How To Share The Gospel With Family

by Jack Wellman on April 7, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

Are there ways that you could share the gospel with your unsaved family members?  Since you know them so well, what is the best approach so as not to offend a member of your family?  How can you find common ground with a non-believer in your family?

What is the Gospel?

The word gospel means “good news or good tidings.“  That’s exactly what it is for those of us who are Christians and its also good news for those who are not saved because there is hope that they can be saved from the coming wrath of God on Judgment Day (Rev 20).  It is news so good that we can not keep it to ourselves.  The word gospel may be derived from an old English word, “god-spell.“  The Greek word for gospel sounds, appropriately enough, like evangelize and is spelled: euaggelion.

How To Share The Gospel WIth Family

Ultimately, it is not your responsibility to save a person. It is their response to God’s ability, but it is your responsibility to tell them about the gospel.

Before you can share the gospel with a non-saved family member, you must know the gospel so well that you can present it in just a few short lines.  Many evangelists have discovered that it is almost easier to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a complete stranger than it is with someone you are so familiar with like a family member, a friend or a co-worker.  The purpose of this article could also be used to reveal how you can share the gospel with the people you know the best.

An important thing to know is that any effort to share the gospel should begin with prayer.  It should be done prayerfully and prayer should follow your witnessing.  If you do not pray, you are depending on your own efforts and strength.  God the Holy Spirit is the only one Who can open believer’s eyes to Who Jesus is.  Jesus Christ is known only by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by slick presentations or flashy testimonies.  If you want God the Holy Spirit to work in this close friend, family member or co-worker, you must pray about it and ask God’s intervention on your behalf.  Ultimately, it is not your responsibility to save a person.  It is their response to God’s ability, but it is your responsibility to tell them about the gospel.

First Corinthians 15:1-4 is a great summation of the gospel:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Romans 10:9-13 is a great summation of how one can be saved:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

These key verses are great memory verses which will allow you to be ready to give an accurate description of the gospel and an accurate way to know how salvation is obtained. They must repent, turn from their sin, and place their faith in Jesus Christ alone.  They should then find a good Bible-believing church and be baptized into the membership there.

One on One Witnessing

I am not about to provide one single line that you can use to introduce family, friends, and co-workers to Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel.  To do so, I believe, would subvert the work of the Holy Spirit. God can not be put in a box, therefore what you use to share the gospel with your brother might be something altogether different than you use with your aunt.  The Holy Spirit is a trustworthy witness of Jesus and will frequently give you the right words to say and when to say them.  There are many circumstances that are involved.  For example, my aunt is dying and when I speak with some of my family members, I asked them, “What do you think happens to a person after they die?”   I might even say, “Do you think about what happens to you after you die” or “Where do you think a person goes after they die?”

To begin with, they may already be a Christian and you don’t know it.  You can’t assume that they are not a Christian just because you don’t know or assume that they are one either.  There are many ways in which you can discern if they are or they are not a believer just by asking them questions or making certain comments.  Sometimes world events such as tragedies occur that may naturally lead to someone thinking about the mortality of life.  For others it might be, “What do you think about all the crazy weather were having around the nation? What do you think it means?”  You could also ask them, “What church do you attend?”  The point is you want them to begin to think about spiritual things or take a look at the human frailty of life.  The latest survey says that 100 out of every 100 people will die and that God has said that He has put eternity in the hearts of mankind (Eccl 3:11).

I have a nursing home Bible study every Wednesday night and one Wednesday night, one of the residents died.  It was a frightening experience for the residents and so we cancelled the Bible study that night and I just spoke plainly to some of the residents there about life being so finite.  Many of them were quite shaken by this tragedy.  No one knows the day or hour when they will pass from this life.  I would ask them, “Have you ever thought about where you will go after you die?  If you could know for sure where you would go after death, would you want to know?”  If some of the answers are unbiblical I ask them, “Where did you learn this from?  How do you know that is true?  Are you certain where you will go after you die?”  I hear some say that they will be reincarnated, others say they will cease to exist and many other different answers to these questions.  That is when I ask them, “Where did you learn this from?  How do you know that is true?”

Evangelizing Family

Keep in mind that you are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ because you care about their eternal destination.  When believers are finally in the Kingdom of Heaven, we will not look back in eternity and think, “Wow, I wish I hadn’t made my uncle Frank so mad at me when I told him about the gospel.  Boy, I wish I hadn’t embarrassed myself so much when I brought up Jesus and salvation with my cousin Terry.”  No, because once we receive eternal life, we will have lost all chance to share the gospel with others for there is no evangelism in heaven.  We must realize that the power is in the message and not in the messenger.  The responsibility to save is God’s but we are held responsible to share the good news with other (Matt 28:18-20, Acts 1:8).  Someone once risked our rejecting them when they shared the faith of Christ with us.  Aren’t we glad that they did?  Time is slipping away from us.  We may not get a second chance to tell others about Jesus because they can die in a freak accident, have a heart attack, move away or Christ could return at any moment now.  Remember that they are not really rejecting you but they are rejecting Jesus.  We can not take the persecution personally.

We also do not want to cram religion down anyone’s throat.  You can bring up the gospel with any number of questions or statements but you can not bring it up every single time you see your lost family member, friend or co-worker or they will begin to avoid you like the plague.  Then you will have little or no chance to share the gospel with them ever again. They might be afraid to even bring it up with you. You may only get one or two opportunities before they feel that they are feeling pressured.  It’s good to know that God calls them; the Holy Spirit reveals Who Jesus is, and the Savior saves them from the wrath of God.  We can only try but repeated efforts over a short period of time may actually harden their hearts.  Pray, pray and then pray so more.

Jesus told His disciples to “Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth more laborers” (Matt 9:38).  The numbers of Christians who have lead at least one person to saving faith in Christ is around 1 in 20 and the numbers of Christians who consistently witness for Jesus are only 1 in 10, so you are a rare individual if you are telling others about Christ.  God is not seeking more religious people; He is not seeking more church members.  He is seeking disciples after His own heart. How sad that many Christians will sit in their holy huddles on Sunday, sitting as “pew potatoes” who are only interested in their own salvation, when people are dying every day, passing into eternal punishment because we won’t be bold in going out into the world to tell others how they might have eternal life.  Every day over 700 thousand people die.  Since only about 33% of the world’s population is Christian, this means that over 462 thousand people will pass into eternity, forever separated from God with no second chance.  The amazing thing is that 73% of people who do not attend church have never been asked!

Learn more about how you can share your faith with the lost; including family, co-workers, and friend.  You can do it. God can take weak, frail, feeble humans who would describe themselves as sinners or a train wreck, and use them in a most powerful way.  You can receive the power of God in the Holy Spirit when you seek those who are lost (Acts 1:8, Matt 28:18-20).  Tap that power, expand the worship of God in heaven, and leave the 99 to seek the one that is lost.  There is no greater joy than the privilege of bringing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those you love.  And those who you can help bring this good news will be thanking you for all eternity.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

luke June 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

my parents say that they have lots of respect for christianity but they were raised hindu.

they say that they accept GOD into their heart not JESUS does this mean they are saved?

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Jack Wellman June 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Luke, thank you for visiting us and for this great question. Let me say that I can respect the speed limit but if I don’t obey it I will still get a ticket. The same is true of Christ. You can not have God in your heart without Christ. The person who says they know God but doesn’t accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, is not saved. It is impossible to be saved without Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). There is no other way to go to heaven and escape hell except thru Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31).

Even Jesus said in John 12:48 “There is a judge for the one who rejects me [Christ] and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” Further, in John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” You can not access God except thru Jesus Christ alone. They are not saved by respecting Christianity or accepting God but by accepting Jesus (John 3:17) but if not, they will be rejected by God on the Day of Judgment and will be condemned (John 3:18). This is not my opinion but God’s words. Please make them understand. God will NOT accept them except through Jesus Christ…period. You must warn them to repent today. No practicing Hindu’s are going to heaven but to hell.

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luke June 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

any tips on how to convert them?

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Jack Wellman June 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Hello Luke. Thank you sir for your question. Let me say that God is the One Who does the converting. The Father draws them (John 6:44), Jesus saves them (John 3:16) and the Holy Spirit convicts them and does the actual converting (John 16:8-11). It is not our responsibility to save anyone…it is THEIR response to HIS ability but it IS our responsibility to tell them (Matt 28:18=20, Acts 1:8).

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luke June 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

they may not listen.a few years ago a couple came to our house to try and convert us.unfortunatley when they were done talking they demanded a large amount of money.since that day they are universalists and may reject the gospel. any idea how i can help them understand?

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Jack Wellman June 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

You can by all means pray for only the Holy Spirit can reveal to them Who Jesus is and why they need Him to save them from hell fire. I am touched and so pleased that you care enough to share the gospel with them. You could ask them where do you think you will go after you die? What happens to you after you die? How can you be sure (after they answer you). Keep praying and I will to so that God may open up their eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand Luke. Don’t give up friend.

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luke June 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

they may not listen.a few years ago a couple came to our house to try and convert us.unfortunatley when they were done talking they demanded a large amount of money.since that day they are universalists and may reject the gospel. how can they learn to accept the gospel?

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luke June 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

what does this mean?-Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.

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Jack Wellman June 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

This is from the Old Testament and it really applies to the Jews at that time. The first portion was always holy to God, just like the first portion of their produce, their income and their livestock (animals) were the same as money and to set apart a man was to dedicate him to the temple for service to God…but again, this was for the Old Testament period only Luke. Thank you friend.

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luke June 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

sorry for asking the same question twice. the comment had’nt loaded on the page yet so i thought i hadn’t posted it.

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luke June 25, 2012 at 8:14 am

Thank you for your help.
I have managed to convert my mother but my father still doesn’t believe.
I am beginning to wonder whether God has hardened his heart-I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” (Romans 9:15-18)
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14),
For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10),
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48)
Does this mean we have no choice?Does God want only a few to be saved?
On the other hand we have verses like this-Ezekiel 18:32 “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the LORD. Repent and live!
Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants
I Timothy 2: 3-4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth
Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD

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Jack Wellman June 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Luke, I am so proud of you that you are sharing the gospel with your family. You can also do this with co-workers, students, people you meet in the stores, etc. Yes, God has mercy upon whom He will have mercy but God also desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Tim 2:4) and He takes no pleasure in their destruction (Ezek 18:32). Let me say that God doesn’t send anyone to hell. They choose to go their by their rejection of Jesus Christ so God is not the One Who is condemning the lost but they are condemning themselves (read Rom chapters 1 & 2).

We all have a choice…we are free, moral agents. God does not condemn but we condemn ourselves by rejecting Him. As you quoted in Deuteronomy, we can choose life or death. Praying for your father is the best thing you can do and love Him as Christ loves us and don’t preach to him…just live it out and pray. Don’t give up. Thank you for being a faithful witness for Christ.

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France July 6, 2012 at 2:24 am

Hi Jack,

Thank you for sharing this wonderful message. I am equally bothered of my parents and siblings who does not want to be converted to Christianity. You inspired me thru this article.
God bless you always.

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Jack Wellman July 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

France, thank you so much for your very kind words. I believe that there is nothing more important than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with loved ones, for God has truly placed each of us in a unique place to do so. Remember that it is not your responsibility to save them…it is their response to His ability but it is our responsibility to tell them…and others too, outside of family like co-workers. Thank you and please come back again soon.

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Bryan July 28, 2013 at 2:07 am

Mr Wellman, Thank you so much for your encouragement on sharing the gospel with family, friends and others. I personally start out with my own testimony about what Jesus has done in my life. No one can deny my life’s story and it’s a joy to glorify the Savior with another person. I do pray to the Holy Spirit for His guidance and then leave all the results up to Him. Once again, I am grateful for you sharing your insight on this important topic .

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Jack Wellman July 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thank you Bryan for your comment. You wanting to share the gospel is wonderful because only 1 in 20 believers have ever led more than one person to faith in Christ. That is not good but I see you have a passion for the Great Commission. Your own personal testimony is a great way to do so. No one, as you say, can dispute this because it is objective testimony to the work of God in your life.

Here are a couple of links that may help you, particularly if you do street evangelism or door to door:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-evangelize-door-to-door-seven-helpful-tips/

but this link below may be the most important and effective of all and is called “Who Goes to Heaven? Do Good People Go?” at:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/who-goes-to-heaven-do-good-people-go-to-heaven/

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Eric September 5, 2013 at 8:10 am

Paul said woe to me if I not preach the Gospel!
sometimes I think we are responsible!

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