Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Aim for Repentance Rather than a Decision
By Ray Comfort
"As you witness, divorce yourself from the thought that you are merely seeking “decisions for Christ.” What we should be seeking is repentance within the heart. This is the purpose of the Law, to bring the knowledge of sin. How can a man repent if he doesn’t know what sin is? If there is no repentance, there is no salvation. Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Many don’t understand that the salvation of a soul is not a resolution to change a way of life, but “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” The modern concept of success in evangelism is to relate how many people were “saved” (that is, how many prayed the “sinner’s prayer”). This produces a “no decisions, no success” mentality. This shouldn’t be, because Christians who seek decisions in evangelism become discouraged after a time of witnessing if “no one came to the Lord.” The Bible tells us that as we sow the good seed of the gospel, one sows and another reaps. If you faithfully sow the seed, someone will reap. If you reap, it is because someone has sown in the past, but it is God who causes the seed to grow. If His hand is not on the person you are leading in a prayer of committal, if there is not God-given repentance, then you will end up with a stillbirth on your hands, and that is nothing to rejoice about. We should measure our success by how faithfully we sowed the seed. In that way, we will avoid becoming discouraged."
“If you have not repented, you will not see the inside of the kingdom of God.” Billy Graham
"Solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21)
How do I reach my neighbors with the gospel?
By Ray Comfort
"Neighbors are like family. We don’t want to offend them unnecessarily, because we have to live with them. We need to be rich in good works toward all men, but especially our neighbors. The Bible reveals that this is a legitimate means of evangelism. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). It is God’s will that "with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men" (1 Peter 2:15).
Sinners may disagree with what you believe, but seeing your good works makes them think, "I don’t believe what he believes, but he sure does. He certainly is sincere in his faith." A friendly wave, a gift for no reason, fresh-baked goods, etc., can pave the way for evangelism. Offer to mow your neighbor's lawn or help do some painting. Volunteer to pick up their mail and newspaper while they’re on vacation. Compliment them on their landscaping and ask for gardening tips. Invite them over for a barbecue or dessert. Pray for an opportunity to share the gospel, and be prepared for it when it comes."
How should I witness to my coworkers?
By Ray Comfort
"When we interact with people on a daily basis, we have many opportunities for sharing our faith. First, be sure you are respectful to your employer and set a good example in your work ethic by working "as to the Lord" (Colossians 3:23).
When others around you grumble and complain, if you have a calm, forgiving, steadfast spirit, it will make an impression. As you respond in a Christ-like way to angry coworkers and stressful circumstances, people will see a difference in your life. Always be friendly and courteous, and show genuine interest in your coworkers’ lives. Invite them out to lunch to get better acquainted. Share their joys and sorrows by congratulating them in their good times and offering to pray for them in their bad times.
Be sure you do pray for them, then follow up by asking them about the situation you prayed for. They will be moved by your concern. If coworkers are discussing what they did during the previous weekend, you can share your excitement about attending church services or a special church event. Ask others if they have any plans for celebrating Christmas or Easter; be nonjudgmental of their answer, but be ready (if asked) to explain why you celebrate as you do.
Displaying a favorite Scripture or a devotional calendar, or reading your Bible during lunchtime, may prompt others to inquire about your faith. Bringing home-baked goods or leaving a small gift with a note on a coworker’s desk can sometimes have a greater impact than a thousand eloquent sermons. We can show our faith by our works. Others may not like a tree of righteousness, but they cannot help but like its fruit. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, being careful not to infringe on your boss’s time."
"For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men." (1 Peter 2:15)