Focus verses: Acts 21:40-22:21
We have been told of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus when he became Paul the apostle. Here we have it in his own words.
First he speaks to the priests and rabbis as one who was trained as they were. He is a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. He studied under one of their most respected teachers. He knew and kept the laws of Moses.
Then he simply tells the facts of how he met Jesus on the road to Damascus and where he went after that.
He doesn’t gloss over the fact that he was present as an instigator at the stoning of Stephen. He isn’t proud of it, either. It is a fact, and he relates it as such.
Then he tells them he was sent to the gentiles because the Israelites would not not accept his teaching.
While he is speaking, the mob is quiet. He is speaking to them in Aramaic, their own tongue.
We could emulate this example when speaking to others about our faith. There are several evangelistic principles contained herein.
First, speak to your hearers in language they understand. Keep it simple. You need not speak in polysyllabic philosophical terms or use esoteric Christian terminology. Tell it so a child of six could understand.
Second, tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Some people can wrap their silver tongues around a lie and entice you to believe it. But those lies will out at some point or another. Truth is the basis for a relationship with God. You can’t pull the wool over His eyes. He knows all about you, and He loves you in spite of it.
Third, you take them from what you believed at first to what you believe now, tracing your personal journey so that they can follow along. What convinced you may just convince them.
This journey is all we have to convince others of Jesus. We simply make the introduction and let Jesus take it from there. This is simple evangelism.
You are not responsible for the reactions of those to whom you speak. You cannot change anyone. What you can do is share the truth. Leave the rest to God. He will bring forth the fruit of your labors.
Keep us ready at all times to explain the hope that is within us. Give us open hearts and truthful tongues. Let us not get so caught up in our story that we lose the focus of Jesus’ story.