Of all the many fears and excuses that Christians use for not winning souls, we will name what we believe to be the four big ones. In one sense these four fears are legitimate fears. For this reason, we will give possible solutions to counteract them in the following lessons.
The Fear of Arousing Resentment
This is the fear that, if we approach a sinner in an attempt to win him, we may “bungle the job” and offend him, thus driving him further away. Many times Christians are honest in this fear because they lack knowledge or have personality problems.
The solution for this fear is to learn and practice the principles of making people like you.
Ten Ways to Encourage People To Like You
Become genuinely interested in the person - having feeling for him.
Be friendly (Proverbs 18:24).
Be a good listener and let him talk freely at first.
Talk in terms of his interest (his job, family, home, hobbies, etc.)
Be complimentary. Show sincere appreciation. Brag on something.
Make him feel important and do it sincerely.
Use his name often and pronounce it correctly.
Be understanding and try to see things from his point of view.
Be clean and neat.
Ten Don’ts to Heed if you Want to Make Headway with the Sinner
Don’t argue. Agree with him or “set it on the shelf,” promising to come back later to answer his sidetracking questions.
Don’t embarrass him by dealing with him in front of others.
Don’t put him on the defense by condemning his religion or opinion.
Don’t be self-righteous or Pharisaical by “talking down” to the sinner and giving the impression that you are better than he is.
Don’t be guilty of having bad breath.
Don’t be rude or blunt like a lawyer on cross-examination.
Don’t lean on the sinner while dealing with him.
Don’t be a spiritual psycho (religious nut). Don’t be hollering, jerking, shouting, etc. Exhibit a sane, sensible, pleasing disposition.
Don’t wear out your welcome. Don’t stay so long that you make him hate you. (Proverbs 25:17)
Don’t rush him; lead gently.
The Fear of Making the Spiritual Approach
This is the fear of beginning the spiritual conversation. You can talk about things in general; but when it comes to making the transition, you freeze. You seem to be at a loss when it comes to bringing up the subject of salvation. You find yourself plagued with fear when attempting to ask him about his personal relationship with Christ. You have no difficulty talking about current events-but changing the conversation to the spiritual is frightening. Is this the case with you? One solution for this fear is to master some fixed-approach questions.
The solution for this fear is to have your approach questions mastered. Here are some good approach questions to lead into the spiritual conversation.
“If you were die today, are you really sure that you would go to heaven?”
“Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?”
“Would you say you are a follower of Jesus, or are you still in the process?”
”Have you received Christ as your Savior and been baptized?”
“If you were to die right now, are you one hundred percent sure that you would go to heaven?”
The gradual approach questions given by Gene Edwards.
“Do you ever give much thought to spiritual things?”
“What would you say is a person’s greatest spiritual need?”
“Have you heard of the four spiritual laws?”
“Has there ever been a time in your life when you seriously considered your need of eternal life?”
“In your opinion, what would you say a person must do to inherit eternal life and go to heaven?”
“What I really had in mind was how does one go about receiving the experience of salvation?”
“Could we look at a few verses of Scripture and see just what God says about this matter?”
The strategy of the gradual approach questions is to draw the prospect out by letting him talk as much as possible. Ask the questions and be silent. When he is finished, go to the next questions. Do not correct him or disagree with him at any time. Your aim is to listen to him during the first six questions and hope he will listen to your after the seventh.
“My friend, can you tell me the way to heaven?”
“Do you have eternal life?”
“Have you ever noticed how up-to-date and even ahead-of-the-times the Bible is, though it was written long ago?”
“Do you know that if you are born once, you will die twice, whereas if you are born twice, you will die only once?” (John 3:3, Revelation 20:6, 14)
My friend, would you be kind enough to tell me what you think this verse means?”
NOTE: Following the approach question you will want to get their permission to read God’s Word (Romans Road). This may be done by asking two additional questions as 1) Would you like to be one hundred percent sure of going to heaven and 2) If I could show you in the Bible how you can be one hundred percent sure, would you believe it?