[dropcap]S[/dropcap]weat filled my palms and brow. I was nervous. The Holy Spirit asked me to share about Jesus with a friend, but, to my embarrassment, I chickened out. I wanted to present God’s love, but I didn’t know how to bring it up! We’ve all been there. Some Christians naturally transition to the gospel with everyone. For the rest of us, it doesn’t come so easy. Thankfully, there’s “sometime.”
“Sometime” is a simple way to evangelize. You write a friend saying something like, “Hey (Name)! As you know I’m a devout Christian. I would love to sometime get together to hear what you believe about spiritual things, as well as share what I believe as a Christian. Would this be something you’re interested in?”
By messaging a friend in this way, you’re taking a small step of faith that leads to a greater step of faith when you meet. And in casually inviting them to meet “sometime,” you relieve any pressure. Jeffrey, a student leader from Montclair State Univ., has already tried this with friends. Here’s his account:
“Great news hermano [brother in Spanish]! My friend Nick responded yes to meeting after I sent him a “sometime” message. I was able to go through the whole Gospel with him; he actually came to Cru! He didn’t accept Christ, but I told him he can put his trust in Jesus whenever he’s ready.”
Jeffrey later told me how grateful Nick was. Rather than miss an opportunity, Jeffrey created one by simply messaging his friend! I, too, took a step of faith and used “sometime.”
After browsing my Facebook friends list, I decided to meet with Hassan, a New Jersey City Univ. student who is now pursuing a masters in marketing. He’s learning to play guitar in his free time, loves comics and just married his sweetheart. Relocating from Pakistan at 16 years old in 2002, Hassan was raised in a devout but not strict Muslim family. He and I spent 2 hours together. For 1 1/2 hours on April 3, I listened to him (even if I disagreed).
“You get to heaven by doing good deeds,” Hassan explained. “Your existence grants you a place in Islam’s 7 stories of heaven. The better you are, the higher you go in the afterlife. But it’s also about this life; it’s about making myself worthy in my own eyes.”
Together we then explored the idea of how much “good” is good enough, which most people can’t attain.
“I see people doing more bad than good,” Hassan said. “I can’t say for certain I am going to heaven. [For example], I’m not such a great brother. I have a standard of how I need to be with my sister.”
Hassan then shared his thoughts about Jesus, and I subsequently asked if I could share. He said yes! I carefully explained both God’s hatred for sin but the grace and love he offers through Jesus. Hassan listened as I explained that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. I looked him in the eye and said, “God loves you, enough to send Jesus, whose perfect sinless life is what can save us. You don’t have to keep trying.”
After giving Hassan a ride home, it was clear he would maintain his convictions. In fact when I asked him if he understood what I was saying, he clearly reiterated it, contrasting Islam’s requirement for good works and Jesus’ provision of grace. But only the Holy Spirit can open anyone’s eyes to their need for Jesus. Nonetheless, we had a great time, and door of friendship and conversation is open!
Please pray for Nick and Hassan: that these gospel seeds would grow into a great big realization of their need for Christ. THANK YOU for your continued prayers and partnership in the gospel. Jenn and I are so thankful for all of you.
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