What is the gospel? In it’s simplest form: Jesus Christ. That is essentially the gospel. Not a what, but a who. So, how do you evangelize to people about the gospel? How do you show Christ to someone else who doesn’t believe? Paul in Romans 10:13,14,17 proclaims, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” People will not come to Christ just by watching a believer live their life. They might see how to live a life pleasing to God, but unless Christ is preached to them from His Word they will not be saved.
So, how do you present the gospel to someone while at the same time living an exemplary life? Larry Moyer provides a helpful way through a two-part evangelism method. You may have heard of it before. The Bad News Good News approach. First, tell the person you are evangelizing to the bad news in two parts. Then, share the good news in two parts.
The Bad News
1. You are a sinner.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
“Sinned” means that we have missed the mark. When we lie, hate, lust, or gossip, we have missed the standard God has set. Suppose you and I were each to throw a rock and try to hit the North Pole. You might throw farther than I, but neither of us would hit it.
When the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short,” it means that we have all come short of God’s standard of perfection. In thoughts, words, and deeds, we have not been perfect.
2. The penalty for sin is death. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
Suppose you worked for me and I paid you $50. That $50 was your wages—that’s what you earned. The Bible says that by sinning we have earned death. That means we deserve to die and be separated from God forever. But since there was no way we could come to God, the Bible says that God came to us!
Now share with them the Good News!
1. Christ died for you.
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
Suppose you are in a hospital dying of cancer. I come to you and say, “Let’s take the cancer cells from your body and put them into my body.” If that were possible, what would happen to me? What would happen to you? I would die in your place. I would die instead of you.
The Bible says Christ took the penalty that we deserved for sin, placed it on Himself and died in our place. Three days later Christ came back to life to prove that sin and death have been conquered and that His claims to be God were true.
2. You can be saved through faith in Christ.
“For it is by grace [undeserved favor] you have been saved [delivered from sin’s penalty] through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Faith means trust. Just as you trust a chair to hold you through no effort of your own, so you must trust Jesus Christ to get you to heaven through no effort of your own.
You must trust in Jesus Christ alone, and God will give you eternal life as a gift!
For me as a believer, this is the most reassuring news I could ever receive. I don’t work to earn my salvation. Jonathan Edwards puts it this way, “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” In other words, Christ did it all. My performance, your performance, or the performance of your parents does nothing at all to earn you an ounce of God’s favor. Only Christ’s work on the cross was sufficient to pay the penalty of sin. In Him you can be rescued from your sin, reconciled to a right relationship with God, and renewed to new eternal life! Trust in Christ and live!