Youre going to Heaven because someone cared enough to tell you about Christ.
Who have you cared enough to tell? Who are you taking to Heaven with you?
If you just have a vague idea in your mind, its never going to happen. You need to get specific.
One way to do this is to write down the names of six people you want to take to Heaven with you. They may be friends, family, or co-workers. Theyre people you care about, people you can invite to church, or people you can share the Good News with.
George Gallup did a survey that said in America there are 34 million people who said, "I would go to church if somebody invited me." Do you think you might know one of those people? Probably!
The world is far more ready for an invitation than we are ready to invite. So take the challenge. Write down the names of six people. Then pray and ask God to give you an opportunity to invite them.
Your first thought might be, "I don't know what to say! Below is a simple four-step tool to help you.
Then at the proper time when youre talking with someone who wants a purpose for living and the hope of Heaven but hasnt a clue how to get either one you can ask, "Have you ever established a spiritual base for your life? These are the four things you need to do to get into Heaven.
You must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and showed he was God by coming back to life.
Do you believe that? If yes, then youre one fourth of the way there already.
A George Gallup poll said that 87 percent of Americans believe this. Thats why Christians celebrate Easter. Do you believe? Then say, "I believe Jesus was who he said he was God and he proved it by coming back to life.
You need to accept Gods free forgiveness for your sin.
Would you like to accept that? I don't know anyone whod reject it.
Why would you? If youve got this one, youre half way there. Do you agree, "I have sinned, and I need to accept Gods free forgiveness for my sin?
Switch to Gods plan for your life. That means youre going to say, Im no longer going to do what I want to do. I'm going to live the plan God made me for. I want to know Gods purpose for life and from now on Gods going to call the shots, not me.
When you become a Christian, you put a sign on your life that says, "Under New Management!" Now youre doing Gods plan for your life. After all, your plan hasnt worked out too well.
If youre willing to do this, youre three quarters of the way there.
Express your desire for Christ to be the director of your life the manager. The word in the Bible is Lord.
Are you ready to express that?
After explaining the four steps, ask the person if he or she is willing to take them. If he or she is, and if he or she has never invited Christ into his or her life, lead in this simple prayer:
Dear God, I believe you sent your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins so I could be forgiven. I'm sorry for my sins, and I want to live the rest of my life the way you want me to. Please put your Spirit in my life to direct me. Amen.
If you get the privilege of praying that prayer with someone, explain to the person that he or she has just crossed the line. The person has verbally put his or her trust in Christ. Let the person know that even if he or she doesnt understand everything yet, thats OK.
Its just like when a baby is born into a family. That baby doesnt understand everything. Thats the purpose of a church family to help babies grow spiritually.
Then, congratulate the person. Theyve just joined the family of God.
Does that seem hard? Do you think you could do that with somebody?
I was talking to one of our church secretaries and she said, Ive been a Christian for many years, but Ive never led anybody to Christ. After I shared this simple technique, she said, I can do this! My dad is not a believer and were not close, but I believe God wants me to call him.
She picked up the phone and called him and explained the four steps, and he prayed that prayer and started crying. He gave his life to Christ. Now her dad is going to Heaven.
She told me, If I hadnt listened to the prompting of God and hadnt obeyed what he said, my dad would be headed for Hell.
Who is it that God has brought into your life to share the Good News with? God wants to use you.
Our theme at Saddleback for the 21st century is this: Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind.
Have you written those six names yet?
Until next week,
This article is adapted from Rick Warrens book, The Purpose Driven Church.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life and The Purpose-Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. Copyright 2005 Pastors.com, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Adapted from Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, a free weekly e-newsletter for pastors and church leaders, available at Pastors.com.