It can be so hard to know the best way to share the gospel with our friends and neighbors. We know the truth that the gospel teaches, but we also know the preconceived ideas people have against the truth and the church of Christ. It can be hard to know the best way to present the truth to those around us.
We all understand that we are to take the gospel to the world including our family, friends and neighbors.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
We also know that we are to do this with love in our hearts.
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Although this seems very simply and easy to understand, it can be very difficult to actually carry it out. In fact, there is not ONE way to share the gospel with a person. You can ask them to sit down and study the Bible with you; you can give them good literature about the Bible; you can show them a DVD or video that teaches them—the possibilities are numerous.
I want to share a story from early in Jesus’ ministry with you. In John chapter 1 starting in verse 43, we learn that Jesus was preaching in Galilee and he found a man named Philip and called him to follow Him. Philip did and then immediately found his friend Nathanael (We know him in the other gospel accounts as Bartholomew) and told him that he had found the Messiah (the Christ).
Philip began to describe Jesus to Nathanael and he told him that Jesus was from the town called Nazareth. Then in John 1:47, Nathanael responds, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” In the Biblical world, the city of Nazareth was not a very respected city because it was so small, and Nathanael could not grasp the idea of the Messiah, King of all kings, Lord of all lords could possibly come from such a small, unrespected town.
Now instead of criticizing, debating, insulting, or giving up on Nathanael, Philip responded with a very simple gesture. He simply gave Nathanael and invitation. In the latter part of verse 46 Philip says to Nathanael, “Come and see.”
In the verses to follow we see that Nathanael has a life-changing experience with Jesus, the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. There was power in the simple invitation that Philip gave to Nathanael.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone in sharing the gospel with them is to simply give them an invitation to “come and see.” We have our evangelistic programs, our mass mail outs and our missionaries that we have sent throughout the world, but when it comes down to it there is still power in the kind and simple invitation.
Who in your life do you need to reach so they too can begin a relationship with Jesus? Are you unsure how to reach them? Maybe you can start by simply inviting them to “come and see.” Powerful and transformational life-change can start through even the smallest of invitations.
by Noah Icenhour