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How do I get my friend / family member to accept Christ?

That is awesome that you are willing to share the Gospel with your loved one! If they are showing an interest in God or Christianity, then it is a good time to start the conversation. We should always be prepared to explain our faith and hope in Jesus to others when asked (1 Peter 3:15).

First things first though, we want to be clear that you can't "get" someone to accept Christ. YOU are not powerful enough to change anyone's heart to accept Christ. Only GOD can draw people to Himself (John 6:44); you are only responsible for presenting the Gospel as best you can (Mark 16:15). If your friend rejects it, that is NOT your fault or any failing on your part. Keep praying for your loved one and asking God to open his or her heart to the Truth.

YOU are the signpost, the seed planter, the light in the darkness. It's up to GOD to tug on their heart, and it's up to THEM to respond by moving toward Him or away from Him.

Step 1: Pray.

Yes, prayer is the main thing! That may sound like a trite answer, but the power of God cannot be underestimated, and you call on that power through prayer. Pray that God will open your friend's heart to Him. Pray that God will bring people into his or her life (including you!) who will be able to speak truth and show God's love. Pray for opportunities to show your faith through your life and words.

Step 2: Love.

Everything the Bible tells us to do comes down to two things: love God, love people. Loving God means glorifying Him with your life. Loving people means caring for others as God cares for you (John 13:34; 1 John 4:19). Love like Jesus loves. Read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) to observe how Jesus treated others.

Does this mean you will never be selfish or hurt anyone? No. But when you are unloving toward others, you can confess that sin to the Lord (1 John 1:9). He will forgive you, and you can again love like Jesus through His power. The people around you may see that love shining through your life like a lamp through a window, and, with God's prompting, they will be attracted to that light, wanting to know more about it.

Step 3: Speak.

Talking to people about your faith can be a little scary, but you CAN prepare for that moment by studying the Bible and understanding your own faith. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." That means knowing WHY you believe what you believe. We have a couple really great gospel presentations on 412teens that you could read and get some phrases and verses in your head that you can use later when you talk to your friends or family:

Here is the basic message of the Gospel: Because of sin, we are ALL deserving of an eternity in hell as punishment for breaking God's laws. Romans 3:11 says, "There is no one righteous, not even one..." The author of this book goes on to say that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It is only by the saving grace of Jesus' sacrifice, the fact that He took our punishment for us, that we can be saved from that eternal fate (John 3:16). God's gift of salvation is open to everyone who chooses, but YOU MUST CHOOSE (John 14:6).

If you are comfortable doing so, tell your friend about sin and how we are ALL deserving of hell (including you), but that Jesus came so we can be saved from that eternal punishment. If they are willing to talk to you about it, show them the Bible and the verses we have referenced here.

Be open to listening to their side and their questions and strive to understand their point of view. If they ask questions you don't have the answer to, don't be afraid to admit that you will need to research more to figure it out. You can even direct them to 412teens.org if you think they might be open to it. We'd love to help answer any questions you may be struggling with.

May God grant you bravery and peace as you pray for and talk to your friends and family about Him!

TL;DR

First, pray for your friend or family member to have an open heart toward God. Second, love them the way Jesus loves them—unconditionally, full of grace and compassion (John 13:34). Establishing that you truly care about them reflects Christ's love back on them. Third, be prepared to share your faith and what the Gospel message is all about (1 Peter 3:15). Finally, remember that YOU are the signpost, the seed planter, the light in the darkness. It's up to GOD to tug on their heart (John 6:44), and it's up to THEM to respond by moving toward Him or away from Him.

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org and loves to write novellas with local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her two kids, five socially awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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