Where is the best place to start when we’re sharing the gospel with someone?

2 Min Read

Objectively, it’s always best to begin with God. I believe that everyone believes in God. There are not actually any atheists or agnostics, because everyone does believe that God exists. Naturally, God has put the evidence in the heart of every individual, and they can’t reject it or really deny it. When they look in the mirror, when they look at the sky, when they look at the evidence of creation, human beings know that God exists.

For those who want to pretend that God doesn’t exist and want to act as if He doesn’t and claim that He doesn’t, I still say to begin with Him. At the end of the day, people are not converted by the way in which we evangelize but rather by God who works in their hearts. So, objectively, begin with God. Begin with His standard, His character, who He is, and what He demands.

At the same time, I would also say that it depends on the conversation. I am engaged in conversations with non-Christians all the time, whether at restaurants, where I am in the community, at the gym, and so on, and it’s fascinating to me: people are incurably religious. They are religious at the very core of their being. Even people who don’t go to church, who are not a part of any organized religion, are religious. We see it every Sunday: clubs, communities, people coming together, being spiritual, being people of faith, whatever they are. So, start wherever they are. In one sense, you can meet people where they are. If they’re thinking about their children, if they’re thinking about their situation, if they’re worried about things, if they have guilt, if they feel the pressures and the anxieties of life, start there.

I would also say this: engage in conversations with them as human beings in a genuine and authentic way because you actually care about them. Yes, you want to communicate and proclaim the gospel to them—but communicate with them because you care about them.

That’s one of the things we see Jesus doing in His ministry. We see the Apostles doing that in their ministries. They have a love for people and a care for human beings. It’s true that their love for God and their desire to glorify God exceeds all of that, but they actually do care about people. They engage with people because they care about them. They care about their souls.

We evangelize not so that we can tell our Christian friends that we have evangelized; we evangelize for the glory of God and for the sake of the souls of those to whom we speak.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Burk Parsons and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.