We live in a time where people have diverse views of the world. As we build relationships with these people, how can we know when it’s the right time to preach the gospel to them? The Bible gives us points on how and when to preach the gospel.

 

With Urgency

Do you not say, “There are yet four months, then comes the harvest”? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

John 4:35

It’s interesting how Jesus used the word “harvest” to refer to lost people. It creates excitement and urgency for all of his disciples. Excitement, because harvesting is the most rewarding part of farming. Urgency, because if you delay, your crops will rot and nobody wants that!

In Acts 9, we can read the story of how God used Ananias to heal Saul (who became Paul). In verse 15, God referred to Saul as His chosen instrument to carry His name. Just imagine what would have happened if Ananias didn’t obey God to begin with!

In the same way, the people around us have a great destiny in God. They, too, are chosen instruments of God to proclaim His name. Just imagine what would happen if we don’t obey God and preach the gospel to them.

In the Opportune Time

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

The good works that we do now have been prepared by God. Every opportunity we have is there because God put it there. As we build relationships with people who do not know Christ yet, God is paving the way for us to be able to preach the gospel to them. Does that mean we’re just going to sit around and wait for the “right time”? Absolutely not.

We can prepare for the opportunity to preach the Gospel everyday. This can be through different ways—it can be by asking others what they think about God, going through One2One with them, or by first treating them with the genuine love that we preach, to name a few. As we do this, we open ourselves to the opportunity to preach the gospel.

Let us remember though, that we don’t need to be best friends first before we preach the gospel. The God Test, for instance, is a tool that allows us to preach to strangers. There are other tools out there, but ultimately, the power to reconcile people back to God is in the gospel that is preached, and not the tool.

Led by the Holy Spirit

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

John 14:26

We can act with urgency all we want, do the God Test, and build deeper relationships with those we are reaching out to, but without the leading of the Holy Spirit, we run the risk of missing out on what God is really doing in a person’s life.

That’s why it is important to be led by the Holy Spirit. We need to be sensitive to the felt needs of the person and be ready to minister. We might not know exactly what they are going through, but He does and He knows exactly what to say. This allows us to be ready to hear from Him, and relay His message.