Question: What is the effective way to win a friend to Christ?


Your desire to win a friend to Christ is a good one. The Bible says that, “he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). For you to win a soul to Christ these things must be present: 1) A prepared worker, 2) A pure seed, 3) An honest heart. Let’s look together at each of these.

A Prepared Worker

You must prepare yourself to teach a lost soul the good news of salvation. You need to be prepared with your head, your heart and your feet.

By a prepared head I refer to a proper and necessary knowledge of the gospel of Christ. You must know the plan of salvation and be able to open your New Testament and show your friend the passages he/she needs to see. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

By a prepared heart I refer to a good life. Be sure you are a New Testament Christian yourself and are living the faithful Christian life. “… let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity … sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (read 2 Timothy 2:19-21).

By prepared feet I refer to a willingness to go to that person and try to set up a Bible study time. “Go,” said Jesus (Matthew 28:19). You must be willing to simply ask the person if he would be willing to study the Bible with you. You may find this difficult. If so, practice with a loved one (or even in a mirror) what you will say before visiting your friend. Pray about your preparation. Jesus teaches his disciples to pray and the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person is meaningful to God (Matt. 26:41; Jas. 5:16).

When visiting with your friend you may approach it by simply asking your friend if he is interested in spiritual things and thereby open the door for a discussion along these lines. If there is a good response, seek at some point in the conversation to make an appointment to study the Bible in a more indepth and systematic way. Perhaps you could leave a Bible tract on a relevant subject with him/her to read before meeting again.

You may wish to involve an elder or a preacher (in addition to your own preparation) if you think that Bible questions may arise during the study which you think you may need some assistance in answering.

Have confidence. God has not given His children the spirit of fear; that comes from another source (see 2 Timothy 1:7). Remember, if you are a New Testament Christian this means you have obeyed the five steps of the plan of salvation. You can certainly tell you lost friend what you did to receive forgiveness of sins! Having Bible knowledge plus having a good life equals failure in evangelism unless one is willing to go and teach that knowledge. Go therefore!

A Pure Seed

“The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Jesus compared the teacher of God’s Word to a sower who went forth to sow seed (Matthew 13:3-8). The seed is the message and the different kinds of ground represent the different conditions of hearts which men possess. Most hearts among accountable persons are like the stony ground, the thorny ground and the way side ground, in that none of these grounds successfully received the seed. These are compared to those who do not love the truth of God’s Word. Only one kind of ground in the parable which Jesus told successfully received the seed and that was the good soil ground. The good soil ground received the seed and became fruitful. This represents those who have good hearts and will choose to be receptive to the Word of God. Obviously then, the seed (the message) must be the pure, unadulterated gospel of Christ, the New Testament (see Rom. 1:16-17; 2 John 9-11; Acts 2:42; Gal. 6:2; Heb. 8:6; Jude 3).

To teach your friend the truth from the Bible is your goal. You will not, therefore, teach him the false, uninspired doctrines of mere men, but you will prove all things from the New Covenant of Christ with regard to how to become a child of God. Jesus condemned teaching the doctrines of men, saying, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). All are commanded to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).

When you teach your friend the pure message salvation you will show him from the New Testament what one must do to be saved, as follows:

1. Hear the gospel — John 20:30-31; Rom. 10:17.

2. Believe — Rom. 1:16; Acts 18:8; Heb. 11:6.

3. Repent — Luke 13:3; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; Acts 17:30.

4. Confess faith in Christ — Matt. 10:32; Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10.

5. Be baptized (immersed) — Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 10:47-48; 22:16;
Rom. 6:1-6; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12; I Peter 3:21.

6. Continue faithful till (or if necessary, “unto” death) — Matt. 25:21, 34; 2 Peter 1:1-11; Rev. 2:10; Heb. 6:1; I John 1:6-9; Rev. 22:17.

An Honest Heart

God has done His part by the giving of His Son and the gospel of salvation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The honest heart is necessary on the part of your friend if he/she is to successfully receive the seed of the Word of God. Remember the parable of the sower and the class of persons the good soil represents? (Matt. 13:3-8). The good soil ground represents that class of persons who love the truth. Your good question asked about how you might win your friend to Christ, that is, “the effective way in winning a friend.” If you as a teacher do your part in teaching (with proper preparation and attitude), then it is really left up to the lost person (your friend) as to whether or not he will allow himself to be won to the Lord. Man is a free moral creature, meaning that God made man with the freedom of choice (free will). A sinner can chose to be saved or choose to reject the gospel. Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine … ” (John 7:17).

Do your part and then pray for your friend to choose to have a love of the truth of God’s Word. In God’s mind, if you have been a faithful teacher, you will be successful as a teacher independent of your friend’s response. This is true in that God does not hold the Christian teacher responsible for the hearer’s response. It is God who adds to His church and He only adds those who obey Him (read Acts 2:36-41, 47).

On the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter two, these three elements are seen: 1) A prepared worker (the apostle Peter), 2) A pure seed (the Word of God which Peter preacher), 3) Honest hearts (about 3,000 gladly received the message and were baptized, Acts 2:41). When your friend responds to the preaching of the deity, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and the plan for the remission of sins as these about 3,000 did, then he will be won to the Lord. Satan will have lost control of another soul and Christ will have won another soul for an eternity in heaven, provided that souls remains faithful until death.

Don’t beat yourself up with guilt if your friend chooses to reject the pure gospel of Christ. Many will reject heaven and choose rather to walk that broad road of convenience into an everlasting hell (Matt. 7:13-14). Note the importance in personal responsibility in the following passages: Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:24; Rom. 2:6; Acts 2:40 – “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”

Much more could be said about different methods of approach in teaching the gospel. Scriptural methods include but are not limited to the following methods: tract evangelism, radio, television, Bible correspondence courses, Bible video (or filmstrips), internet, gospel meetings, lectureships, vacation Bible school, and others. However, (generally speaking) no matter what method one uses in teaching the gospel to a lost soul, the bottom line is that there must be a time for sitting down together, face-to-face, with an open Bible. Remember that the power is in the seed, not in the sower. (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 1:16).

Modern day expedients in teaching the gospel are beneficial to us only when we use these and not allow these to use us. Understanding the importance of simply being obedient, loving, prepared workers is the reason the early Christians could say that they had preached the gospel to every creature in their day! (Rom. 1:18; Col. 1:6, 23). They did this without the modern means of technology we have today. We may be thankful and use today’s advanced methods but the bottom line is that eventually we must arrange a face-to-face Bible study with the lost person.

There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. When a man dies, his souls drops off into eternity where time shall be no more. We must then all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). We should seek to teach these things to our fellowman, relatives and friends. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and his followers will do the same (Luke 19:10; I Pet. 2:21 – Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”).

In order to win a friend (or foe) to Christ, the real question one must ask himself is this: Am I willing to pay to price necessary in order to prepare myself to teach my friend the saving gospel?

— Gary L. Grizzell


Who or What should be the final authority regarding the most important issues of life?


This is an excellent question. To answer it one must first seek to identify the
important issues of life. The Bible gives us a knowledge of the existence of God, creation, Jesus Christ, salvation, heaven and hell. It gives us a knowledge of God’s will for us (Eph. 5:17). The Word of God frees us from sin and all its evil
consequences which reach out to grab and destroy us. It frees us from the power of sin (Col. 1:13-14). It frees us from the pollution of sin, that is, guilt and fear (2 Tim. 1:7). It frees us from the pleasure of sin (Heb. 10:25). It frees us from the old man of sin (Rom. 6:3-4). It offers us heaven where we will be free from the presence of all sin.

The Bible tells man of his origin, his purpose of existence, and his destiny (Gen. 1:1; Eccl. 12:13- 14; 2 Cor. 5:10). The Bible is the only book that
deals sufficiently with the subject of death (Gen. 2:17; Gen. 3:1-6, 19; Rom. 5:12; 6:23).

The same book which answers these significant questions also teaches that God pleased when men seek authority only from Him in His word with reference to salvation, Christianity and religion. This is the case since, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God is displeased when men either add to or subtract from His word (see
Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:5-6 & Rev. 22:18-19). Men must not tamper with God’s written revelation from Heaven. In every age since the beginning of the world, God has required men to recognize His authority. To those who lived under the Law of Moses, it is written, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). In the New Testament Age in which we now live, God’s inspired word commands, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17). Therefore, men today must have a book, chapter and verse from the New Testament of Christ for
whatever they teach or practice with regard to salvation. We are to abide in the doctrine of Christ if we expect to have a saving relationship with God the Father (2 John 9). In view of this fact, someone who respected Bible authority once stated, “Let us speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.” Another correctly stated, “In the Bible there are facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be enjoyed.” These statements are in harmony with the teaching of Colossians 3:17.

Accepting God’s standard of truth by which we live and seek eternity with God, we must reject the false standards which men seek to impose upon us today. Some of these faulty, unauthorized standards are: feelings, human wisdom, conscience only, dreams, personal experiences, false traditions, and false “gospels.” In place of giving priority to feelings, study (2 Tim. 2:15); in place of human wisdom, get God’s wisdom (I Cor. 1:18-25); in place of the conscience
only, educate your conscience by the word of God (Acts 9:1-2; 23:1; John 8:31-32); in place of socalled modern-day miraculous dreams, accept only the meaning of the recorded miraculous dreams of certain ones in the first century (Acts 2:17; I Cor. 13:8-10); in place of personal experiences, let us appreciate the testimony of the Lord (Rev. 1:9; 6:9); in place of false gospels, let us accept the one and only gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-9).

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). May we let Christ be the authority in our lives today by hearing, believing and obeying His teaching. In so doing, we may expect Him to receive us at the last day, taking us into heaven where we shall live eternally in joy and peace (read John 14:1-3).

— Gary L. Grizzell

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