Always Be Prepared

The Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” As we go into a situation where we are seeking gospel conversations, we need to be, as Peter says, prepared.

How do we prepare?

As with any other effort, we focus on the message and who our audience is. You have heard it said, “Federal agents don’t learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the counterfeits. They study genuine bills until they master the look of the real thing. Then when they see the bogus money they recognize it.” Likewise, we study the Bible and the gospel message to know it well. When we hear a false gospel or a false religion we can easily distinguish it from the real thing. Know the gospel message.

In volunteering at a gospel booth you will have many opportunities to share the gospel as long as you stay on the task. Remember, keep the focus on your audience. They are first and foremost unbelievers, those who do not know or have not heard a clear presentation of the gospel. They may not know their sin and their need for salvation, they may not know what Christ has done for them to demonstrate His love and His grace. Our secondary audience is a combination of young believers and deceived believers. We can gently correct their understanding and reason through it or help answer questions and increase their understanding.

We can also prepare by understanding and even practicing answers to common objections and misconceptions about Christianity. Here is a brief list of these for you to consider.

I’ve had a bad experience with a Christian or the church. This objection can be spoken or it can come in the form of emotions such as disinterest or anger.

If God is all powerful, why does He allow suffering? This takes a number of forms from why did God allow my loved-one to die, or why does he allow cancer, or a tsunami.

The Bible is an old book, I can’t trust it. It may be they are questioning it’s application today because we’ve advanced so much since it was written. They may claim it has contradictions.

Where did we come from, atheistic evolution asserts a natural cause without any need for a god. This is a fundamental question of any worldview; how do you explain the origin of life?

The church is full of hypocrites. Accusing Christians of teaching one thing and living another, or thinking they are better than others.

Salvation is earned, I’m good enough; or Salvation is earned, I don’t want to live like that, I want to enjoy life. Each person may have different motivations, but believe salvation is earned and God will let them in.

God is full of grace and mercy, I can do as I please; or God changed from wrath in the Old Testament, but is full of mercy in the New Testament.  Either way it gives the individual the idea that God is just going to forgive them because He is full of love, grace, and mercy.

All paths lead to God. Your way may get you there, or mine, it makes no difference. This often sounds reasonable to people, everyone wants to find their own way. They may think that all religions are similar.

This is not a complete list, that would take pages or even a book to list. You may have some of your own that your friends, family, or co-workers have given. In the end, you won’t have every answer to every question. The unbeliever is very creative and always finding new excuses for not believing.

Spend some time thinking and studying on these topics. Put them into practice as you talk with others through your daily lives. Remember that Jesus assured us that the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and give you remembrance of His word. Prepare and trust that God will work His will in each conversation.

Additional Learning

Prayer

Pray that each of you, and other volunteers, will be fruitful in their preparation and will deepen their own understanding and faith as we approach this time and as we engage with unbelievers.

Author: Jon Neifert
Posted on February 21 2017
Repentance is the battle cry of every Christian.
Voddie Baucham