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I’ve spent a great deal of time in fervent study of theological terms and issues, and even prayer. Though I am sure all my studies have helped my understanding of God and my relationship to Him, any conversation I’ve ever had where I was close to successful at communicating the gospel has used words given to me for that exact moment.
Most of the times I have trouble even remembering the details of the conversation, that’s the way the Holy Spirit seems to work with me.
I did not ask for a quotation of that chapter. Just a summation of what is said therein. So let me help you.
Verses 1-13 -- The feeding of the five thousand.
Verses 14,15 -- Faith in Christ generated by this miracle but a misapprehension about His Kingship
Verses 16-21 -- Christ walks on the water
Verses 22-25 -- The crowds gathered again to see more miracles
Verses 26-29 -- Christ offers eternal life to those who believe on Him
Verses 30-35 -- Christ is the Bread of Life for the life of the whole world
Verses 36-40 -- Only those who believe on Christ receive eternal life and are resurrected by Him
Verses 41-46 -- The unbelieving Jews murmur against Christ
Verses 47-51 -- Those who believe on Christ receive eternal life, and all may have it, since Christ is the Bread of Life for the whole world
Verses 52-58 -- We must "eat" Christ spiritually and "drink His blood" spiritually
Verses 59-63 -- Christ's words are spirit and life, and must be taken spiritually
Verses 64-66 -- Only those who believe on Christ are given to Him by the Father
Verses 67-68 -- Christ specifically chose His apostles, knowing one of them was a devil
Calvinists try to take some of these Scriptures to fit their doctrines. But what is perfectly clear is that (1) Christ is the Bread of Life for the whole world, (2) All may believe on Him and receive eternal life, (3) those who do not believe on Him are not given to Him.
I think active listening and genuine caring, with God in mind, are key. They shine His light beautifully. I like the scripture Jeremiah 15:16. I like to share how the word is the joy and rejoicing of my heart. The verse about the apostles recalling how their hearts burned as Jesus explained the verses shows that the spirit of Christ causes the heart to burn for Him, through time in the word communing with God.
I appreciate, so MUCH, how the living word testifies His Glory in our lives. I also think doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with the Lord demonstrates His work in our lives.
i don't tally 'decisions' or try to follow some formula to coerce someone into taking a certain action or saying some certain thing.
i just tell the truth.
it's God who saves, and His Spirit that works in a person's heart. when He leads me to say something, i say it. when He doesn't, i don't take it upon myself to go beyond what He bids me, and presume to do His work. it is better i do not say something than it is that i say something wrong.
i don't live in a place or among a people who have never heard of the gospel. it is not like i am a 1st century disciple communicating the good news to gentiles for the first time. more often than not, i find myself explaining salvation to people who have either grown up in 'churchianity' or who have grown up disgusted with 'churchianity' - neither of whom understand who Christ really is and what He has really done -- the reality of it.
like Max said, i just be real, and listen, and where i see darkness and i have light, i shine it on the darkness. and i try to talk to and with people, not at them. the '2nd great wakening' idea that a man ((or woman)) can by the power of persuasion, by saying the right things, by cleverness, persuade, convince or coerce another into being saved, is heinous to me. it is God who saves, and no other. it is God who draws, and God who accomplishes, and God who upholds. IMO men like Charles Finney have done great & lasting damage in the church.
as MH alluded to, i also spend probably 100 times more hours praying for people than i spend doing anything you might call evangelizing them. salvation is God's work.
i don't believe we're all called to be missionaries. i believe, as scripture says, i should aspire to live a quiet life, working with my hands - and that by patient reverence and righteousness, Christ Himself, living through me, is a thousand times a thousand more effective a witness than me pretending to be the voice of God - my daily life winning the respect of strangers. ((in re: 1 Thess. 4:11-12))
some are called to evangelize. i'm not saying that isn't the case. but myself, it isn't generally the work He sets before me to do. so, that said, dunno how helpful what i've been saying is lol... but there you are; i've said it. in the abstract, it ought to have application.
You wrote, "...explaining salvation to people who have either grown up in 'churchianity' or..."
- what you are doing is much needed ministry.
You wrote, "I don't believe we are all called to be missionaries."
I have been involved in overseas mission work...many years.
- working with Christian leaders in unreached regions and "restricted countries"
around the world.
We have different 'callings and assignment/task' - during our journey.
I am not sure whether you read my post/reply on this thread.
If not, I suggest to read...
When I was sharing good news / evangel with that fellow, I did not coerce or follow some formula.
- I explained what 'good news' is.
- He was interested to find out..because he never heard about it.
Some years ago, I was in Finland.
- While I was there, I attended the meeting/workshop.
- It was about 'the basics of Christian faith.'
- I was told those type of workshops/classes are much needed in Finland.
- Even though they have 'churchianty' background, they do not know
'the basics of Christian faith.'
Other countries in Europe is not much different.
Interesting to note:
Europe was a birth place of 'modern mission.'
Now it is becoming ( or already is ) a mission field..