It’s an exciting time to be a part of Valley Life Church. New service times, jam-packed services, baptisms almost every week this summer. But I’ll let you in on the real action going on in our church. People are talking about telling their friends about Jesus. I’ve heard it several times in the last two weeks, and a couple of times I have been asked to write up a script.
Recently I sent an email to a friend who was determined to talk to her family member about Jesus. Here is what I wrote her:
What You Are a Part Of
God bless you as a missionary and evangelist. I’m so proud of you and that it’s in your heart to talk to your family. I pray for your courage and boldness. Remember, the same Spirit that enabled and emboldened the early Christians to face persecution lives in you right now. You’re not different than they.
23When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
— Acts 4:23-31
The Question to Ask
Here is my advice: simply ask your brother-in-law if he wants to become a Christian. His response will likely be one of three categories.
- Sometimes people will be a little put off by the question. Their thought process is something similar to, “Christians are supposed to be good people, and if you’re asking me about it, you must not think I’m good enough.” This is, of course, a good sign that your brother in law doesn’t understand God’s grace. He may have never heard that a Christian is, in fact, a bad person that gets grace in spite of their badness. This is the time to ask if you can read the Bible like I describe at the end of this email.
- Another response he may give is something like, “you may not believe it, but I am a Christian. My life shows that I’m a sinner, but my heart is thankful to Jesus for giving me grace that cleans my sin.” In that case, I would just be happy with him about how merciful Jesus is to sinners like us.
- The last category of response is also the most likely response. It is something like: “maybe” or “I hope so” or “we’ll see.” I would view all of those answers as opportunities to tell him that he can know that his sins are forgiven and that he will live even after he dies.
Pointing to the Word
This is when I would ask him if he has a Bible. If not I’d just pull it up on my phone. Then I’d take the Bible or phone and, if he will allow you to do it, I’d simply read to him from Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and Romans 10:9-10.
- We have all sinned against God. (Romans 3:23)
- The wages of sin is death but God gives eternal life through Jesus. (Romans 6:23)
- We receive that gift by confessing that we need Jesus as Savior and believing that he raised from the dead. (Romans 10:9-10)
There is great power in your own story of how you became a Christian so be ready to tell about that, but there is more power in God’s Word. If given the opportunity, just read it to him.
At some point, you can ask him again, “Do you want to become a Christian?” If he does, then ask him to pray a prayer like, “God, I know I’m a sinner. Please save me. I give myself to you.” You may feel comfortable telling him about what it was like when you gave your life to Jesus and what the setting was like. You may even tell him about the prayer you prayed so that he knows what it would sound like. After he prays that prayer, you pray too, thanking God for saving your brother-in-law.