Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Evangelism is easy. You don’t need to be a great debater, or a raconteur (a good storyteller). The first you’ve got to reconcile yourself with is: Religion is for the weak. Jesus died for sinners, those who can’t save themselves. If you need Jesus, you need to admit your weak. Admit that, first of all. Then, you can keep in mind three simple rules:
1) Everyone faces the same two universal problems. We all face guilt in our life. We are all guilty of doing something that we know to be wrong. We become plagued by guilt that accuses our conscience and brings us pain. The church uses the word sin to describe those things we do that we know are against God’s holy, just and good law. Our sins are what bring us this guilt and there’s no amount of good works that ever completely gets rid of the guilt. No amount of good works ever gets rid of the sin that weighs so heavily on our conscience. Along with that sin, then, comes death. And boy do we hate and fear death. We try so hard to ignore it with things like “celebrations of life.” Yet we can’t ignore that one fact, we’re all going to die and there’s nothing we can do about it. We are weak.
2) There are only two religions in the world. One of the questions I love to ask my Catechism students is “How many religions are there?” They’re always surprised when I tell them there’s only two: free and not free. Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, etc. all bind you to the law expressed by their founders. They all teach you that you must do all that you can; do as many good works as you can in order to advance yourself into the afterlife. You become bound, not free, but chained to the law. Christianity is the only religion that is free. In Christianity you’re not bound to the law, because you can’t keep it. God demands perfection, and we can all agree that we’re not perfect. So God sends Jesus to do it for you. To live perfectly for you, to die in your place for you, to rise from the dead for you to declare to you that His word from the cross: “It is finished” is actually true and certain. Which brings us to rule #3:
3) The Gospel is simple: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Jesus pays for your guilt, your sin, with His own body and blood. He wins for you the forgiveness of your sins by His death for you on the cross. By His death He’s defeated death for you and proclaims to you His victory by His resurrection of the dead, promising to you a resurrection just like His own. Jesus died for the sin of the world, so that means He died for you.
If you have any questions about this, or would like to talk to me about it, please call me at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Your servant in Christ,