Summary: Part three of a five-part worship series "Proclaim Forgiveness."
How to Lead a Soul to Christ Part 3
“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain,
and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain,
and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth
and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:17-20
Intro: Today is the third part of the worship series called “How to Lead a Soul to Christ.”
I am teaching on five simple steps to learn and use
when talking to someone about becoming a Christian.
The first one was: “SHOW THE NEED FOR SALVATION?”
We talked about the fact that most people believe they are a good moral person.
But even good people must have a relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be rewarded with heaven.
The second step was “SHARE THE GOSPEL.”
We have talked about the harvest is ripe.
Also that being too timid is just as bad as being too pushy.
So we have to find a balance between timid and pushy to start a spiritual conversation.
Today we are going to look at the third step in “How to Lead a Soul to Christ”
III. “PROCLAIM FORGIVENESS.”
Forgiveness of sin is something…, that only God can do…, through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Forgiveness of ourselves
Forgiveness of others is also something that we must have the help of the Holy Spirit to do.
It is job of every believer, every professing church member,
It is the duty of every Christian
to be able to lead a soul…,
thru the process of understanding how available and simple it is to be forgiven of sin.
Leading a soul to Christ is the greatest joy in the spiritual life of the believer.
Let’s imagine that you have actually gone thru steps one and two.
You have “Showed the Need for Salvation”
You have “Shared the Gospel”
Now the conversation turns to the word Forgiveness.
Eugene Peterson is a pastor and author of over 30 books including the Bible Translation the Message.
He tells the story of how he had been prepared for the world and school
by memorizing, “Bless those who persecute you,” and “turn the other check.”
He says, “I don’t know how Garrison Johns knew that about me –
It must be some sixth sense bullies have.
Most afternoons after school, he would catch me and beat me up.
Also when he found out I was a Christian he began taunting me by calling me “Jesus-sissy.”
I arrived home most days bruised and humiliated.
My mother told me this had always been the way of Christians in the world
and that I had better get used to it.
She also said I was supposed to pray for him.
One day I was with seven or eight friends when Garrison caught up with us and started jabbing me.
That’s when it happened. Something snapped.
For a moment, the Bible verses disappeared from my consciousness, and I grabbed Garrison.
To my surprise and his, I was stronger than he was.
I wrestled him to the ground,
sat on his chest,
pinned his arms to the ground with me knees,
and he was helpless at my mercy.
It was too good to be true.
I hit him in the face with my fists.
It felt good, and I hit him again.
Blood spurted from his nose, a lovely crimson red in the snow.
I said to Garrison, “Say uncle.”
He wouldn’t say it. I hit him again. More blood.
Then my Christian training reasserted itself.
I said, “Say, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.’”
He wouldn’t say it.
I hit him again. More blood.
I tried again. “Say, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,’” and he said it.
Garrison Johns was Eugene Peterson’s first Christian convert.
I don’t personally encourage this method of Evangelism.
Everybody can laugh at that story – everybody except Garrison Johns
A Presbyterian evangelist named Alfred H. Ackley was asked by a young Jewish man
"Why should I worship a dead Jew?"
Ackley replied, But Jesus lives! He lives! I tell you. He is not dead, but lives here and now.
Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before.
I can prove it by my own experience,
We know it by the testimony of countless thousands of others.
He lives! We have the scriptural evidence to prove it.
He lives! We have the evidence in our own heart.