At the same time you are challenging the unbeliever’s worldview, you want to begin sharing the good news of Jesus. Many Christians are not aware of the powerful claims Jesus made while on earth. Many are also unaware that compared to every other religion and belief system, only the Christian faith has the ability to explain the human condition and answer the deepest questions of the human heart. This lesson focuses on some of Christianity’s strongest arguments and equips students to know the strength of the claims for the truth of Christianity.
Planting and Watering
One of the reasons we hesitate to begin a gospel conversation with unbelievers is that we don’t know where to go with it. Or even if we do know how to lead someone to Christ, we may hesitate if we don’t think that person would become a Christian on the spot. Some people feel that if sharing the gospel doesn’t result in conversion right then and there, the whole effort is a failure.
One liberating truth of evangelism and apologetics is that God has not called us to convert people to the gospel, but simply to share, in a persuasive fashion, the good news of the gospel. Any progress that is made in sharing the truth of the gospel is a success. If the Holy Spirit is the one who convinces and convicts, then any progress made in talking about the unbeliever’s worldview and beliefs, or about Jesus and the Christian faith is a successful encounter.
The Apostle Paul used the image of planting and watering seeds when he spoke of the contributions that he and Apollos made in sharing the gospel and planting churches (1 Cor. 3:5-9). He acknowledges that we are not the difference makers in someone’s salvation, God is. We do, however, have an important part to play in the process of someone coming to faith in Christ. God often works through secondary means to accomplish his work. When a Christian shares the gospel, destroys intellectual strongholds, or challenges unbelief, he is planting and watering seeds in the heart and mind of unbelievers.
This truth should relieve the pressure from us when we think about sharing our faith. God the Holy Spirit is the one doing the great work of reaching the unbeliever, not us. We are those who simply share the truth to the degree that God opens the door for conversation. We can, without pressure or anxiety speak as much of the truth as we can, and we leave the result with God. For many people this simple truth removes the element of fear, because they know they can trust God to His part. The Christian can walk away from every encounter rejoicing that no matter how far the conversation progressed, it was a divine success.