A lot of times, the approach well-intentioned Christians take to spreading the love of Jesus to others is to slaughter their consciences with stories of His righteous anger.
Boisterously, they’ll proclaim the sinner’s final destination and perhaps impatiently wait for glimmers of fear and anxiety to flicker across the sinner’s face. As if the jaded and Bible-weary sinner has time or inclination for yet another attempt to frighten them into believing in the greatest truth they’ve missed out on.
Rather than revel in the marvelous beauty of what it means to be lavished with a grace and forgiveness all-encompassing, they talk of forgiveness by pointing out all the things the sinner needs to confess and get rid of.
These zealously-misguided folks will look at the Great Commission (which is to say, Jesus’ command that we spread the Gospel to all people and help them to come to know Him as we do) as a pill we must force others to swallow for their own good, rather than as a seed we must plant and faithfully wait as Jesus causes it to sprout.
I’ve not always been consistent with following the Great Commission (and, by that, I mean I’ve scarcely ever truly done what is necessary). However, I don’t think the aforementioned methods are effective. Yes, “fire and brimstone” messages do work on some, but to the hardened heart tired of hearing you and others like you speak the name of Jesus? No amount of scary stories will convince such a person.
Instead, I believe it so much more powerful and poignant to simply speak of God’s mighty insurmountable love. To demonstrate how His mercy and forgiveness have washed away your guilt, to humbly give Him credit for the your blessed life, to be so overflowing with the radiant light of Jesus that the sinner, though hardened and able to continue denying the truth and beauty of the saving power of Christ should they so choose, will be utterly and irrevocably unable to ever deny your passion and that you believe in Him.
There is one way to lead others to Jesus, and that is to simply point them to Him. Yes, guilt-trips and pestering can work, but your goal is not to rack up conversions like a girl scout racks up sales of Thin Mints; it’s to show your friends how to have a real relationship with the Savior.
Like I said, I’m not the most proficient Christian at witnessing to others, but I believe more of us should focus on living our lives in a manner that actually suits the title of “Christ-Follower” and that it is our sincerity and passion that will help the people of the world see how much they need Jesus to fill the void in their lives.