Today I want to talk about sharing the Gospel with our friends...our non-believing friends. In Matthew 28: 18-20, Jesus gives us the Great Commission, which is essentially His command for us to, "Go...and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you..." (New American Standard Bible). Pretty straight forward, right? We're to go out into the world proclaiming the Word of God and the teachings of Christ, "making disciples of all nations." Cool. But what about when it comes to our friends?
Let me give you a little background about me: I grew up in the church and thought I was a Christian simply because I went to church and I believed that Christ is the Son of God, but in no way did my life reflect that I believed it. In middle school I wasn't the nicest person in the world...by no stretch of the imagination. One girl (who I'm really good friend with now) told me she wore boots everyday to school just so she could kick me really hard because I was that mean. In high school, I smoothed out a good bit, but I still had my moments. When I went off to college in 2010, I got saved in November of that year. It was a huge turning point in my life; my life turned around considerably. Now why am I telling you all this? I hadn't seen my friends back home in a while and I think they could tell that I was different when we met up to catch up and have lunch. The point is, I was scared to share my new faith with them. Sure if they had asked me about it, I would've been more than thrilled to share what God had been doing in my life, but I was scared of what they would say or not want to be my friend anymore because I was sharing my faith with them.
In my opinion, it's much easier to share the Gospel with someone who you'll probably never see again. If you're like me and you have non-Christian friends, you may feel the way I do when it comes to sharing God's Word with them. In my case, I'm afraid what they'll think of me trying to lead them to salvation when they knew me as the guy that caused all kinds of trouble back in the day. We're afraid of being judged, of being ridiculed, of losing our friends. But I have a few things that I would like to share that may give us all the confidence we need to go boldly forward:
- In verse 18 of Matthew it says, "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (New American Standard Bible). This verse does two things; first, it sets up Christ's command for us to go and spread the Word of God by proclaiming that Christ has all authority and that we are to do this for Him because He has all power. Secondly, this reaffirms that Christ has all power, that he is omnipotent. Nothing can stand against Christ because He has all power!
- If we look at the second part of verse 19, we see this, "... and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (New American Standard Bible). This is Christ's promise that wherever we go, He will be there with us, empowering us to carry out the task that He has set before us. Nothing can stop us with that kind of assurance from our Lord! Like it says in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who is against us?" (New American Standard Bible).
- This last point is pretty simple. Pray. Yes, pray. By praying before we make an attempt to share the Gospel, we can seek God and ask for Him to empower us and that He make speak through us. Another great thing to remember is to ask God to put us at peace and ease our minds about engaging our friends when it comes to sharing the Gospel, for God gives us a peace, "...which surpasses all understanding..." (Philippians 4:7 English Standard Version).
So hopefully with these three things you will be able to more comfortable and easily share the Word with your friends. I have no doubt that you care about the state of their soul and you want to share the Word with them...it's just a matter of being confident and trusting in God. I hope that with these tips you will be able to do just that.
Until next week, everyone, God bless!