The path you choose determines your destination.
Over the next few days you are going to learn a simple way to share the Gospel. The Gospel begins, “in the beginning.” In our day and age, we cannot assume someone has a Biblical worldview, or even believes in a personal God. It’s best to start with the idea that God exists, He created the world, and He has a plan for your life.
As you sit down to share the Gospel, you want to start with the reason God created each one of us in the first place. When God created the world, He created people with the desire and capacity to know Him in a deep and personal way. All of us were created like this. We all desire to know God and discover His purpose for our lives.
As you share the Gospel, start out by drawing a line with an arrow on the end.
You may say something like this: “The path you choose in life determines your destination. If you are living in Dallas and you want to go to California, you won’t get on a highway headed east. You might end up in Georgia, but you will never get to California that way because the path you choose determines your destination. And in the same way, the path you choose in life determines what kind of life you will have and where you will end up. This line represents God’s path for your life. God created every person to know Him in a deep and personal way. (Psalm 16.11 ESV) says, ’You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.’”
Write “Path of Life” along the line.
Then continue: “Along this path you can know God. You can experience His peace and discover His purpose for your life, and you can have assurance that you will be with Him for eternity when you die.”
As you say those words, you can write them at the end of the path line — peace, purpose, assurance.
We have traded God’s way for our way.
After you have drawn out God’s path of life and written the words “peace, purpose and assurance” at the end of the line, you are ready to describe the problem.
You may say, “While God has a path that is good for us, not everyone is on that path. All you have to do is look around to see that there is a lot of evil and hurt in this world. Something has gone terribly wrong.”
At this point, you can draw a line coming off God’s path that turns and goes in the opposite direction.
Say, “The problem is that we have lost our way and veered off course from God’s path. (Isaiah 53.6a ESV) says, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way.’ The Bible calls this straying away from God’s path ‘sin.’ (Romans 3.23 ESV) says, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ In a very real way, we all have fallen short of God’s path. We have taken our own path, exchanging God’s way for our way. Although we may not realize it, we are going the opposite direction from God.”
Now draw a vertical line in front of “my path” on the diagram, showing a dead end.
Say, “Ultimately, if we continue down this road, we will hit a wall. Usually this comes in the form of a crisis or difficulty. It is then that we realize we are missing something. We don’t have a relationship with God. We don’t have His peace. We don’t know His purpose. We don’t have assurance of what will happen to us when we die. Oftentimes, this wall is God’s way of getting our attention.”
You may want to pause here and see if that resonates with them.
“However, if we continue to go down this road, then ultimately we will hit the wall of God’s judgment. (Romans 14.12 ESV) says, ‘So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Each one of us will have to stand before God and be judged for our sin.’ Because God is holy and perfect, He must judge the wrong in the world and the wrong in us. (Romans 6.23 ESV) says, ‘For the wages of sin is death. We have sinned against God, and our sin is leading us down a road that is far from God and will end in not just physical death, but spiritual death and separation from God forever.’”
This is the bad news of the Bible. We’ve lost our own way, and we are powerless to get back on our own.
Written by Craig Etheredge