I don’t know if I have shared this or not but my husband is currently enrolled online in some classes to get his bachelors (he has his associates) degree and I took an interest in one of the books he has to read and so I have been reading it here and there when he isn’t home. It is actually a really good book and easy to read and is called, Evangelism is… how to share Jesus with Passion and confidence, by Dave Earley and David Wheeler. The book is comprised of 40 very short chapters (between like 3-7 pages each). I haven’t read all of it, and to be honest I have kind of skimmed around and just read parts that looked more appealing or that I thought would really help me personally. One of the chapters, the one I am going to discuss, is called, “Leading People to True Conversion” (Chapter 9). In this chapter he points out 4 steps to true salvation, which are: curious, convicted, convinced, converted. While these points seem somewhat simple I am going to take a second to hit each step for you and point out a verse (or 2) to help.
This is a huge and important step because if you are not curious or interested in the Word or in who Jesus was and what He did for you none of the other steps can really occur. I can only imagine the curiosity of the people who were around in His time. All of the miracles He performed, I know had I been around in His day I surely would have been curious. I don’t know if you guys have ever seen illusionists but every time I watch them I end up scratching my head dying to know what the secret is, how did they do that! Well, how much more amazing is raising Lazarus from the dead, and conquering death Himself and then ascending into heaven! However, it is not enough to just merely be curious and Jesus made that clear in His time and therefore for us as well. In John 6:26-28 Jesus tells the people, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.‘ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?‘” ( I will give the answer, well Scripture will in just a minute)
We can share the gospel with others, but only the Lord can draw an individual to Himself and that is done through the Holy Spirit which convicts us of our sin. John 16:7-11 says, “‘ Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin,because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.’” In these verses Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit in which He left for us after He died so that although He would not speak to us and teach us anymore the Spirit could come and dwell within us and guide us according to His purpose.
In order to be truly convicted about our sin we must first be convinced that we are indeed living a life of sin and are in need of being redeemed. John 3:16-21 says, “‘ “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.'”
Once you have been convicted and convinced it is time to make the commitment to Him. John 6: 68-69 says, “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’” To commit yourself to the Lord we need to verbally affirm it and be bold and confident in the truth of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. The book doesn’t say this but I would go a step further and say that we are called to action. Although believing, repenting, and turning from our sin is all that is required of us for salvation I do believe there is an expectation and a call to action. Mark 8:35-38 Jesus says, “‘ For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.‘”
In conclusion I want to just remind myself and you of the words of 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 which says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
We can only do our part which is to share the Gospel with others and do our best to always be lifting up one another in word, Spirit, and deed.