paul is talking about in his intro to the letter to the Colossians. Love should always be the key element to sharing the gospel. We were important to God before we were even born. He made it so we could have fellowship with Him through salvation. By showing love to someone and having a caring spirit can ignite a friendship. This friendship will enable you to be able to ask tough questions and to share God with this person. When you care and love someone, you want to share what is important in your life.
Another crucial element is your testimony. Take some time and write down what being saved means to you and how you were saved. A testimony speaks volumes over hitting this person with scripture after scripture of why they should be saved. If this person is unchurched they would not understand anyway. You also want to craft it in a way where they can understand it in everyday language. Christian clichés can do more harm than good. They are only for someone who has known Christ and understands. The biggest thing with your testimony is to share it clearly with an open heart, and love should be in the center of the sharing. We all are called to share the gospel with the great commission that Jesus outlined in Matthew 28:18-20.
A final element is your example. The way you do life is so important for someone to see that you are the real deal. Not just how you are on Sunday is important, but Monday through Saturday shows people that you mean what you say. I have a coworker that did not have a good attitude toward me. I replaced someone that was fired and my coworker started out having a bad attitude toward me. I was a new person she would have to train in the job we do. I didn’t allow her drama to keep me from being who I am in Christ and always showed up on time and had an enthusiastic outlook on life. Now we laugh and joke as if we have been friends for years. My expression of love and concern for her even though she didn’t like me at first was the stepping stone toward a changed attitude in her. All of these elements are intentional life choices to make. The best way to share the gospel is to be an enthusiastically positive loving person that is intentional in the way they live in front of the lost. The light you shine today, may take someone’s darkness away.
© [David Howard], [David's Body Temple], 2011-2015.