According to a 1993 study, despite intense follow-up, the Church cannot account for 95% of people who make decisions for Christ. This is largely because many people get born again for the wrong reasons. They did not hear the full true Gospel of Christ. Infact, I dare say they did not hear the Gospel, because any “gospel” that does not talk about the following three (3) elements is not the Gospel at all.
Sin: This is the problem of man. Death entered into the world through sin (See Romans 5:12). We must allow whoever we are preaching to, to see that he is a sinner in the light of God’s moral law i.e. the 10 commandments.
Hell: If the Lagos state government stopped punishing traffic offenders, just imagine how much worse traffic will be. Hell is God’s just punishment for sinners. If sinners do not know or understand the punishment for their sin, they will see the suffering and death of Jesus as meaningless or unnecessary at best.
Jesus Christ: He is The Way of escape from God’s wrath. The Way of escape from the destruction that is soon to come upon sinners. You must mention that Jesus is the only Son of God. That He suffered, was crucified, died, rose up, is alive today and offers forgiveness to anyone who humbly repents.
Do not promise people prosperity and happiness just to get them to make a decision for Christ. It is not biblical and if that person should die a hypocrite and end up in Hell, you will be responsible for his/her soul.
To be able to convert one, we should first know what they believe. We should not strive to understand it, but to just know about it so that we are not taken unawares.
Muslims have six main beliefs.
Belief in Allah as the one and only God
Belief in angels
Belief in the holy books
Belief in the Prophets…e.g. Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Isa (Jesus). And that Muhammad is the final prophet
Belief in the Day of Judgement…The day when the life of every human being will be assessed to decide whether they go to heaven or hell.
Belief in Predestination…That Allah has the knowlege of all that will happen. Muslims believe that this doesn’t stop human beings making free choices.
It is pretty easy to preach the gospel to a Muslim using number 5 above. Simply ask them if they think they will go to Heaven on Judgement day. If they say “Yes” or “I don’t know/Only Allah knows”, take them through the 10 Commandments Test to see how “good” they are and show them how they fall short and therefore need a saviour Jesus Christ. If they say “No” your job is easier because God has already started working in them to show them their sinfulness. Water the seed by pointing them to Jesus as the only way to obtain forgiveness for their sins or shortcomings.
Hindus have six core beliefs.
Truth is eternal
Brahman (their god) is truth and reality
The Vedas (their sciptures) are the ultimate authority
Everyone should strive to achieve dharma (righteousness?)
Individual souls are immortal
The goal of the individual soul is moksha (release from the cycle of death and rebirth?)
It would be best to minister the gospel from the angle of their 4th core belief (achieving righteousness). Ask them how well they are doing in that regard. Then ask to take them through the 10 Commandments Test. Show them where they have fallen short and introduce Jesus Christ as the only one who can forgive sins and empower a person to live righteously in this present world.
Buddhists believe that human life is one of suffering and that meditation, spiritual and physical labour and good behaviour are the ways to achieve enlightenment or nirvana.
To minister to a Buddhist simply take them back to their own beliefs. Ask them how well they are doing in the area of “good behaviour’. Then take them through the 10 Commandments Test. Tell them of how God saw that we are helplessly sinful and how He came in the person of Jesus Christ to die and provide forgiveness and sanctification for humanity.
Judaists have three main beliefs.
Monotheism: that there is one God – Yahweh. That He is a unity and cannot be divided into parts
Identity: that all people are made in the image of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect
Covenant: Jews believe that God made an agreement called a “covenant” with Abraham, the ancestor of the Jewish people. The Bible says that God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants if they worshipped God and were faithful to him.
Jews still wait for the Messiah to come. They believe that this will be a person. Other Jews believe in a future time when justice and peace will come through the cooperation of all people and the help of God.
To minister to a Jew, take them through the 10 Commandments Test and tell them about Jesus sacrifice for sinners. Trust God to reveal Himself to them in the person of Jesus Christ.
“23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,”
We must not get into arguments when preaching the gospel. The purpose of this lesson is simply to understand the basics of these three belief systems so that we are not shocked or shaken if ever we encounter anyone with any of these sets of beliefs.
The New Age Movement
These are Westernized forms of Eastern religions that involve a combination of occultic practices, self-help, holistic medicines and astrology. Activities include tarot cards, metaphysical healing, reading of palms and connecting to the spirit world. They believe in taking control of your own life and that increased personal awareness and development of one’s own divinity is the springboard to global transformation. These beliefs are flexible and they in fact reject rigid morals and organized religion and prefer to choose their own spiritual truth. Some examples of New Age Religions are Hare Krishna, Scientology, Theosophy, Rosicrucians, Inner Peace Movement, Spiritualism and Children of God.
This is also known as rebirth or transmigration. It is the concept that the human spirit or soul begins a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death.
A relativist holds that nobody is right or wrong about what is moral (good or bad), therefore, everyone ought to tolerate the behaviour of others regardless of the gravity of evil they have committed.
Bible Passages That Counter These Beliefs
BIBLE PASSAGES THAT COUNTER IT
The New Age Movement
Deuteronomy 6:13-15 13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Matthew 4:9-10 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Hebrews 9:27 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Deuteronomy 30:15-19 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
People will believe anything so far it’s not God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So whenever anyone presents their contrary beliefs to you, simply bring them back to your gospel message. There is power in the gospel, not in discussing beliefs and arguing about which religion is the best. Remember that when someone brings up an objection, it is just Satan trying to prevent you from proclaiming the Gospel of Salvation. Always stir them back to the Gospel.
Faith to believe in Jesus Christ cannot come through receiving blessings and promises.
Healing alone cannot produce faith. The people that Jesus healed were part of those that shouted “Crucify him!”. They were okay with him being a powerful prophet like Moses and Elijah but the fact that he healed them didn’t mean he had the right to call himself the son of God.
If a sinner receives Christ because you promised them riches, you better be ready to supply them all the money you promised they will have.
The promise of miracles and prosperity cannot produce genuine faith to believe. This is why we have very many professing Christians in church but few of them really believe in Jesus Christ. Only few are genuinely born again.
Faith comes by hearing The Message about Christ. The text Romans 10:17 States this very clearly.
I pray you will always only share the message of Christ, his death, his resurrection and what that means for each man, in Jesus name. Amen.