I. How Do You Know God Wants You To Share Your Faith?
A. We are called to be like Jesus. He came to reconcile the world to Himself. He has committed to us the Word and ministry of reconciliation, making us His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:19-20).
B. We are called to be "a light" to this world (Matt. 5:14). We are to proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into "His marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9).
C. Jesus sent the disciples into the world to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Jesus made it clear whatever He said to them, He said to all (Mark 13:37).
D. Paul told the Roman believers that their preaching to others was a key ingredient to others being saved. "How shall they call on Him if they haven't believed? How shall they believe on Him if they have never heard? How shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14) All believers must confess Christ before others, this is a key ingredient in your own salvation (Matt. 10:32-33).
E. Jesus said He would make His Disciples, "become fishers of men" (Mark 1:17).
II. Why Don't Christians Share Their Faith More?
A. Fear of rejection (Luke 10:16) (Matt. 10:26).
B. Fear of bodily harm (Matt. 10:28).
C. Being more concerned about the approval of men than the approval of God (John 12:42) (John 7:13).
D. Feeling inadequate (Ex. 3:11-12) (Ex. 4:10).
III. How Do You Become A Fisher Of Men?
If we take the analogy Jesus used we will be able to understand this better. What does it take to become a good fisherman? A fishing pole, good equipment, bait, and the experience to use the equipment at the right place and the right time. Immediately you realize you don't become an expert fisherman over-night. The same is true with fishing for men.
A. First, you need a pole. Without a fishing pole you have no ability to fish at all. Your Spiritual ability comes from the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives you power, boldness, and love (Acts 1:8) (Acts 4:31) (Gal. 5:22).
B. Next, you need good equipment to use with your pole. The Word of God is the best equipment you can have to answer people's questions (2 Tim. 3:16-17). You must study the Word diligently because people want to know God's opinion on a subject, not yours.
C. Next, you need bait. What is someone interested in or what question do they want an answer for? The Holy Spirit takes His Word, gives you boldness, and then applies it to the specific need of the individual. He does this by bringing a passage to your remembrance that fits the problem. Now you know exactly what to say (John 4:1-14) (Acts 2:14-21) (Acts 7:1-54).
D. Last, you need experience. Those who catch a lot of fish know where to fish, and how to use their equipment to present the bait to the fish. To become a good fisher of men takes time. The more you share the Gospel the better you will get at it.
IV. How Do You Approach Someone?
A. First, sometimes people approach you. This is usually because your life has been a witness to them and they want to know why you are different (John 3:2) (Acts 2:12-16). Make sure that you take these opportunities because the person has an obvious interest right then! These are Divinely ordained situations!
B. The passive approach.
1. From a normal conversation a person may share a problem they are having in their marriage, job, or personal life; they may be talking about a current event in the news, or their concern with world affairs. Ask them if they are interested in Spiritual things. Ask them if they have ever considered what the Bible says about that issue. Ask if you could give them a book or a tape on the subject (John 4:14-24).
2. Share your testimony with them if the issues they are concerned about were the same as yours. Share how Christ has answered your questions and given you peace (Mark 5:19).
3. Invite someone to lunch or dinner to establish these opportunities for conversation (Luke 19:5).
C. The direct approach.
1. This is where you simply ask the person if you could share the Gospel with them. The Holy Spirit may open your eyes to someone who seems interested in Spiritual things as He did with Philip (Acts 8:29). Another example is Paul and Lydia (Acts 16:13).
2. This can be done on the street, door to door, or in your office (Acts 17:17).
V. What Do You Say Once You Start Talking?
A. For the new Christian, just share your testimony. Tell them what the Lord has done for you personally. It is very hard for someone to disagree with you because, it happened to you! This is where Jesus told them demon-possessed man to start (Mark 5:19).
B. Make sure you share the primary facts!
1. Who is Jesus (John 1:1,14)? God come in human flesh (John 14:9).
2. What has He done for them? He paid the penalty for Man's sin (Rom. 5:6,9,10,19). He was raised from the dead, that He might live as proof that He was the Son of God (Rom. 1:4). He came to give each of us real life (John 10:10), and eternal life (John 17:3).
3. Why did He have to do this? Because we are sinners, and there is penalty for sin (Rom. 3:23) (Rom. 6:23).
4. How can they receive this? By asking for His forgiveness (Matt. 7:7) (I John 1:9); calling on His name (Rom. 10:13) (Acts 4:12); and receiving Him personally into their hearts (John 1:12).
C. Also, make sure there is a point of decision. Ask them, "What's stopping you from receiving Christ right now into your heart?". You haven't fully shared the Gospel if you don't ask for a decision (Josh. 24:15) (1 Kings 18:21) (Acts 26:27)(Acts 13:44-46) (Acts 17:30-34).