Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry - Ephesians 4:12

How to Lead Someone to Christ

The Bible makes it clear that every person must have an experience with Jesus through the Holy Spirit to be saved.

John 3:3 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

1 Peter 1:23 – “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

There are only two destinations for those who leave this life and enter eternity:

1. Heaven

Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

Heaven is a place where God is, where we will spend eternity reunited with Him in His presence. To His good and faithful servant the Lord said, “Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:23). Heaven is a place where, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

2. Hell

Hell is where those who do not surrender to Christ are separated “from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). This is a place where they will be tormented day and night.

Paul said, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

This is the same place prepared for the devil and his angels, “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

Hell was not prepared for mankind but for the devil and his angels. God made provision through the cross of Christ so that we would not have to go hell.

1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”

It’s not God’s will or desire for anyone to go to hell. Paul said, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Peter said, the Lord is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus wants to come into people’s lives as Lord and Savior, sitting on the throne of their heart. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

We’ve Been Commissioned

Someone must share the gospel with them, giving them the opportunity to invite Jesus into their heart. Will you accept the call? Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). If we are not fishing, we are not following Him. Please don’t leave it to someone else to lead them to Christ, you may be their only hope.

Jesus commissioned us as His followers,

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Let’s fulfill “The Great Commission!”

How to Lead Someone to Jesus Christ

Start by asking them three simple questions that will allow you to find out where they stand in their relationship with the Lord.

  1. Ask permission. Say, “Do you mind if I ask you a question? If you died tonight where would you spend eternity?” If they say, “I don’t know,” share the plan of salvation below (Roman Road) with them. If they say “Yes,” ask the next question to determine if their salvation is based upon Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
  2. Say, “If you stood before God and He asked, ‘Why should I allow you into my heaven?’ what would you say?” If they say something like, “Jesus is my Lord and Savior, Jesus is my only hope of salvation” or “I would tell God, because of Jesus” rejoice with them that they are saved. If they say something like “I’m a good person, I try to live a good life, I go to church,” etc., proceed to the next question then share the gospel with them.
  3. Ask, “Do you mind if I share a few scriptures with you?” As you share the gospel, don’t elaborated too much. Get to the point.

Bookmark the first verse in your Bible and let them read the following verses with you. In the margin of the first verse, write the reference to the second verse. Do this with each verse so you know where to go to next. Use whatever translation you like or are the most comfortable with. This gospel presentation is known as the “Roman Road.”

The Roman Road

Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Begin by showing them we have all sinned. Do not say, “See you are a sinner!” You don’t want to condemn them, but give them revelation and understanding of God’s Word. Identify with them. Include yourself. Say something like, “The Bible says we have all sinned. I know I have, haven’t you?”

If they say they have not sinned, say something like, “That’s good, not many can say that, I know I can’t.” Then point to sins you know everyone has committed at one time or another like lying, disobeying parents, stealing, etc. These are all sin.

Romans 6:23a – “The wages of sin is death.” Explain how we are all going to die. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

We are not only going to die physically, but we will all stand before God on the day of judgment to give an account of our sin. Sin has wages and they must be paid for. The wages (penalty) of sin is death.

This is not only dying physically but spiritually, being separated from God throughout all eternity and ultimately being banished to eternal damnation in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Matthew 25:41). God has made provision for us so we won’t have to face this penalty, but the choice is ours.

Romans 6:23b – “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. He went to the cross, experienced death and separation from God in our place.

Eternal life is a free gift. We don’t have to pay the penalty for our sins ourself. He did it for us. This free gift comes only through Jesus and His finished work for us on the cross (John 14:6 and Acts 4:12).

Romans 10:13 – “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Our only responsibility to receive this free gift of eternal life is to call upon Him, accept Jesus as our Savior and only hope of salvation, ask Him to forgive us of our sins, come into our heart and be the Lord of our life (John 1:12; Revelation 3:20; 1 John 1:9).

At this point, ask them if they would like to pray and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior right now. If they say yes, pray a simple prayer for them to invite Jesus into their life. If they say no, ask if they would mind if you said a brief pray for them. Most people won’t mind if you pray for them.

Pray something like, “Lord, I pray for (use their name) that You will touch them, open their heart to receive you, and make yourself real to them. In Jesus name, Amen!”

Once you have prayed, look directly at them, and say in faith, (don’t ask if they’d like to pray again) “Pray with me.” Ask them to repeat after you and pray a simple sinner’s prayer with them to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Sinner’s Prayer

“Lord, I know I’ve sinned against you. I ask you to forgive me of all my sins, come into my heart, be the Lord of my life, and help me to live for you forever. In Jesus name!”

Assurance of Salvation

After they pray, assure them of their salvation. Say, “Did you mean what you just prayed?” The last verse we read said, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

God keeps His Word! When we pray a prayer like this God answers it. You called on the Lord just now and He said “YOU WOULD BE SAVED.” Take them to 1 John 5:13 for additional assurance.

1 John 5:13 – “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Ask, “Do you now believe in Jesus, the Son of God? Then God’s Word says you now have eternal life.”

Follow Up

There are a few things new Christians need to do to grow in their relationship with the Lord. After sharing these principles with them, call or visit them in a few days and from time to time to see how they’re doing.

Remember, immediately after the first harvest of souls “Those who had received His word were baptized, they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:41-42).

  1. Confess Jesus as Lord. One of the first things they must do is confess to someone they have accepted Jesus as lord and savior of their life. Stress to them the importance of telling someone what they did.

    Romans 10:9-10 – “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

    Matthew 10:32-33 – “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

  2. Pray daily. Encourage them to take time each day to talk to God.

    Luke 18:1 – “Men always ought to pray and not lose (faint) heart.”

    1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”

    Acts 2:41-42 – Those who had received the Word were committed to prayer.

  3. Read the Word. Encourage them to read a little from their Bible each day. They don’t have to read a lot, but some every day. Encourage them to stay in the New Testament for a while.

    Romans 10:17 – “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

    1 Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.”

    Revelation 1:3 – “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

    If they don’t have a Bible, make sure you get them one that is a translation they can easily understand.

  4. Fellowship with other believers. It’s extremely important for them to attend a strong Bible believing church right away.

    Acts 2:41-42 – “Those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added to the church and were continually devoting themselves to fellowship.”

    Hebrews 10:25 says we are not to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” New Christians need fellowship for growth and encouragement. We also become like those we are around (1 Corinthians 15:33 and Proverbs 13:20). Don’t just tell them to go to church, offer to pick them up and take them to church with you.

  5. Follow Jesus in water baptism. Talk to them about getting baptism. It’s important they realize they were saved the moment they called on the Lord.

    Acts 2:41 – “Those who had received His Word were baptized.”

    Baptism doesn’t save us, but it is an act of public confession of our faith in Christ. It symbolizes that we have died, been buried, and risen together with Him to walk a new life with Christ (Romans 6:3-4).

Recommended resource: Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

Starting a new church or ministry is one of the most rewarding things you can do to advance the gospel, but it can also be very challenging. With over 40 years of church planting and ministry experience, Dr. Linton's passion is to encourage, support and equip pastors and church leaders.