HOUSTON (BP)–Christian teenagers’ purpose in life should be to make sure other teenagers are Christians, too, Ronnie Hill told participants in the Houston YouthLink 2000, one of seven cities where the event was held simultaneously Dec. 29-31.
“We are not here by accident. We are here for a purpose,” he insisted. “Jesus said, ‘Go, and make disciples.'”
Hill, an evangelist from Fort Worth, Texas, taught the Baptist teenagers a simple method for sharing their Christian faith with their friends. It has five parts:
— “Shoot straight with them,” he advised. “Talk about their interests; be caring and sensitive.
“If all you ever want to talk about is yourself, they’ll see you don’t care for them. Show them you care.”
— “Ask them, ‘Do you go to church?’ But do it in a laid-back, nonchalant way,” he added. “You can be laid-back and nonchalant, because this question doesn’t mean Jack” but it creates an opportunity to talk about more important things.
Whatever they answer, say, “Cool,” he instructed. This “keeps the walls (of resistance) down so you can get the gospel in.”
— “Ask, ‘If you died today, would you go to heaven?'” he said. “Don’t ask, ‘Would you go to hell?’ because right away they’ll think you’re judging them, and the walls will go up.”
Ninety percent of Americans believe they’re going to heaven, he reported. So, if they say they’re going to heaven, say, “Cool,” and keep the walls of resistance down, he said. If they say they’re not going to heaven, skip the fourth step and “go straight to the gospel.”
— If they say they think they’ll go to heaven, ask, “Why?”
“This is the spiritual gauge,” Hill said. Most people will say they’re going to heaven because of one of five reasons–they are “a good person,” they’re religious, they’re church members, they’ve been baptized and they “haven’t killed anybody.”
Whatever they say, just reply, “Cool,” he told the teens. “And then go straight to the gospel.”
— “The gospel” is a straightforward presentation of spiritual reality, he explained.
“First, tell them: ‘God loves you. God cares for you. God has a purpose for their life,'” he said.
Next, explain that everybody has sinned, and sin separates people from God, and the result of sin is that sinners will spend an eternity in hell, he added.
But then explain that Jesus died on the cross to bridge the distance between them and God, he said.
Finally, tell them they can cross that bridge by admitting they are sinners, repenting of their sin and praying and asking God to be “boss and Lord of their life.”
Students need to be “campus missionaries,” Hill urged.
“It’s time, students, to win our campuses for Christ,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy. But with Christ, you can do it.”