These brief topics were written to help members of Ascension Lutheran Church in Tacoma, Washington, think about the ways in which they share the Gospel with others. Cut this page out if you like and post it on your refrigerator. Decide for yourself whether this is a helpful addition to your “outreach repertoire.”
Here is one question you can easily memorize that will assist you greatly in your attempts to witness your faith to others. This question will allow you to cut through all the peripheral issues and discover exactly what the person you’re talking to believes about life and death, sin and grace, heaven
You can use this question on anyone.
People almost never object to the question, or are offended when you ask it.
Most people will consider this question carefully and then give you a thoughtful (and very revealing!) answer.
You may lead the conversation up to the question, or just introduce it out of the blue:
“Let me ask you this—if you were to die tonight and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you answer?”
Of course, the correct (scriptural) answer is,
“I trust that God would let me into heaven because Jesus is my Savior, who died on the cross to redeem me from my sins.”
However, if your experience is typical, you will find that nine times out of ten you will get a wrong answer.
The answer will nearly always be very similar to the following: “Well, I’ve tried my best to be a good person. I try to live an honest life. I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone. . .” etc.
You can respond to this with two simple passages that are easy to memorize:
“Yes, many people feel they can earn salvation by doing good works. But God says in Galatians 2:16, ‘By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.’” “I’m so glad that God provides another way to be saved. For the Bible also says in Romans 3:23-24, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.’”
You can go on from there. Keep it simple—just tell the truth! Say what great things the Lord has done for you in your life. Always lead the discussion back to God’s Word — that’s where the power is. Invite people to learn more by joining you for worship or Bible class. Let them know that your pastor would be happy to visit and answer more questions, if they like.