1. Reach Out Authentically to Unbelievers
A centurion’s slave was sick and near death. The centurion told Jesus to say the word and his servant would be healed recognizing he was under authority like Him. Jesus said his faith was greater than anyone in Israel (Luke 7:1-10). Reach out authentically and honorably to unbelievers that God brings across your path.
2. Show Compassion and Pray for Healing
To the son of a widow, the Lord said, "Young man, I say to you, arise!" When the dead man sat up and spoke, fear gripped them and they began glorifying God (Luke 7:11-17). Show compassion and pray for healing to glorify God.
3. Observe Varied Benefits of the Gospel
Jesus healed many people of diseases, afflictions, evil spirits and granting sight to the blind. He told John the Baptist's disciples to report what they saw:
1. Blind receive sight (spiritual)
2. Lame walk (physical)
3. Lepers cleansed (mental and psychological)
4. Deaf hear (social relationships)
5. Dead raised up (emotional)
6. Poor have gospel preached to them (evangelism)
7. Blessed is he who is not offended by Me (grace and peace) (Luke 7:18-23). Observe varied benefits of the gospel.
4. Dialogue Wisely to Form Friendships with Unbelievers
Jesus told the multitudes that John the Baptist was a messenger to prepare the way of Christ. The people and tax-gatherers acknowledged God's justice, but the Pharisees and lawyers (power elite) rejected God's purpose. John wasn’t indulging in bread or wine, so people said he had a demon. Jesus came eating and drinking, and people said he was a drunk and friend of tax-gatherers and sinners. (Luke 7:24-35).
Dialogue wisely to form friendships with unbelievers.
5. Discern Gospel Key to Prepare Minds and Hearts
Simon, part of the power elite, requested Jesus to eat with him. An immoral woman came to the house weeping, kissed Jesus' feet, and anointed them with perfume. Simon judged the woman because of her sin. Then Jesus told him a story about a moneylender with two debtors: one owed 500 denarii (500 days of wages) and the other 50. He graciously forgave both since neither could repay. Jesus asked Simon who would love Him more? He said the one who forgave more. Jesus told Simon that the one forgiven much loves much. Jesus told the woman that her sins were forgiven and her faith saved her (Luke 7:36-50).
Discern the gospel key in preparing minds and hearts to believe and follow Christ.
- Realize that spiritual influence comes as you disclose personal sin and develop authentic relationships with unbelievers “starting where they are,” “read what they need,” and “know where to take them.”
- Through spiritual dialogue and listening, you discover the unique signature message (gospel key) of how the gospel becomes “good news” to unbelieving friends in their particular situation.
- After discovering their gospel key, describe the spiritual benefit by painting a picture of a preferred life knowing God. Jesus did this with judgmental Simon whose gospel key was forgiveness (Luke 7:36-50).
- Wait for the right moment to share this insight with your unbelieving friend. Pull them aside for a focused conversation that may begin a whole new dialogue.