Spreading the Kingdom to the Lost / How to Preach to Unbelievers
How to Preach to Unbelievers? As believers, we are charged with the role of spreading the gospel to those who are unbelievers around the world. Jesus left us with the Great Commission to bring others to Him so that they may know Him, and live for Him.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
To preach to unbelievers effectively, you have to present the gospel to them in a way that they understand and internalize.
1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Unbelievers do not have the Spirit of God in them and therefore preaching to them using a lot of spiritual jargon will put them off.
To a normal person, life is something that is transpiring. From looking at life through spiritual eyes. there is a great spiritual battle taking place all around us. The world is full of hate, division, wars, disease, and starvation. Clearly, there is a great opportunity to introduce people to their creator.
II Corinthians 10: 3-6, ” 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
Below is a guide to help you preach to unbelievers effectively.
1. Explain the Message of the Gospel
For an unbeliever to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, they have to understand the basic message of the gospel. They need to understand how they are born as sinners, and it is only through Christ that they can be saved. This is because Jesus came to save us from our sins and by receiving Him, our sins are forgiven and we are made right with God. You can use relevant Scriptures to help them understand the message you are trying to put across.
Through God’s widom he chose to make his desire to be close to his creation, through the speaking of his truth. God sent his prophets to his people in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, he sent John the Baptist preparing the hearts and minds of his children to the arrival of his son, God’s Envoy. Jesus came preaching and teachin in the synagogues, in the mountains, on trhe plains, in single households.
The Gospel is spread in the same way to day.
II Timothy 2: 1-2, 1 “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others”
2. Let them Know that Jesus is the Messiah
Some unbelievers come from other religious and cultural backgrounds and do not know who Jesus is, and need a brief explanation. Here is where you mention that He is the Son of God sent into the world to redeem mankind from their sins.
John 3:16 is a good place to start as it says that “God sent His Son and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
Unbelievers who come from Christian backgrounds have an idea of who Jesus is but may have never seen the need for salvation. They need to know that their works and religious practices cannot give them salvation, they have to believe in Jesus and be born again.
Jesus said as he was teaching, Come to me and I will give you rest. People today are in hard times
- People are wandering without any meaningful purpose
- Divorce rates in The US are 50%
- Many very Lonely People
- High Depression Rates
- Hamster Wheel scenario to many families
- Drug addiction at record highs
- Social Media generation can be very lonely even though highly connected
- Wealth is a priority in many families
3. Explain the Meaning of Being Born Again
When Nicodemus wanted to know how to get saved, Jesus told him that he needs to be born again.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3).
Jesus went further to explain that this birth was by the Spirit of God. Unbelievers usually hear the term “born again” and are not sure what it actually means; you can take the time to explain it to them so that they know what they are supposed to do.
Nicodemus was one of the Leaders and teachers of the Jews. Jews had a history of baptisms, cleansings, but jesus was saying something different. One needs to be born into God’s Family. We must be born again.
4. Salvation is by Grace not Works
As you evangelize to unbelievers, remember to tell them that they cannot do anything to deserve salvation. It is a gift from God and by the grace of Jesus Christ.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Some people think that they can clean themselves up and then come to God, yet they are to come as they are and God will cleanse them by the blood of Jesus. Salvation is a gift they receive by faith.
5. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
Unbelievers often wonder how believers hear God. They have not understood that when one gets saved, God puts His Spirit in them, and they can hear Him speak. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit just before He was crucified and told His disciples that the Spirit would be in them.
“The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17).
Let them know that they will not understand much about the Holy Spirit until they give their lives to Christ. Once they do, they will hear God’s voice, which is by His Spirit living in them.
It is pretty cool to begin to see the united working together of the trinity. (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit) They work together to restore men and women back into the presence of God.
At Jesus Baptism, You see God speaking from Heaven, Jesus being obedient and being baptised, and the Holy spirit in the form of a dove coming to him.
Matthew 3: 13 – 17, ” As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Heaven was opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear son with whom I am pleased.”
6. New Creation
When one gets born again, they become a new creation in Christ. Their old self is gone, and they are a new being.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As a new creation, one cannot be identified by their past because they have a new identity in Christ. A person undergoes a complete heart transformation that is evident in their new behavior. They become righteous through Christ and can submit to the ways of God.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of night. He was seeking the kingdom.
John 3: 3-5, 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
7. Once a Person Know Jesus, You Can’t keep them out of the Water
In the book of acts, we see the disciples preaching the gospel and baptizing the new Believers.
(Acts 2:38 – 41). 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Unbelievers also need to know that to grow in their faith, they need to read the Bible daily and pray. This is how they will maintain their relationship with God and grow in their faith. The Bible will show them how to live their new Christian life and serve God using their spiritual gifts. God will begin to reveal to them their purpose so that their lives can have meaning. There is a lot to say as one preaches to unbelievers but getting the basics right will make one’s preaching effective.