If you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it (1 Peter 3:16).
Have you ever tried to witness to someone but you didn't know quite what to say? Or you were tripped up by one of the typical diversionary responses that avoids the person's need for a Savior.
A friend of mine recalls a time when, as a new Christian, he was with some old friends and they asked him why he no longer went with them on their weekend drinking parties. As he tried to explain how Christ had forgiven him and was changing him, the questions started to fly.
"Oh, so you're a Jesus freak?" they scoffed. "Are you too good for us now?" Then the questions became serious. "What about those who have never heard about Jesus?" "Will God send me to hell if I don't believe like you?"
My friend realized he didn't have many answers. It was like a Christian being thrown to the lions, and he was being eaten alive. "Each time I tried to explain the gospel," he said, "I found myself off the track, stumbling for my next thought and failing to center the discussion on Jesus." He said, "Not one of my friends left with the faintest idea of what the gospel was or how he could become a Christian."
Unfortunately, this type of witnessing happens all too often. Without some prior study of what we should say and how to handle difficult questions, we can easily become sidetracked and confused, and miss a golden opportunity to lead someone to the Lord Jesus.
This example emphasizes the need for training in evangelism, which I strongly recommend, so that we can be prepared for and handle all kinds of situations, and do it biblically, in the love of Christ. God says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander" (1 Peter 3:15-16, NIV).
In His Word, God has an answer for every question; however, God's answers are not always received or wanted. But if given prayerfully, and given with gentleness and respect as Peter admonishes, God can use them to at least plant a seed for the future in someone's life. Let us "always be prepared."
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.