We continue to force feed to non-believers terms like “the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ”, propitiation, “atonement for our sins”, “redemption”, “salvation”, ”blood of the lamb” and all the other terms we as Christians toss around in hymns and conversation as we discuss our faith with one another.
The problem is, the people we need to be attempting to reach have no idea what we are talking about.
Our answer is to “give them a bible” or if they are lucky, we might take them to church where they meet with more confusion as they listen to us talk to each other in the same kind of way using expressions familiar to nurturing Christians.
How about taking a new believer or non believer to a modern Baptist Sunday school class and let him hear about Joshua leading the chosen people of Israel across the Jordan River to their next battle after Moses died.
As believers, we know the Word of God is the Word of God and we place much stock in verses, preaching of the message, bible study and the things of Christian life. Somehow, we expect that we can simply take someone to church and they will automatically absorb magically the faith and knowledge that has been imparted to us for years.
The problem is, we are believers and they are not.
Most of us don’t actively read the bible, so why would a non-believer bother when he can’t understand it in the first place?
I work in prison ministry, around drug rehabs, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Even the simplest of evangelism tracts aimed at these rely on bible verses that do not explain the meaning.
I understand the notion that when you ask the Holy Spirit to take over, then you gain understanding of scripture as He interprets it for you. But what about the guy who has not arrived as believer? He has never met the Holy Spirit and has no idea who He is.
I get letters from prisoners who by and large complain that they don’t understand the bible, but would like to know more about Jesus. My answer to date is to attempt to use the NLT version of the bible and especially the Book of John to include into a simple witnessing package including How to be a Child of God as a sort of one stop store to get someone started.
As a companion, I would attach the book Seeking God through Prayer and Meditation. The witness book, the Book of the Gospel of John (NLT) and a handbook on prayer and meditation would be a great start for a new believer.
Prison Evangelism has successfully utilized the book How to be a Child of God in over three hundred prison units with over 130,000 distributed.
The simple and easy to read illustrated format invites the non-believer to ease in and take a closer look.
Read the ebook version at: www.howtobeachildofgod.com along with Seeking God through Prayer and Meditation, our handbook for learning how to pray and how to meditate.
Prison Evangelism, Inc.
PO Box 571977
Houston, Texas 77257