The question that is this morning’s title is a form of the Socratic method of evangelism. You begin by asking a person what they believe, and then use a continuation of other questions to get their beliefs “on record.” William Fay, author of “Sharing Jesus Without Fear”, has used this method with great success. It is by far my favorite method. It is also a method used by Jesus:
“Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, ‘Who do men say that I am?’ So they answered, ‘John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘You are the Christ.’” (Mark 8:27-29)
The benefit of this method when sharing the truth about Jesus is it is non-confrontational. You are truly trying to begin a dialogue with the individual. Many times people don’t know what they actually believe. Many people have heard of Jesus, but do not have much factual knowledge of Him, much less know Him personally. John told us of this:
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” (John 1:10)
Bro Dave, what if I know someone who is very religious, or at least believes him or herself to be, and yet I know he or she is not saved? They even attend church but they don’t know Jesus as Savior.
This is not a rare occurrence, in fact it is quite the norm, both now and during the 1st Century:
“Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.” (Acts 13:26-27)
Those who willfully ignore the aletheia truth of who Christ are also fulfill prophecy:
“‘But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 7:11-13)
Zechariah reminds us that when we are sharing the gospel there will be those who refuse to hear. So how do we deal with folks like this? Jesus often finished a parable with this saying:
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mathew 13:9)
Some people are not going to want to listen. That’s not your responsibility; you’re to share Jesus, not cram Him down peoples’ throats. This is why the Socratic method is so effective in sharing the gospel. The questions you ask a person, or perhaps two, make the person think about what they believe and the reasons why.
If you can get someone to express and explain their beliefs, it allows you to discover if they understand the gospel. If what they believe is not true, that allows you to ask them if what they believe is not true would they want to know. If they say yes, then now you have an opportunity to share the gospel.
The main point of this devotional is that we are called to be witnesses for Christ, those of us who claim to be born again. Jesus, if He is truly your Savior, has equipped you to witness about Him. He promised us He would:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Some Christians like to use the excuse, “Well my spiritual gift is not evangelism; I’ve not been called to be an evangelist.”
Fine, keep your present job and share Jesus. You have been called to testify to what He has done in your life. Can’t you? Or better yet, will you? It’s really not that hard:
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.” (Psalm 66:16)
Can you declare what Jesus has done for your soul? Will you? Or is the problem that you try to do this in your own strength?
“I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.” (Psalm 71:16)
Remember that Jesus will never gives us a task for which He does not equip us.
He has given you a testimony.
Will you share it with someone today?
When you do, it leads to an transitory question…
…what are your spiritual beliefs?
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers