General Counseling on Bringing People to Christ
In order to bring people to Christ, you should do the following among the others which you know and are already doing:-
Ensure that you have received the Lord as your Saviour (John 1:12).
Ensure that to the best of your knowledge, you have a clear conscience before the Lord Jesus that you have fulfilled His demands for discipleship;
Ensure that you have received the baptism into the Holy Spirit that qualifies people to be witnesses as the Lord said (Luke 24:48-49) and (Acts 1:8).
Be filled with the Holy Spirit on a daily and hourly basis (Ephesians 5:18).
Ensure that you are not living in sin in thought, word or deed. If there is any sin, confess it at once and forsake it (1 John 1:8-9).
Ask the Lord to give you His love for the lost.
Pray everyday for those who have not yet found the Lord. Make a list of members of your family, co-workers, neighbours, friends, acquaintances, etc, and pray for them fervently that the Lord should bring them to salvation.
Ask the Holy Spirit for the strategy that He has in mind for you to use to reach each of these people with the gospel. He will reveal to you His plan. Work according to it. However, you must continue to be open to Him; for His plan may vary from person to person as you pray and try to reach out to the different people on your list.
As the Holy Spirit opens a door for you to reach out to any of these people, be bold and be obedient to Him. Present the gospel clearly and leave the results to the Holy Spirit. Do not force people to make decisions.
Use any literature, cassette, etc, that you find available and that is useful.
If someone is interested, keep the contact with him and keep visiting him and talking to him until the Lord has worked in his heart. If people do not want you to visit their home, do not force your way there. Rather, pray that the Lord should touch their hearts and make them willing to receive you.
Set out some period every week that you will devote to evangelism. Do not say that things will just happen. Co-operate with the Lord to get them to happen.
It is helpful if you go out for evangelism with another person. It will be normal to go out with the person who is discipling you or with the one who is being discipled by you. The Lord sent them out two by two. That is a good practice. However, if there is no one to go out with you, go out alone and remember that the Lord is with you.
If someone is not interested in the gospel, do not quarrel with him. Do not insult him. Do not hand him over to the devil. Do not hurt his feelings. You should endeavour to part with everyone to whom you have witnessed or tried to witness on the best terms possible so that, should his eyes become opened to the Lord in future, he will feel free to come to you for help. If you behave properly, he may want to talk to you in the future or he may be open to talk with another disciple.
Endeavour to be concerned for the total man: body, soul and spirit. Do not try to operate him, remove his spirit for salvation and throw away the soul and the body. Be interested in the whole man. The Lord Jesus was interested in the whole man. If you are witnessing to a family that is starving, give them something to eat. Go back there again and again to meet their needs. Get the assembly in which you are involved to study ways of providing for them on a more permanent basis, maybe through finding employment for some members of the family. You will find that by being involved with them in their problem, they may, by God’s grace, come to be involved with you in your Saviour. I insist that no disciple should dissociate himself from the practical needs of those that he wants to win for Christ. We have often been guilty of this in the past. We must do better in the future.
Pray for sick people wherever you find them. Lay hands on them and pray that they be healed. Believe the Lord to heal them. He will do it and you will find that the healing of the sick opens many doors for the gospel. Do not say you do not have the gifts of healing. When did the Lord tell you that you did not have such gifts? Anyway, forget about the gifts of healing. The word of God says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18). In fact, the charge to go and get the gospel to all men includes the fact that those who so carry the gospel to others will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. If that part of the great commission that is given in Mark 16:15-18 is not valid, I do not see how the first part can be valid. I am fully persuaded in my being that those who are rightly related to the Lord and go out in His name to preach the gospel to the whole creation, will cast out demons in the Lord’s name, speak in new tongues, lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. The problem is that few ever lay hands on the sick so that they should recover. Because they are not prepared either to lay hands on the sick or to command demons to leave or to speak in new tongues, they see nothing. For a miracle to happen, a man must do his part and God will do His. Man must lay his hands on the sick and God will cause the sick to get well.
The Lord will show you many other things about bringing people to Him. Listen to Him. Read His Word. Go out into the field. Witness. He will teach you more.
If the person you have witnessed to indicates that he wants to believe in the Lord Jesus for eternal life, you should do what the Lord did with those who came to Him. Show him what it will cost to become a disciple of Christ. It may be good if you take time to prayerfully go through the points in the chapter on “Who is truly a disciple?” with him. Let him weigh everything in his heart carefully. Some may say that the person should be allowed to make some commitment to the Lord and, as he sees more of the Lord, he will face the issues involved. Some years ago, I also thought like that. I think differently now.
There are a number of reasons why the cost of discipleship must be presented to people before they are allowed to make some commitment to the Lord.
The first reason is the example of the Lord. He demanded that the disciples forsake all to follow him from the beginning and they left all and followed Him. About total separation from sin, the Word of God teaches that all those who practise sin are lost, and the Lord always took for granted that all who followed Him had said their final good-bye to all known sin. The Lord did not allow the rich young ruler to make a superficial commitment and follow Him in order to have time to think about paying the whole cost. He brought him face to face with the whole cost at once and the man made the choice of keeping his money and keeping himself away from the Kingdom of God. He bid men count the cost.
The second reason is that the One who is Saviour is also the same One who is Lord. He cannot be received as Saviour and not be received as Lord. He cannot enter into any heart in which He will not reign. Anyone who thinks that he has Jesus as Saviour to save him from sin but not as Lord to reign is self-deceived. Wherever He is not Lord, He is not there at all. Many who have not given Him absolute Lordship of their lives will find out on that day that their conversion was spurious and their supposed salvation a lie. Those who are half-hearted have no place in the Kingdom of God.
The third reason is that the seed that fell on the wayside, the one that fell on the stony ground and the one that fell among thorns all represent people who perished. They had no place in the Kingdom of God. The seed that fell on stony soil and the seed that fell on the thorny soil germinated and had some growth, but what was its ultimate use? Was any fruit borne? The devil got the seed before it germinated in one case, but in the other two cases, he got the seed (as wood) after germination. However, in all three cases, he had the seed. If a person from the very beginning does not want to go the whole way, how can he have a good foundation in the Lord?
The fourth reason is that anyone who is not prepared to go with the Lord at any cost, on the Lord’s own conditions, has not truly received a ministry of life by the Spirit of God. His repentance is not authentic. It may be the fruit of fleshly manipulation of the person’s emotion, will or intellect (and this can easily be done by a preacher or witness), but no genuine work of God has been done. Because no genuine work of God has been done, the person cannot render the response to God that would normally come when the Holy Spirit has truly worked in the life.
We conclude that the cost should be shown to the one who wants to receive the Lord. If he therefore comes to the Lord on those terms, he will start his life in Christ as a true disciple, and in his case disciple and believer will be one and the same thing as the Lord meant it to be. Amen.