How can I evangelize my friends and family without pushing them away?
We have to finish the job God has sent us to do. Evangelize. Evangelism is the faithful proclamation of the truth of Scripture while living our lives as true followers of Jesus. Sound easy? No?
You're right—evangelism can be pretty hard or awkward when we have to confront a family member, a friend, co-worker, acquaintance, or even a stranger who is not a Christian. The Bible says that some people may get offended when they hear the gospel (Luke 12:51-53). There is no reason to give up though! The Bible also says we are to share the gospel with no excuses (Mathew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
Where do we start when we're talking to people about Jesus?
Prayer. The first step is to pray that God would change their hearts and open their eyes to what they are about to hear (2 Corinthians 4:4). The person you're talking to can only be convinced by God when you talk about His love for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit will show them that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Pray that you God will give you the words they need to hear (James 1:5).
Walk the walk. One of the biggest, most convincing things you can possibly do to evangelize others is to live your life in a godly way, showing what a true Christian looks like. Your friends and family need to see how God has changed you and made you different from the rest of the world (1 Peter 3:1-2).
Be brave. Have you seen the movie We Bought a Zoo? At one point, the dad says, "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." Can you muster up 20 seconds of courage to boldly share the gospel? Yes, it can be pretty frightening. But we all need to proclaim the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to friends and family (Romans 10:9-10). That 20 seconds of courage will get you started.
Remember, before you approach the family member or friend, pray. Of all things, prayer is most needed. We cannot force the gospel upon someone. You cannot save anyone yourself; leave the salvation of our loved ones up to God. Only God's power and grace can save a person—it has nothing to do with our efforts.
Show everybody what a faithful Christian life looks like. Always be prepared to speak about your faith (1 Peter 3:15). When sharing God's message of love, be gentle and respectful. If the other person needs to speak or has questions, allow them a chance to talk and be sure to listen and try to understand where they're coming from. Take their side of the story into consideration. Then show them yours. All the while, keep praying!
We have to keep up with the job God has given us. One day, when we are no longer part of this world, we want Jesus to say, "Well done, my good a faithful servant."
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