Unpacking the Gospel ~ Part 3 “Choosing to Embrace the Cross”

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Unpacking the Gospel, Part 3

Choosing to Embrace the Cross

Bruce A. Hess

Today is going to be the third message in a series of four messages on Unpacking the Gospel. What we are doing in this series is, we are zooming in on the most important truth in the universe. Each week, as we’ve been doing this, we are building on the foundation of the previous times. So, if you missed message one and message two, we just invite you to go back and capture those, go through those. Those are very important because we are going to build on that today.

As we’ve been doing this series, we have said we have two primary motivations, I am excited about it. Two motivations behind this, number one, we want To Clarify the Most Important Truth in the Universe. That is part of why we are doing this. We want every man, every woman, every student, every child, to clearly know what Jesus Christ has done for them.

So, that is motivation number one. The second motivation I have in wanting to do this series is To Challenge Those Who Have Embraced the Gospel. We have been mentioning every time, for those of us who know Jesus, regular gratitude for the deep grace of the gospel is what catalyzes a daily attitude of worship. It is what energizes our drive to serve God, it’s what stimulates our desire to share the gospel with others. So, it is important to take time to go through this four-part series.

Now, we’re not going to go back and cover everything we’ve covered so far, but I do want to summarize it quickly. In the very first message that we did, we talked about Our Need for the Cross. We pointed out that while we are all created and designed to have a relationship with God, we all have a problem that blocks that relationship with God and that problem is sin. We pointed out that sin has two significant complications to it. Number one, sin has a severe penalty, which is really an eternity in hell and the lake of fire. That is a very severe penalty. The second significant complication is we cannot compensate for our sin problem.

Romans, chapter 3, verse 20 (NLT), “No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what His law demands.”

 So, we started this series out with bad news, but the word ‘gospel’ means Good News and the good news is that God has done something about it.  Last time we looked at God’s Work at the Cross; how He provides the solution, how He provides a Rescuer for us. We saw, for example, in 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT), “Christ died for our sins once for all time.” We said we did the sinning and Jesus did the dying.

We also pointed out last time that Jesus is the only solution. Acts, chapter 4, verse 12 (NLT), “There is salvation in no one else!” Only the God-Man could come and die for everybody’s sins. “There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.”

Last time we ended with a question and the question is this: Is Jesus’ death automatically credited to everybody? The answer to that question is no.

That leads us to the message today, the third in the series, where we are going to be looking at Choosing to Embrace the Cross.

As we talk about embracing the cross today, we are going to talk about it on two levels. The first level is Choosing to Embrace Jesus as your Rescuer. Again, I don’t know where everyone is coming from spiritually.  But I want to encourage you today, if you have never responded personally to what Christ accomplished on the cross for you, today is the day that you can take that life step, choosing to embrace Jesus as your Rescuer.

That is one level we want to talk about when it comes to embracing the cross. The second level is Choosing to Embrace our Identity as Ambassadors. This part of the message is for those of us who have already trusted in Christ as our Rescuer. Choosing to embrace our identity as ambassadors; we are ambassadors of the gospel; we are ambassadors of the cross. This, men and women, honestly, in the church today is often overlooked. It is a high calling given to every follower of Jesus.

We are going to look at those two aspects of embracing the cross today. Sound like a good plan? Let’s go ahead and do it.

We want to talk first about Choosing to Embrace Jesus as your Rescuer. Again, I’m actually going to—as part of the message today, if you’ve never trusted in Jesus as your Rescuer—I’m going to give you an opportunity to do that. I’m going to lead you in a salvation prayer, just so you know that’s coming in just a few minutes.

Salvation, forgiveness, is something we can never earn.  We can never achieve it; we can never deserve it. Jesus took on my spiritual cancer, but what does He want me to do, how should I respond in light of that? That is what we want to talk about for a few minutes. It is a relationship that we must choose.

What I have noted over the decades is that too often there is unclear communication. It can be explained, what Jesus did on the cross to be our Rescuer, but too often there is a lack of clarity on what we are to do. There is some confusing, what you might call “Christianese”, a type of ‘insider lingo’ that goes on.

For example, you could talk about what Christ did on the cross and some people might say: what you need to do is you need “to become a Christian.” That’s what you need to do, become a Christian. What does that mean exactly?

Or, someone might say, what you need to do is you need “to invite Jesus into your life.” Or, someone might say, what you need to do is you need “to accept Jesus as your Savior.” Or, some people might say, what you need to do is you need “to get saved,” if you will get saved, everything will be okay. And, someone is thinking, what does that mean that I am to ‘get saved’? Some of that lingo is so confusing.

I came across this bumper sticker, you could call it a bumper ‘snicker’, trying to make fun of the idea. It says, Jesus saves, Moses invests. [the humor is based on “saving” as in saving money; and since Moses was Jewish, Jewish folks go beyond saving money to investing it] What does this mean ‘to get saved’? Well, here is what I want us to do today. I think this is a radical idea. How about if we let Scripture speak? How about if we let Scripture speak? I am going to show you a series of verses and what I want you to do is put on your thinking cap, and I want you to tell me whether you notice a pattern. Okay? Sound like a good plan?

So, let’s look at these passages of Scripture. First, John 3:15, what are we supposed to do? Well, it says here, “Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.” That’s pretty straightforward, right?

How about this one? John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” So notice, we’re looking for a pattern, right?

John 3:18, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned. But whoever does not believe in Him is condemned already because he has not believed.”

Another passage, John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.”

John, chapter 5, verse 24 (NIV), “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life.”

Another passage, John, chapter 6, verse 47 (NIV), “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.”

Now, here’s one thing I want you to notice from all those verses I’ve put up so far, Jesus is the one who is speaking. Do you think Jesus knows what we are supposed to do in light of what was done on the cross?? I think He does. I know it is ‘radical’, but I think He does.

Not only does Jesus say this, but the Apostle Peter says it. Acts 10:43, “Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

Not only the Apostle Peter, but I want you to notice the Apostle Paul, Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

 Okay, so here comes the ‘pop quiz’ [an unscheduled or unannounced test]. So, what is the response that we are to have in light of Christ’s work on the cross [to the audience]? And it is? What was it again? I didn’t quite hear you, one more time. Believe! Exactly. We are to believe. That is the response that we are called to have.

You know the Gospel of John is a very interesting gospel. At the very end of the Gospel of John, towards the end in John, chapter 20, verse 31, it says this, and it is talking about all the miracles and all the works and all the signs that Jesus performed and it says, “These things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” Now, that’s very interesting to me because John was the closest disciple to Jesus. The Gospel of John is the only book in the Bible that has a singular stated purpose to it and that is, “I have included these things so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

In fact, in the Gospel of John the verb ‘believe’ or ‘believes’ or ‘believed’ occurs 99 times. And so, the response that we are to have to God’s work on the cross, through Christ, is to believe.

Now, some Bible students might say, wait a minute, Bruce, what about repentance? Doesn’t the Bible talk about repentance? In fact, doesn’t Jesus say in the end of the Gospel of Luke, about repentance…He does say something in Luke 24, verse 47, Jesus says to the disciples, “Repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations.”

What does this mean? How does ‘repentance’ figure into all of this? Well, here is my best understanding of it. My best understanding is that repentance is an integral part of belief. It is built into the whole idea of believing. The word ‘repent’ means a change of mind that leads to a change of action. That is what repenting means.

So, that action of a change of mind (which leads to a change of action), what it is is talking about depends on the context of where that word is used. You can track it through. It means a change of mind that leads to a change of action.

So, I want to take you to another passage in Acts, chapter 20, where the Apostle Paul speaking and he is talking about how he has been traveling through the area and he has been testifying, it says, to both Jews and also to the Gentiles. And he has been testifying about what? About repentance toward God, a change of mind that leads to a change of action towards God And he has been testifying about faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This word ‘faith’ is nothing more than the noun form of believe.

So, he says, I have been communicating to Jews and I have been communicating to Gentiles about repentance towards God. There needs to be a change of mind that leads to a change of action, and I’ve also been communicating about believing in our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, I think he was communicating this: there needs to be a change of mind, particularly towards God. There needs to be a change of mind. He is saying to people, you need to understand, God has standards. He is basically saying, we need to understand that God has said that we are violating His righteous standards. And we need to understand that God stepped forward and provided a solution to all of that.

There needs to be a change of mind that leads to a change of action, particularly as it relates towards God, but ultimately it ends up in belief in, faith in, our Lord Jesus Christ. The solution is embraced by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to tell you a story that Ron Hutchcraft relates about his own life. It is a very intriguing one. He says, “When I was ten-years old, I almost drowned in Lake Michigan. I had gone out into the lake with my friends, too proud to tell them I didn’t know how to swim.” He said, “I went out farther than I should, lost my footing and started to go under.” He says, “I can still remember the panic of those awful moments as I thrashed around helplessly, watching the water close over my head and taking on water fast.” He said, “My friends did nothing, thinking I was just clowning around [showing off, being playful]. And, he says, “I was about to go down for the last time when suddenly I saw a hand reaching out to me—and  I grabbed it in desperation. Obviously,” he said, “that rescuer is why I lived to tell about it.”

He says this, “Suppose someone had rowed up to me as I was going under and they had thrown me a book entitled, How to Swim. As good as those swimming instructions might have been, they would not have saved me. I was powerless to save myself.” He goes on to say this, “No swimming instructions can save us. No Protestant swimming instructions, no Catholic swimming instructions, no Jewish swimming instructions, no Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu swimming instructions. We are drowning spiritually!” And he said, “My only hope of escaping death and getting to shore was a rescuer—a savior. A person’s only hope of escaping the death penalty of his sin and getting to heaven is The Rescuer who came from heaven to save us at the cost of His own life.” That is a gripping story.

As I was reading Ron’s story, it reminded me of a story of my dad. Most of you never had an opportunity to meet my dad. My dad was a World War II veteran of the D-Day era in France. My dad was part of the Army Corp of Engineers and part of what his group did is they removed minefields, but they also would build temporary bridges. My dad had helped to build this particular temporary bridge and he was running back across the bridge when a mortar round hit the bridge, snapped a large cable, the cable came around, hit my dad square in the chest, knocking him unconscious and knocking him into the water. Fortunately, there was another soldier there, who dove into the water and rescued my dad.

Now, my dad knew how to swim, but he wasn’t a really good swimmer. I’ve always wondered if that experience in his life kept a little bit of a background fear of water in his mind. One time we had an opportunity to take my mom and dad to a lake in Nebraska and we were going to have everybody water ski. So, my dad was water skiing and we did a shore launch to get up on two skis. So he went around the lake. When you got through skiing, you would come to this same area where you had launched and you would just drop the rope. It was about twenty feet from the shore where you would drop the rope, and then you would sink down into the water. Maybe, I don’t know, the water was twelve to fifteen feet deep there.

Well, what happens is my dad skied, we’re watching him the whole way, he drops the rope where he’s supposed to. I’m on the shore watching and then my dad starts to thrash around a little bit. For the first time in my life, I saw panic in his eyes. I saw fear. So, I immediately dove into the water and swam out to him and offered to him my outstretched hand, and he saw his hope and he grabbed my hand.

You see, we are that much in peril, without a rescuer who is willing to reach his hand out for us. We talk about ‘believing’, it is important to understand that when we talk about believing Biblically, we’re not talking about mere mental assent, where you just agree in your head about something. It may very well have been, if you had asked my dad, you know, if you’re struggling in the water and someone reaches their hand out, would that potentially save you? He would probably have responded, Yeah, I believe that.

But that’s not really what belief means, not just some mental assent up in our head. Belief, Biblically, means to depend on something, it means to rest on something. It means to place our confidence in something. It means to put our trust in something, not just some sort of mental thing up here (in our head) but a dependence, a rest, a trust in something.

You’ll notice I have on the screen written John, chapter 2, verse 24 (NET). It is a very interesting verse. What is happening is that Jesus is performing all these signs and miracles. And, of course, as He is performing all these miracles, everybody is coming out and they are excited about it. Hey, this is the kind of guy we need to promote in our country, maybe to deliver us from Rome.

But Jesus wasn’t out for public and political support. It says there in John 2:24, “Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, because he knew all people.” That word that is translated there ‘entrust’ is this word, ‘believe.’ That’s just literally what it is, the exact same word – believe. Because that is what believe means. He wasn’t going to depend on the people, place His confidence in the people. Belief means to depend on what Christ has done; to rest on what Christ has done; to place your confidence in what Christ has done; to trust in what He has done on the cross.

Now, try to imagine you are on a large ocean liner, alright? It takes a little imagination as we’re sitting here today. Think how you are on this really large ship—you might think of a Titanic-like type of ship. You are on this ship, it is night, the water is extremely freezing cold, but you get word as you are on the ocean liner, that it is going to be sinking. It is just a matter of time until it sinks. 

You notice that lined up on the sides of the ocean liner are a series of lifeboats. Those are the rescue boats if the main ship were to go down. Now, if you were to, before all these events happened, ask everybody on the ship, do you believe that those lifeboats, that are lined up there, are capable of saving you if somehow the ship was to go down? Of course, no doubt, everybody would assent to that fact.

But here is the idea—true belief means this—do you believe those boats can actually save you? Do you choose, if the ship is going down and it is dark and the water is freezing, do you choose to trust in those boats, to rely on those boats, to depend on those boats? If so, take a seat in the boat. See, that is what Biblical belief is: take Jesus’ hand as your rescuer.

Look at Galatians, chapter 3, verse 22 (NET), “The Scriptures have declared that we are all prisoners of sin, so that the only way to receive God’s promise is to believe in Jesus Christ.” A lot of the time that phrase has that word ‘in’ attached to it. To trust in; to rely on; to depend on Jesus Christ, believing in Him.

So, as I said, we are going to give you an opportunity, I don’t know where everybody is coming from spiritually, but if you have never trusted in Jesus Christ as your Rescuer from sin and judgment, I’m actually going to lead out with a salvation prayer. I want to give you the opportunity as I pray through this prayer for you to pray that prayer if you’ve never yet done that in your life. You don’t have to do it out loud. God can hear. But let’s all bow together and I want to lead any who are ready to do this in prayer right now. So, you can just repeat this prayer back to God if it is an expression of your heart.

Lord, I’ve been running my own life, but I resign as of today. I was made by You and I was made for You, but I have been living for me. I am sorry for that self-rule You call sin. I believe Your Son, Jesus Christ, paid my death penalty when He died on the cross. So, right now I am turning from a life of ‘my way’ and I am putting all my trust in Jesus Christ, my trust in Him to erase my sin from Your book, and to give me a relationship with You, and to get me to heaven. Lord, from today on, I am Yours. Amen.

You know, such a true heart expression from our heart to the heart of God actually alters a person’s eternal destiny. If you prayed that prayer today, to trust in Jesus as your Rescuer, I just want you to know that at the end of the service we are going to have some information we would love to put in your hands.

But we have two parts to what we are looking at today. We’re going to, as we embrace the cross, look at choosing To Embrace Jesus as our Rescuer. But then secondly, we want to look at—this is very important—Choosing To Embrace our Identity as Ambassadors. Now we want to be addressing those of us who have already trusted Jesus as our Rescuer; those of us who are already followers of Jesus, because the Gospel changes everything we are, everything we do, everything we will be.

Here is what I believe: I believe deep inside of every follower of Jesus we want to make a difference. We want to have an impact that extends into eternity. And the good news is that God is in the life-changing business and He wants to—this  amazes me—partner with us! He appointed you, and He appointed me, as His ambassador.

One of the great passages in the Scriptures is found in 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, verses 18-20. It says this, “God…reconciled us to Himself through Christ (And here we go.) and gave to us, to us, the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us (to you and to me) the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ.” That is amazing stuff!

Jerry Bridges has said this: “The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history. It is the only essential message in all of history.” And, guess what? We have been appointed to spread that!!

Let me ask you this question. When you woke up this morning, did you wake up and think, I’m Jesus’ ambassador? If not, maybe that’s the way we need to wake up every morning. If we know Him and we are a follower of Him, I’m Jesus’ ambassador! See, this is part of the answer to the question that everybody has,  Who am I really? I mean, what difference can I make? Well, if you are a follower of Jesus, you are Jesus’ ambassador!

What is an ambassador? Well, it is a highly regarded role. An ambassador is an official representative of their home country in another land. We learn from Philippians 3:20 that we are citizens of heaven. That is our home country. We are an official representative of our home country in another land. We happen to live here in Oklahoma, and the Maharjans [missionaries leaving for their mission field] are going to live in Nepal. But we’re all an official representative of our home country in another land. We have been appointed. This is what happens–I don’t know if you remember this or not but—ambassadors are not elected, they’re appointed by the President himself.

So, what does that mean? It means that we are a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are a representative of the King of kings. We have been directly appointed by the highest authority in the universe! That means that wherever we are, we are ambassadors, we are His ambassadors. Wherever we travel, we are His ambassadors and we are to convey His message.

Remember what it says in 2 Corinthians 5? He gave to us the ministry of reconciliation. He committed to us the word of reconciliation. We have the opportunity and privilege to pass along the Good News. We have the opportunity and privilege to partner with God in altering people’s eternal destiny. Does that not get your blood going? It should! It is a high, high, high, high, privilege. It is exciting stuff, exciting motivational stuff!

As His ambassador, we need to see people the way God sees people. We’ve been assigned the ministry of reconciliation. We’ve had committed to us the word of reconciliation, so we need to see people as God sees them.

God sees them as living in darkness – Matthew 4:16.

God sees them as without hope in the world – Ephesians 2:12

God sees them as being in the process of perishing – 2 Corinthians 2:15

We need to see people as God sees them.

See, this is a different mindset. It means that when we go to the store, we see more than shoppers. When we are at school, we see more than students. When we’re at the office or we’re on the job, we see more than co-workers. We see people who are living in darkness, who are without hope, who are in the process of perishing without the gospel.

As ambassadors—this is what is so exciting to me—we have an opportunity to participate in God’s ordained process of assisting in rescuing people from the domain of darkness and seeing them transferred to the Kingdom of His beloved son Jesus. Wow! Wow!

By the way, a proper understanding of the Gospel is very vital to the role of being an ambassador. Some of you may have been wondering, why did we take so much time to go into so much detail in this series? Well, in part, because we need to have the Gospel clear if we’re going to be an effective ambassador. And all of us—let’s just be honest—all of us, that includes me, at some level feel some inadequacy for this role of being an ambassador. But here is the thing I want us to remember: that God is at work supernaturally. He is at work supernaturally convicting people of sin and righteousness and judgment, so we have the incredible privilege of being a partner in the process of all of this.

Now, we need some practical help. I want you to notice there is a green insert in your bulletin, if you got one. I want you to take it out because we have some practical help here for being a more effective ambassador. One side of that says, ‘One Step Closer.’ Sometimes we can be very intimidated, and when we think about being an ambassador, we think, man, I’ve got to get them from way over here, to way over there, and I’ve got to do it in one gigantic leap. Not necessarily so at all.

One of our jobs as an ambassador is to bring people one step closer to Christ. You’ll notice that there are four phases that are mentioned here on this handout: Cultivation, Sowing, Harvesting, and then Multiplication. You’ll also notice, about two-thirds of the way down, it mentions a series of decisions. They start at negative twelve, they go all the way to positive four.

I want you to just look at all those for a moment. We can help bring people one step closer to Christ, you’ll notice at negative twelve you have an individual going his or her own way. Then, maybe the next step closer to Jesus is they become aware of the messenger or the ambassador. That would be you. Then, maybe under negative nine, they become aware of a difference in the messenger, the ambassador. A difference in you, why are you the way that you are?

Then, eventually you get down to where they become aware of the basics of the Gospel, they understand the meaning and implications of the Gospel. They recognize their personal need; they repent; they believe; and then you have the new birth that occurs. Of course, it goes on from there. You build from there, assimilating them into a caring community, growing and maturing into Christ-likeness. Then, them being an ambassador, mobilizing them to reproduce.

So, I give you this because this is a great tool to think about in a realistic way. It doesn’t all have to happen in a great gigantic leap. It can happen that way sometimes. But, a lot of times it is just, I’m out there as an ambassador bringing someone ‘one step closer to Jesus’.

Alright, so, that is one little aid we can give in the process of being an ambassador. The other one there is, on the flip side, are Connection Points. I like to say questions are your friends. Think about it, how do I get something started in terms of a conversation with someone? Well, we have here some questions to initiate a relationship. It could be someone at work or a fellow student. Questions to gauge where someone is spiritually. Then, questions to turn the conversation to Christ. So, those are a couple of practical helps that we have that are available to you. Every single one of us needs to grow in confidence in this area. Deep down we all want to clearly be able to share the gospel.

[ For those at Wildwood We’ve got more help for you. As a follow-up to this Brian and Pam Hayes are going to be hosting three sessions in their home starting July 9. There is information in your bulletin on how you can sign up for that on God Conversations. If you want a little more help on getting equipped on being a better ambassador, if you always wondered where Brian Hayes lived, sign up for this and you can go and find out.]

Let’s be an effective ambassador! We have good news to share. It is the best news in the whole world. I want to leave with a quote by Frederick Faber. He said this, I love this quote, “The music of the gospel leads us home.”

Let’s pray together. Father, we thank You so much for Your Word again. We thank You for this opportunity to just get a grip on, to unpack the Gospel and understand it. Not only our need for the cross, but Your work on the cross, and then, our embracing of that message of salvation and then being the ambassadors that You’ve called us to be. What a humbling truth is that You, the King of the universe would look to me, would look to us, to be Your personal ambassadors to this world. May we be men and women who are the best ambassadors possible so that more can come to know the Lord that we love. We pray these things in His name. Amen.

[Attached below are both One Step Closer and Connection Points

Questions for Reflection

Unpacking the Gospel

‘Choosing to Embrace the Cross’

1. Read out loud John 4:10 and John 7:37-38.  What are some ways that Christ, the Living Water, has quenched the thirst of your soul?  Share, if applicable.  Then take a moment to praise and thank Him.

2. If you have never made the choice to trust in Jesus as your personal Rescuer, what is holding you back?  Put it into words. Perhaps it is time for today to become that day!

3. What are some examples of “confusing ‘Christianese’ lingo” that are often heard when communicating how an individual is to personally embrace the good news of the gospel? What is the clear and prominent biblical term for our response?  Explain more of what that term means and doesn’t mean.

4. Bruce spoke of a particular function, a ministry, a spiritual partnership, that Jesus has called each and every one of his followers to practice.  What is it (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-20) and what does it mean to live it out in our everyday life?

5. People frequently can wonder: Who am I? and What difference can I make? Yet Jesus has appointed His followers to this highly regarded role by direct appointment. Why is it we often overlook this calling?

6. As an Ambassador of Jesus Christ, how would you respond to someone who says, “I believe there are many ways to God, Jesus is just one of them?

7. Bruce said part of our calling is to view people around us as God sees them: living in darkness, without hope in the world, in the process of perishing.  Why is it that we often fail to have that perspective?

8. From the ‘Connection Points’ handout (in the section entitled, Questions to gauge where someone is spiritually), pick out two questions that you plan to utilize with someone this week.

9. Pray for at least one person by name that God could use you to help bring them “one step closer to Christ” this next week.

Connection Points

“Questions are your friends!” 

1. Ask them questions and Listen attentively

2. Identify and Affirm when the opportunity is there

3. Share your own experiences and your spiritual story

Questions to initiate a relationship

     Tell me about your family, your background, your work, your school

     Where did you grow up?  Where have you lived?

     What does fun look like to you?

     Were you raised in a religious home?

Questions to gauge where someone is spiritually

     Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?

     Where are you on your spiritual journey?

     Does death concern you?    What do you think happens after a person dies?

     Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell?

     To you, who is Jesus?

Questions to turn the conversation to Christ

     If you died today, where would you go?  How certain are you?

     What’s the best gift you ever received?  May I share mine with you?

     Has anyone ever explained to you what Jesus came to do?  May I?

Would you be interested in hearing about how you can have a personal relationship with God?

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