How’s your evangelism coming? Can you name the last person who put their trust in Christ because of your witness? I’ll be honest—I can’t. Maybe it’s time to look at our methodology. Can we use temptation to witness?
Evangelism is the art of bringing someone into God’s Kingdom, of introducing them to the risen Christ so they can have a personal relationship with Him. Our greatest opponent is sin which leads to death, (Romans 6:23). Therefore, our goal in the process is to, “save others, snatching them out of the fire,“
It seems a simple choice: Life or death. God put it so simply in Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live … “.
But, by and large, what we’re doing isn’t working. The appeal of today, the pleasures of immediate gratification, whisk friends and family away from an eternity of joy. How is it that sin, whose wages are death, eclipses the Good News?
James 1:14 gives us a peek at Satan’s play book, “ … but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” The word desire, in the Greek, means, “to bait.” The bait is, “his own evil desire.” The means to each heart, the deep-seated desires of each human is different. Therefore, our means of witnessing to each one must vary as well.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan lured his catch into his clutches. He bribed Eve with her own deep desire—to have wisdom and to be like God. Then again, in the wilderness with Jesus, Satan used clever bait. He knew that Jesus was the Christ and what better way to get at Him than to tempt Him to prove Himself to the world? If Christ had caved, at any point, to Satan’s lies, the result would have been the unveiling of His deity before the appointed time.
Many times, when we witness to others, we employ a form of peer pressure, often attacking their beliefs and choices. Oddly enough, it rarely works. But what if we baited them? What if we used the other form of influence? Instead of pushing, we pull or draw them?
Dictionary.com defines influence as, “the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.” It doesn’t matter which direction the influence comes from—a push or a pull—only that it is exerted with force. It must be stronger than the opposition.
It might make you a bit squeamish to think of luring someone to Christ, but consider for a moment—that’s exactly what God does.
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11:4
Psalm 23 says that Jesus leads us beside still waters and throughout Scripture, Christ is called our shepherd. No shepherd pushes his sheep, instead he leads them with kindness and gentle persuasion. Interestingly, the shepherd only has to get a few sheep to follow him. After that, their instinct is to follow each other.
What if we were the few who followed close to our Shepherd? What if, by our attractive lives, contagious joy, the goodness and mercy that follow us (Psalm 23:6), others were tempted, even lured to follow us?
How would you get someone to follow you toward Jesus?