In its truest sense, sharing the Gospel is spiritual warfare to the extreme. This may sound strange at first, but think about it with me for a moment. When you share the Good News of Jesus Christ, you are attempting to tell a lost person how to get to Heaven, and Satan doesn’t want people going to Heaven. Therefore, he will oppose you any way he can. He will do whatever it takes to stop you from sharing the Gospel.
Unfortunately, too often Satan’s task is not all that difficult. Christians unwittingly assist Satan in his efforts to hinder the Gospel simply because most don’t know how to share the Gospel. They don’t know how to share the Gospel because they don’t know the basics of the Christian faith. Why is this? A recent study by Lifeway Research concluded that only 19 percent of Christians read their Bibles daily.1
Knowing the basics has been essential to me when witnessing because I have come across some pretty “tough customers” during my more than three decades as a believer. These types of individuals fall into two categories. First, there is my family. I was born and raised in a Jewish home in New York City and attended Hebrew school (Yeshiva) for 11 years. After coming to the Lord Jesus in 1986 (while living in New Mexico), I visited my New York family in 1988 for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with my three siblings (both of my parents had already died). To many Jewish people, faith in Jesus Christ is akin to being a traitor and heretic. Their thinking is that if you were born Jewish, it’s better to be an atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, or Wiccan than a Christian.
So, how did it go as I tried to share the Gospel with my siblings? Terribly! My two sisters stopped me after 90 seconds and my older brother listened, then surmised, “I don’t need a relationship with Jesus. I’m doing fine. Besides, you turned your back [on the Jewish faith], why should I listen to you?” Ouch! I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I should have been.
The second “category” of individuals are past acquaintances of mine in the “secular media.” I spent just under 20 years in secular journalism, the final 15 as a Christian. Journalists demand facts at every turn. They require proof, trust nothing, and question everything. Again, my early experiences sharing the Gospel did not go well against such formidable challengers; however, as I grew in the understanding of my faith, I was able to make an impression on some of my peers. The key to breaking through was making clear how needy they were of salvation because their souls were in peril. A four-step (as prescribed in a pamphlet) Gospel approach never would have sufficed; I needed cold, hard facts...
1 http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2012/september/ 80-of-churchgoers-dont-read-bible-daily-lifeway-survey.html