I really wasn’t saved till later in my life, like many others at that time, I believed in God, but that was all there was to it. I just came back from Vietnam and was still in a haze. All my friends I thought I knew either hated me for going to war or was afraid of me. They knew I had changed but wasn’t sure how. So, they stayed away from me. My life had changed and never again will be the same, so I left town and never went back. This made me a very hateful and lonely person now. The next 7-8 years were like a fog or what some would call a nightmare. I finally married and found some peace with all the things I have done but there was still something missing.
Then one evening a new friend showed up at my door and showed me what was missing. My wife and I excepted Christ right there. I had a lot to learn and did, but there was still a lot of up and downs over the next 35 years. At one point in time I was a very successful businessman and made too much money and it went to my head. The Lord seen what I was doing and knocked me down to the bottom again to wake me up. It hurt and scared me, I knew I was wrong and needed to wake up. The next few years were very hard.
Then I was led by the Lord by way of my brother-law to work for the railroad. At first, I wasn’t too excited about it but at 44, my outlook for a good job were running out. So, I took the job. Back to school again training for a conductor wasn’t too bad but a lot of hard and dangerous work. The pay was very good but long hours. Then I went back to school to be an engineer. That was a whole lot harder and took more time. Hours were very long. Sleeping on the trains was an ongoing thing. This time I didn’t waste my money and stood strong on what I believed. People either stayed clear of me or they wanted to know what I had. My life finally was going in a better direction than it was before, God’s way was better than my way.
So back to where I was heading. Many believe in God but thats not what saves you. Yes, the devil believes God exists–in fact, he has no doubts about it. But he doesn’t trust God to save him; instead, he has set himself up in opposition to God and wants nothing to do with him. He also knows that some day the final battle will be fought and that God alone will be victorious. That is why the Bible says, “Even the demons believe that–and shudder” (James 2:19). Satan will not win! So there has to be more to it than just believing he exist.
The first time I witness to somebody, I was somewhat afraid when I sat in front of the person. I was petrified at the thought of leading an individual to Christ. I was familiar with biblical truth and I was assured of my own salvation, so I don’t know why I was afraid.
As it turned out, I discovered that my worries were needless. The first time I helped lead someone to Christ, I had no difficulty. I started where the man was in his own thinking and helped him place his trust in Jesus Christ. In his case, I didn’t need to show him that he was a sinner. He knew that full well, and he wanted to be forgiven and changed by God. That made my task easy. The fact of the matter is that he probably could have found peace with God without my being there to help him.
So I looked and read a lot of things and kind of put it together for me. This is what I will be using to reach out to new people to bring them into our Fathers Kingdom.
Knowing The Basics. If you want to have the joy of leading a person to faith in Christ, you need to know a few basic truths—and you need to know them well. These truths can be stated in different ways, but they boil down to the following four points:
- Every person is by nature a sinner who stands guilty and condemned before God.
- Every person is helpless to save himself by his own effort.
- In love, God provided salvation for sinners through Jesus Christ, who became a member of the human family, lived sinlessly, and then died on the cross to pay for our sins.
- Salvation is an individual matter and requires a personal response on the part of anyone who wants to be saved. Because God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice by raising Him from death, all who acknowledge their sin and place their trust in Christ are adopted as God’s children.
Being Flexible In Your Approach. If the person you are trying to help is convinced that he is a sinner, admits that he can’t do anything to save himself, and wants to be forgiven and changed, you can omit those points. You should begin by showing him what God has provided for sinners and how He saves by grace through faith alone. On the other hand, if the person balks at admitting that he is guilty and condemned and absolutely helpless, you can’t go on to tell about God’s provision or the glory of salvation by grace alone. If you meet somebody who refuses to accept the idea that all are lost and that Jesus is the only way to God, you will accomplish nothing by using a “packaged” salvation plan.
Obviously, you can’t follow exactly the same approach with all people. Paul didn’t use the same procedure with the jailer (Acts 16:27-34) as Philip did with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39).
Furthermore, you must be prepared for the fact that some people won’t believe on Jesus Christ no matter what you say. Felix, Drusilla, Agrippa, and Festus heard Paul passionately present the truth, but all of them refused to believe (Acts 24–26). When you encounter this kind of determined unbelief, don’t be needlessly offensive. Be courteous and pray that God will continue to work in their hearts.
If people insist that they are willing to stand before God on their own merit, say something like this: “Tom Paine said the same thing. He said he wanted justice, not mercy.” Then you could say, “But I’ll admit that I don’t want justice. I have fallen far short of loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And I don’t always love my neighbor as myself. If I had to stand in my own goodness and receive justice, I would be sentenced to hell. I’m thankful for God’s mercy in Christ. I hope you will be too someday.”