I Shared the Gospel Yesterday and I Blew It
Have you ever shared the Gospel with someone, walked away, and thought I blew it? I have. And let me tell you, the enemy of your soul will use this experience to haunt your thoughts if you don’t remember to have a good grasp on the sovereignty of God.
Let me paint a scenario for you. I was having lunch with some unbelieving friends who live an openly sinful lifestyle. Toward the end of lunch, the conversation moved to a prominent evangelical figure and I was asked my opinion of this person’s life and ministry. After sharing that I did not believe this celebrity pastor was teaching the full scope of the true Gospel, I got the golden ticket opportunity to share what the true Gospel actually is.
I gave a clear presentation of the Gospel, sharing both God’s wrath and His love. (The celebrity pastor was not keen on sharing the wrath part of God’s character.) I shared that no one can have faith in Christ apart from God drawing them unto Himself (John 6:44) and refuted the easy believism approach that is popular with so many celebrity evangelicals.
My friend was totally engaged in the conversation. He was tracking with me, nodding, asking questions, it was going great! And then, right as the check came and we all stood up to leave, he said “Exactly, I believe God just wants people to love each other!” To which I replied “Mmmm…Yes, right….” while I was putting on my jacket.
It was one of those moments where you seem to be looking down on the scene and watching in slow motion while silently shouting at yourself… NOOOOOOOO!!!!
Game. Over… Or Is It?
I found myself thinking That’s it. I blew it. and What if he never gets saved now because I blew it so bad he thinks he’s okay with God?
Praise the Lord, my Gospel-sharing techniques are not what saves another soul. God, and Him alone is the source of salvation. Is it wise and prudent to be equipped to share the Gospel properly? Absolutely. It’s a critical Christian need. But ultimately, salvation is the work of the Triune God and not anything man has the power to initiate, complete, or cancel (Romans 8:30-39).
The One True God of heaven and earth is the One who saves. No matter how passionately, concisely, or clearly I present the Gospel, my presentation is not the focus. The Savior is the focus. He alone is a satisfactory atonement for sins and can offer regeneration.
Why I’m Thankful for my Botched Presentation
I could allow this experience to cripple me with fear from ever sharing the Gospel again. I could just decide that anytime I want someone to hear the Gospel, I’ll have them make an appointment with my pastor. After all, he’s a professional Gospel-sharer. Surely he will be persuasive enough to compel them to understand.
But instead, I must rest in the sovereignty of God. I must look at this experience, learn what I can from it, and then trust God to bring about change in my friend’s heart. I can also pray earnestly and with desperation that God will allow more opportunities in the future for me to share once more with my friend. As long as the Lord tarries and there is breath in my friend’s lungs, there is Gospel-saving hope for him (2 Peter 3:9).
In addition to learning what I can about how to better share the Gospel in the future, this experience revealed to me the pride in my own heart. I walked away from this conversation thinking my abilities were the focus. How prideful. How utterly theologically wrong.
No matter what I might like to think at times, I am not in control of, well, anything.
I do not control my friend’s response to the Gospel by how deftly I wielded my arguments. I do not control when the server decided to deliver the check to the table. And I certainly don’t control God’s ability to draw a sinner unto Himself. To think that any of those elements are under my control reveals just how truly prideful I am at heart.
While it’s uncomfortable to be faced with my prideful weakness, I am thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness to reveal my own sin to me. This is an area in which I need to grow in my own sanctification process. While I am equipping myself to share the Gospel more clearly the next time, I must also participate in God’s sanctification process by working to mortify the pride that He has so graciously revealed.
I shared my awkward Gospel moment with you to encourage you. You are not the focus of evangelism. Christ is the focus of evangelism. Be encouraged in this today, my friend! God will continue to bring opportunities before you to share His Gospel with the lost souls of the world. Your responsibility is simply to be equipped and faithful to share. He does all the work. He draws. He convicts. He saves. You must simply share.