4) Don't argue. Are you afraid of getting into a debate with someone about religion? I have just the solution for you: Just don't argue at all!
Remember the story of the woman at the well? She tried to stir up a debate with Jesus. "Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain" she said, "but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem" (John 4:20, NIV). She was baiting Jesus, yet He refused to be sidetracked into a debate about religion. He had come to give her eternal life.
A friend of mine recently began to share the gospel with a group of young college students, and one girl became antagonistic. She was studying biology and instantly started pushing evolution to win a debate about the existence of God. My friend was completely undaunted by her aggression and said, "Wow, you're smart. I wish God had given me a mind like yours. Can I ask you a question? Do you have any pain in your body?"
"Yes," she said. He prayed for her and she was healed on the spot. He went on to lead that young woman to Jesus. At the end he asked, "Now can you explain to me what just happened?"
"No," she said.
If my friend had tried to debate creationism versus evolution, the young college student probably would have made a fool out of him. That may even have discouraged him from sharing the gospel again, for fear of being shut down in the same way. But God's love and power conquers every argument and empowers us to win the lost rather than win debates.
5) Ask the question! I have seen situations in personal evangelism where an unbeliever received an amazing prophetic word and perhaps even a physical healing but was never encouraged to make a decision to follow Jesus. What a tragic wasted opportunity!
D.L. Moody famously told the story of preaching the gospel at a church meeting, after which he told the people to go home and think about what they heard. That week the great Chicago fire of 1871 ravaged the town. Many of those very people lost their lives before they ever made the decision to follow Christ.
From that point on, Moody began giving altar calls whenever he preached, urging the people to make a decision for Christ right then and there and emphasizing the urgency of the matter.
An altar call may be effective in a congregational setting, but how do you bring a person to a point of decision in one-on-one evangelism? It's easy. Just ask a pointed question like, "Do you need to get right with God?" or "What is keeping you from surrendering your life to Jesus?" or "Can I pray with you right now?"
This will bring your conversation to a point of decision, and this is the point where salvation takes place. As witnesses, this is what we are after.
Don't be afraid to ask a person to make a decision and to pray with you right away. Remember, they may never have another chance. Now is the day of salvation!
Daniel Kolenda is a missionary evangelist who has led more than 10 million people to Christ face-to-face through massive, open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most dangerous, difficult and remote locations on earth. He is president and CEO of Christ for All Nations and hosts an internationally syndicated television program.
Daniel Kolenda explains why the cross of Jesus Christ must be the centerpiece of sharing your faith at sharing.charismamag.com
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