What is the best way to reach people with the Gospel? Many are skeptics. A lot are Catholics. Many, many are nominal Christians, at best. Some know the Gospel worded perfectly, but something is missing. Some are Muslims, while others are Jews. How do we reach them best?
According to the modern church, which professes Christianity, the best way seems to be to attack people groups, like Mormons, JWs, Catholics, and Seventh Day Adventists. But does attacking a group make the people in the group want to come to Christ?
Many are in denominations or groups because they were born into these groups. Take for example, Islam. If a person is born into an Islamic family, that person will likely stay Islam the rest of his or her life, simply because they have no reason to leave (that they are aware of) and belonging to Islam is part of their heritage. If they left Islam, they would lose part of their culture as well as their identity. So, how are they best reached for the Gospel?
The reason I am writing this is because I am on the Internet a lot and see what people are doing in order to try to 'reach' them with the Gospel. Reaching them, might be a stretch. Perhaps they have no intention of reaching these people groups with the Gospel. I don't know. I only know what I am reading.
Here is something that I believe is not right, and I doubt that it will work. There are people who stand outside a Catholic church, for example, and give out prepared tracts telling people why Catholicism is wrong. I don't know why these people don't just give out Gospel tracts to the people instead. Do you think people who come out of a Catholic church are going to eagerly read a tract telling them what is wrong with the Catholic church? Does this show kindness and respect for others?
I like what Ray Comfort does in this type of situation. He asks the question, "How do you share the Gospel with a Muslim?' or "How do you share the Gospel with a homosexual?" Whatever group he names, the answer is the same. The Gospel is the same for all.
You don't point a person to Christ by telling him or her what is wrong with their religion. You demonstrate Christ to them and declare the Gospel to them. Put yourself in their place. Let's say they never heard the Gospel before, and they come from a large denominational church. Pointing out to them the things wrong with their church will not bring them to Christ. Would you want someone coming up to you telling you the things wrong in your life? Would you listen to that person or would you become defensive because they were attacking something that is part of you?
We minister the Gospel to people. After they come to Christ, then God will help them separate the truth from the lies. This takes time. This is where we have to be careful. We try to do the work of the Holy Spirit in people's hearts. On top of that, we don't understand that God patiently works in all of our hearts, and we are not patient with people. Also, keep in mind that many professing Christians have incorrect ideas about what is right doctrine or wrong doctrine. For example, some believers do not believe in infant baptism. Others believe that infant baptism is part of a covenant. If we split hairs over this issue, we are going to end up dividing the Body of Christ. We are the division makers.
There are some professing Christians who have a very narrow understand/belief system of what makes up a true Christian, and therefore we have many who are preaching to other Christian groups and resorting to name calling and derogatory actions. Friends, this should never happen in the body of Christ. We have to agree to disagree.
The way we reach people with the Gospel is not by telling them what is wrong with the church they are part of (or whatever the group that they are in is). We lovingly, minister the Gospel to all. We teach people what God says about our sin. We teach people who God is and what He is like. We teach people that they are accountable to God, and we teach people what God has done to take care of our sin problem.
The way to reach people is not by attacking them or putting them down. The Bible says that others will know we are Christians by our love, not by our arrogance. Whenever we point out the wrong in others, we are being arrogant (I am not saying we should not stand up for the truth, especially when it is being challenged or violated). It would be a whole other topic for another day to talk about standing up for the truth. But I am afraid that we have not put our pride away, and that we, at times, are trying to do God's work in a person's heart. Instead of presenting the truth to the person, and leaving the work of the heart to God, we try to reach the person or group by attacking them and eventually humiliating them. Somehow, we feel like this is our responsibility. That is sad.