Since we have looked at Sharing the Gospel, Using the Law and Tracts in previous posts. Let's now look at some easy conversation starters.
Almost everyone loves to talk about their background. Ask a stranger this question,
"If you don't mind, can I ask where you are from?" Most people are glad to share their story.
This leads to a simple transitional question.
"Did you grow up with any type of spiritual background?" The most common answer is "Yes."
No matter what their background is you can give them the Good Person Test by asking,
"Do you think those spiritual teachings have made you a better person?" Most will say "Yes."
"Do you consider yourself a good person?" Continue with the rest of the Good Person Test.
If the person is not a Christian and not from the United States, welcome them to America and ask them,
"Have you ever heard why Christians say Jesus died on a cross?" Many will say "No", which gives you the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel. It's important to ask "...why Christians say Jesus died on a cross" to avoid them telling you their misconception of Jesus. It's amazing how many people living here in the Bible belt have never heard the Gospel.
If you happen to know someone is not a Christian, just say to them,
"I'm a Christian and love learning about other peoples beliefs. Can I ask you a few questions?"
MY FAVORITE QUESTION:
Here's what I believe to be one of the best questions you can ask someone.
"If you died tonight and God asked you, "Why should I let you into My kingdom?" What would your answer be?" Most people's response will focus on their good deeds, which will give you the perfect opportunity to share about God's grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
I like to share with people this illustration of God's grace by Ray Comfort.
A criminal, standing before a judge, has been given a choice of 'life in jail' or a 'million dollar fine'. The criminal doesn't have the money so his only option is prison. Unexpectedly, a stranger walks into the courtroom, hands a million dollars to the judge and says I love this person and will pay the price for his crime. The judge is satisfied with the payment and the criminal is set free.
This is a picture of what Jesus has done for us, by paying the price for all the ways we have broken God's law.
If you know that the person has an alternative view of the afterlife, rephrase the question based on their view.
If you died tonight and Jehovah asked you, "Why should I let you live on paradise earth?"
If you died tonight and Allah asked you, "Why should I let you into my paradise?"
If you died tonight and God asked you, "Why should I let you be a god and have your own planet?"
Again, most people's response will relate in some way to their own works.
More conversation starters:
People wear and promote many of their beliefs with Jewelry, tattoos, t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers.
Ask, "I see you are wearing a cross. What does that mean to you?"
"You have a very interesting tattoo. What does it mean?"
"I saw your 'Coexist' bumper sticker. What does that mean?"
Discussions about major news events can very easily be transitioned into spiritual conversations.
"That was a terrible plane crash in Asia. What do think happens the moment someone dies?"
While having a yard sale, my neighbor informed me that his friend's father had passed away unexpectedly.
I asked him, "where do you think that person is at now?" and that was the beginning of a very fruitful discussion.
To hear about more conversation starters like these go to http://markcahill.org/home/
Are you a good person?
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man? Proverbs 20:6
In the last Adventures in Witnessing we looked at the usefulness of Gospel tracts. Now let's look at the Good Person Test.
People need to know they’re lost before they can be saved, they need to see their sin problem so they will understand their need for a savior. Just like Proverbs 20:6 states, most men will proclaim their own goodness, they believe that they're a good person and that’s all God requires. As Way of the Master ministries demonstrates so well, taking someone through just a few of the Ten Commandments quickly reveals their position before a Holy God.
Here’s a summary of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus chapter 20.
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image (idols).
3. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness.
10. You shall not covet.
God's law acts as a mirror reflecting His standards back to us.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; Psalms 19:7
By His own example Jesus shows us how useful the law is when speaking to others about spiritual matters.
And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? None is good except One, God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and your mother. And he said, I have kept all these from my youth up. And when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, Yet you lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich. Luke 18:18-23
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So how do we use the Law when witnessing? Just give someone the Good Person Test.
Here's an example:
Do you consider yourself a good person? "Yes" (Most people will answer "Yes")
Have you ever told a lie? "Yes"
What do you call someone who tells lies? "A liar"
Have you ever stolen anything, no matter how big or small? "Yes"
What do you call someone who steals? "A thief"
Have you ever looked at a woman with lust? "Yes"
Jesus said if you look at a woman to lust for her you have committed adultery in your heart.
Have you ever hated someone? "Yes"
According to God hatred is the same as murder. By your own admission you are a liar, thief, adulterer and murderer at heart and that’s just a few of God’s commandments. If God judged you right now would you be innocent or guilty for breaking His laws? "I guess guilty"
Would you go to heaven or hell? "I guess hell"
Does that concern you? "Yes"
Do you know what God did so you don’t have to go to hell? "No"
God sent His son Jesus to come and die on the cross to pay the price for your sins. He was raised from the dead on the third day so that who ever believes in Him will have eternal life with God and escape hell.
The most common objection when asked if they would go to heaven or hell for breaking God’s law is that they would still go to heaven because nobody is perfect and God forgives. Here’s a good place to explain God’s justice. We expect earthly judges to be upright and prompt when executing judgment on law breakers so why should we expect anything less than perfect justice from God. A good question to ask is, “Do judges let criminals off the hook just because they say their sorry?” No, and God doesn’t either. Explain that forgiveness is available but only to those who have put their faith in what Jesus has done on the cross. He paid the price and gave His life as a ransom.
We see in Romans 3:19-20, that the Law of God brings the knowledge of sin, reveals guilt and stops the mouth of a sinner. Using the Good Person Test is a powerful way to bypass intellectual arguments and go directly to a persons conscience. When you give this test, often you will see someone's demeanor change. I've seen people literally stop talking during this test as they fell under conviction. One man said to me, "I'll just stop talking now." On one occasion, the hands of the gentleman I was speaking with started shaking as we went through just a few of the commandments.
This technique is Biblical and an extremely helpful way to reach the lost. Click on the link below to see video clips of this in action.
Welcome to Adventures in Witnessing Volume Two. In our first post, we looked at how easy it is to communicate the simple but powerful message of the Gospel. Now let's look at some more ways to engage people.
Evangelist Mark Cahill has a great book called One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven. What is the one thing?
It is the opportunity to witness to a lost person. Now is the time for us to reach the lost.
Gospel tracts are great conversation starters. These small flyers or leaflets are easy to carry and pass out during your everyday routine. In some circles, the distribution of tracts is criticized for being old fashion. However, we live in a unique time of multiculturalism where many people have never seen a Gospel tract or heard the Gospel. Acts 8:27-30 gives us an example of how useful it is to get God's word into the hands of others. Philip was sent to witness to and then baptized the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from the book of Isaiah as he traveled.
As I go to the grocery store, gas station, restaurant or anywhere else I will hand out a tract to someone and say "Here's something for you to read in your spare time today." Almost everyone will take it. Many times people will actually read it on the spot. So I'll wait for them to finish reading and ask them "What do you think?" and often that's the start of a great spiritual conversation.
Once, while getting gas, I handed a tract to the man filling up next to me. He read it on the spot and immediately fell under heavy conviction. As I spoke with this young man from India, he confessed that he had done something terrible. I shared the Gospel, the mercy of God and how God will forgive us if we turn to Him. He was new to America and had never heard the Gospel message before.
If you want to impact someone's day, give a tract along with a five or ten dollar bill. This really gets their attention.
On the rare occasion that someone refuses to accept a tract, just leave them with one question, "Are you 100% sure you would go to heaven if you died tonight?" This question has haunted many until they turned to the Lord.
You never know what can happen by just handing out a tract and saying “Here's something for you to read in your spare time.”
Get tracts from Living Waters or Pinpoint Gospel Tracts. Click on links below. Contact Scott@shofarouteach.org for the custom tracts pictured above.
Follower of Jesus