Summary: What do we say when it is time to share the gospel with others? This sermon helps us to be prepared when we have an opportunity to give an answer for the hope that we have.
A. Today I’m praying that all of us, Christians, feel like we have some good news to share with others, and that we desperately desire to share it.
1. I like the story told of the little boy who greatly concerned his parents.
a. The boy’s parents could not get him to utter a single word.
b. So they took him to a specialist, and after a thorough evaluation it was determined that the boy had nothing physiologically wrong with him that was keeping him from talking.
c. So the doctor grasped him firmly by the shoulders and gave him a sound shaking, saying, “Why don’t you say something?”
d. The little boy defiantly replied, “Cause I ain’t got nothing to say!”
2. Hopefully that’s not the way we feel about our faith.
3. In truth, I believe that we have some great news to share and I believe that we should want to tell others about it.
B. But this is probably where most of us feel the most inadequate, myself included.
1. What should we say? How should we say it? Where do we begin?
2. Bill Hybels tells a great story in his book on evangelism.
a. Bill likes to sail, and one day after a day of sailing, he and his wife were invited to board a neighboring sailboat and have dinner with a group of people.
b. So he anchored his boat and he and his wife motored over to the neighboring yacht in the dinghy.
c. After a nice evening of visiting, Bill and his wife were in the process of leaving and that’s when the moment came.
d. Lynne, his wife, had already climbed down the ladder into the dinghy and Bill was halfway down himself when the question came.
e. Some people call this “the doorknob question.” (Often as you are about to leave after a visit, a person will finally bring up the subject they wanted to talk about, but hadn’t mustered the courage to bring up.)
f. The man who had invited them aboard said, “Say, Bill, before you leave can you answer a question? I’ve always wanted to ask a Christian what it means to become one. Could you tell all of us?”
g. So, there was Hybels, one foot in the dinghy and one hand on their boat’s railing, looking up at a group of people waiting to hear what he would say.
h. He knew he had their undivided attention for the next 45 seconds – 45 seconds to summarize what it means to become a real Christian.
3. If we had been in his situation, how would we have responded?
4. Would we have been ready to give a clear and succinct response to such an important question?
5. For most of us, this kind of situation really puts us to the test.
6. Yet the Bible tells us to be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).
C. So, let’s spend a few minutes today trying to get a handle on the gospel message.
1. If we don’t really understand it ourselves, how in the world will we be able to explain it to others, right?
2. Let’s briefly look at four primary points we need to know in order to get a firm grasp on the gospel and be able to share it with others.
3. These four points can easily be remembered by four simple words: God, Us, Christ, and You.
I. Four Points, Four Words
A. First, We should talk About GOD
1. There are many aspects of God’s nature that we could share, but He has three characteristics that are especially relevant in evangelism.
2. First of all, God is LOVING.
a. Because of God’s love, He made us and desires to have a relationship with us.
b. Even though we’re sinners who have rebelled against Him, He continues to patiently extend His love to us.
c. Many people prefer to stop right here, but there’s more that needs to be said.
3. Second, God is HOLY.
a. This means that God is absolutely pure, and He is separate from everything that is impure.
b. There is nothing evil about God’s thoughts or actions. There is no darkness in Him.
4. Third, God is JUST.
a. In other words, He is like a good judge who can’t wink at lawbreakers.
b. God is a perfect judge who will dispense justice to everyone fairly.
5. So, that’s where we begin. We begin with a God who is loving, holy and just.
B. Second, We should talk About US
1. When God first created us human beings, He made us good, without any sin.
2. But we abused our freedom, we rebelled against Him and became affected by evil.