“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” 1Peter. 3:15
This evening we will be demonstrating through role-plays, ways in which conversations with the unsaved can be turned toward the gospel of Jesus Christ. After all telling others about the good news of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone, is our mission - right? (Mtt. 28 :18-20)
How true it is that we (as todays text cites) should “always be ready to make a defense…” That is, we are to be always, or whenever the occasion arises, to be prepared to give people right answers to their questions about your life’s purpose and belief, so to lead them to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But why is it, that when opportunities abound to speak with unsaved people, we often end up passively listening. We hear their life stories of no hope, no peace and where everything is vanity, and yet too often respond with precious little “defense” for the “hope” that we have, in return.
The big reason that heads the list is the “fear of man” (Prov. 29:25) which confronts us all at some level. But another could be we are not “ready”… we are not prepared with the right tools to enter into a dialogue like that, so we remain silent. We are fearful of not saying the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. This kind of wrong thinking can produce a belief that the effective saving power of the gospel is determined by the evangelist’s convincing style, and slick ability of using the right choice of words. And because we do not have those communication skills, we hold back!
This is not how the apostle Paul valued the gospel. He stated to the Corinthian church, “I did not come to you with superiority of speech or of wisdom proclaiming to you the testimony of God…” (1Cor. 2:2). Successful evangelism is not about slick communication skills that persuade people, but is simply pointing people to Christ.
So lets be successful evangelists by telling others of the gospel of Jesus Christ - this is God’s good news, which they need to hear.
Mark Dever said in his book Nine marks of a healthy Church; “We don’t fail in our evangelism if we faithfully present the Gospel and yet the person is not converted; we fail only if we don’t faithfully present the Gospel at all.”