For several days now I have been trying to reconcile in my mind and heart, how to convey this very message. I think it sums up what I have been trying to articulate beautifully. We can't win others over to Christ, by pointing out their sins, even if we do it with the idea that is our purpose... in fact it is not our purpose. God wants to expand His kingdom not have it divided. The Holy Spirit really is the one who does all the work, we simply lead them to Him, by the fruit we bear, by the testimony in our hearts and the life we lead by example. Love covers a multitude of sins, not just of our own but others. Let us love one another both Jew and Gentile, saved and unsaved, democrat and republican. Let us become unified in truth and purity. Allow God to be God, and by His power and His might, shall we all be transformed and conform to the way of Holiness and Righteousness through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!
When you talk to someone about the Lord to lead them to salvation, speak only of the greatness of God, the good things He brings to human life and what He has personally for them; things like good health, financial prosperity, God's will for their future, etc. Speak with thanksgiving to God for what you have, even for the fact that God has brought this person into your life. Let them know how He has released you from Satan's captivity and he will release them also. Let them know that God has always had his eye on them and has made wonderful plans for their future.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity.
Speaking the positive things in the Bible gives a person hope. Never give a person the do's and don'ts that we all know the Bible is full of; it puts Christianity into what I call a "Keep the rules and God will love you" relationship with God. So many Christians promote this type of teaching instead of doing what they are supposed to do: preach the Gospel.
Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
As a person yields to the love of Jesus, they will grow into a place of righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit. It's not something a sinner, or even a young Christian just starting out, should be burdened with. We're not to clean up our own sins before reaching out to be saved, and we surely will make many mistakes after salvation just because we're human and are easily influenced by the world.
Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
Learning to do the right thing is a process brought about by giving ourselves daily in devotion to the Lord along with the Holy Spirit's leadership to make us holy. He works with us instilling a desire to please God and to be obedient to His Word. When a Christian is having trouble with sin and temptation in their life they are simply not spending enough time with Jesus. People act like the person they spend time with.
When trying to reach someone for the Lord, talk about God's love, how great the things were that Jesus did and how He helped people etc. Talk about heaven, its description starts at Revelations 21:1. Pull out some of the more interesting scriptures that could be entertaining to them and use them at fitting times. Even though it's not the Word you'd like them to receive, it gets them used to hearing scripture in a way that doesn't offend them. Proverbs has some that might fit a situation you are aware of.
Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
Proverbs 21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
You can find many stories that are interesting that have nothing to do with their life such as:
Tax Money in the Fishes Mouth - Matthew 17:24-27
The Lord Made the Shadow Go Back Down Ten Steps (2Kings 20:8-11)
The Ax-head Fell Into the Water and Floated (2KI 6:3-7)
Elijah Proved To the People the Lord Is God (1Kings18:20-39)
The Ark of God Destroyed the Philistines God Dagon in His Own Temple (1Samuel 5:1-5)
Jesus Feeds Over Five Thousand with Five Loaves and Two Fish (Matthew 14:15)
Getting scripture into a person is the best way for them to receive faith, but if a person doesn't respond to talking about God then give them short lessons about "life according to the Bible" without mentioning God. Take stories from your daily life and apply some godly insight, talk about how that situation should have been handled. The Holy Spirit will draw them through the message of righteous living. Pray about what you should say to people. It's the best way because the Holy Spirit knows exactly what will mellow their heart.
Continually let them know God loves them because that is the real story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 12:30-32 Jesus said ...Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
When we present the Gospel of Jesus correctly, who he was and what he did, and everything that God designed for building up our faith through his overcoming power; then we'll draw people into a loving relationship with our Lord.
We should never make a person feel condemned. Talking about their sins is not our job. As we lift up Jesus, planting seeds of goodness and mercy into people's hearts, the Holy Spirit will reveal their sins to them and lead them into salvation. A sinner already feels condemnation we don't need to point out their sins. What they need is the love and compassion of Jesus; that's something they don't receive from other people.
John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
When We Act In Love It Draws People To The Lord
We must act with the love of God when helping people enter and grow in His kingdom. We see the quickest results when we use patience, kindness, compassion and understanding; recognizing that their faults differ from ours and help them to overcome. Lifting them up and encouraging them to reach out for the things of God so the Holy Spirit can do His good works in their life.
We are to use the Word of God to help others; building their faith just as we use it to build up our own faith.
Romans 10:17.. .faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Faith is what pleases God and activates the movement of the Holy Spirit to make changes in a person's life.
2Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
As we learn God's ways we mature and get tough, desiring correction because we see the benefits it has brought to our lives. Many people, on the other hand, are tender and only feel hurt when they're corrected. We must be careful with them so they don't become discouraged. (Titus 2:1-8)
2Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-- with great patience and careful instruction.
The Holy Spirit Works To Draw Us Into All The Goodness Of God
People do not have, within their human ability, the strength to obey rules that make them righteous. They can learn right from wrong, and many people do their best to do what's right, but God's rules are spiritual. It takes revelation and insight, which is given to a person by the Holy Spirit, to maintain the righteousness of God in their lives.
It's the drawing of the Holy Spirit that brings a person to salvation, which is found only in Jesus Christ.
John 6:43-44...Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. (My own note: No one can come to the Father unless the Father draws them to Him - we cannot make them go to the Father nor can we soften their hearts to do so... only He can).
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Our next step in the process of salvation is water baptism. Jesus said water baptism fulfills all righteousness.
Matthew 3:15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.
When Jesus was baptized it was His obedience to the desires of God that John was already producing by baptizing others; which was rooted way back when God saved Noah.
It was the beginning of his ministry. From then on Jesus began to show us a better way to live, not under the Law but under grace. He showed us God's love and how to live in God's righteousness. He taught us what was available to us from the Father and how to receive it by faith and living holy.
Our obedience to the act of water baptism is like us putting a seal on the salvation Jesus has just given us. It's our pledge to God as well as the world that we have renounced the old sinful life and are beginning a new life in Jesus Christ; which will become our ministry.
1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
When we're baptized in water, we're announcing that we have a new life and our old sinful nature is dead. Our standards have changed and we will think, speak and act according to God's way of living. We commit to continue in the righteousness which our Lord has given us.
Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Once we are established in our new life, we have a covenant relationship with God. As we study the Bible to find out what benefits belong to us the Holy Spirit gives us revelation, transforming our natural mind into a spiritual mind that thinks Gods way. (My own note: this is truly the transformative work that takes place in the believer, once he has come to salvation - He then becomes sanctified, only the Holy Spirit can do this, not us).
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
As we begin practicing obedience from what we've learned and confess what the Bible says we can have, God fulfills his part of the covenant and we receive physical as well as spiritual rewards from our Lord.
Hebrews 11: 6...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
It takes the Holy Spirit working with a person to change their heart into a heart that will accept the things of God. We are to be helpers of the Holy Spirit, planting seeds that He can produce growth in the heart of another human being. Leading a person into righteousness is not trying to get them to give up their sins to follow God's rules. Most people are comfortable in their sin, and they don't realize that there's a better way because they've never experienced it. As we show someone the goodness of God, the Holy Spirit will convict a person of their sins and eventually lead them into a place where they desire to change their life and receive salvation.
It may seem like a slow process, but it works. If we are consistent in planting small seeds and we let the Holy Spirit do His work while we stand by giving people love and encouragement, that person is less likely to rebel. It gives them a solid foundation of love for their salvation from us and God and they are less likely to backslide. When we show them God's love, it won't be long till they respond; no one can resist an abundance of love and compassion.