We tend to evangelize only to those who don’t know Jesus at all. I think I am just curious how important it is to evangelize to Catholics, or those who aren’t exactly believing everything theologically “correct”. I understand Mormons believe very different things about God and Jesus and can see why we would need to spread the gospel to them. But what about people who are believing Mary was sinless or that we have to work for our faith? How do we go about this?
No matter if a person identifies as Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, or Mormon, we should have conversations with them about Christ. Are we “evangelizing” as an activity or as our way of life? Do we talk about the Lord with others? Do we bring God into our conversations with friends/neighbors? Are we “at ease” talking about our Lord, the Scripture, a relationship with Christ? If we could absolve believers from guilt/shame/ and the fact that many are fearful to share Christ with others, that’s a great start.
So, we focus on the clear gospel. You need a method to share the Gospel. An easy method is the bad news/good news structure. It’s 4 verses, 4 easy illustrations. In Romans 3:23 it says, all have sinned and fall short… Romans 6:23 wages of sin is death… Romans 5:8 God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us… and finally Ephesians 2:8-9 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We need to focus on the clear gospel. Now, when it comes to matters like Mary, the rosary, the mass, rather than taking those head on, study the Bible with them. Have a 4-6 week Bible study on these passages. Read the gospel of John. Let God’s word and God’s Spirit work in their lives. Not everyone can be an apologist – great at proving every point wrong about other religions – but we can all be good at carefully reading the Bible.
Evangelizing to Others in Truth
When opportunity arises, for example if a person asks about Mary, read the magnificat in Luke 1 together. Read about Jesus’ comments of His brothers and sisters. Let the clear language of the Bible speak, we don’t have to convince or argue.
Keep in mind that many Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, etc want to go to heaven. They know they are sinners, they believe in Jesus, but they may be trusting in religion not relationship. A good way to talk about this is a religion is any system of do’s and don’ts that we think make us right before God. But guilt, shame, and insecurity run wild for a person who is trying to be religious. To have a relationship with Christ is to know Him. Not know about Him, but to know Him. To place our trust in Christ and Christ alone for our salvation.
At the core of this is helping our friends have the assurance of their salvation. Folks who identify as a denomination may or may not know Christ. What we can do is longingly, kindly, patiently be their friend and show them the Word. Reassure them that you love them, care about them, and want them to know that they know who Christ is and if they are truly secure in His salvation. 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
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