How does the world describe or define a Christian or follower of Jesus Christ? There are a lot of definitions of "Christian" in the world. For many it means an intellectual belief that there is a God and He has a son named Jesus, who was some sort of Messiah. Lets ignore the worldly definitions and see how the Bible defines a Christian. We must define the word ‘Christian’ from the Scriptures so that we can strip away the historical and cultural from the term and define it the way God does.
A Christian definition includes someone who puts their complete faith in Jesus; which is more than intellectual assent. With the word ‘Believing’ in the New Testament we have a sense of the word that it is a heart thing, not a head thing. Romans 10:9-11 says, ‘If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.’
A Christian is someone who has Jesus Christ living in them; who believes, has the Spirit of Christ, and evidences fruit. Also a Christian is someone who is changing daily to become more like Jesus. This has nothing to do with any particular denomination, which are all man made, but only to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
We can also learn from the Scriptures how we can recognize who is a saved person from one who is still dead in sin. The word ‘Christian’ is actually only found three times in the entire Bible. Two of the instances are in Acts 27:28-29 when Paul gave his defence before King Agrippa, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’ The other instance is in Peter's letter to the churches in Asia Minor, 1 Peter 4:16 ‘If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.’ The term ‘Christian’ comes from the Greek word ‘christianos,’ which means Christ-man. It seems the name ‘Christian’ arose as a derogatory term that was given to believers. The term ‘Christian’ was invented, apparently, by unbelievers in Antioch as a label for disciples. In the Bible, this word was first used as a nickname, a term of reproach, because the believers were desiring to live for and follow Christ.
Thus, a Christian is a person who is totally devoted to Christ, occupied by following and living for Christ.
By this definition, many people who call themselves Christians actually are not. They might have believed and received Christ, yet they are not living as adherents of Christ.
The other use of the word ‘Christian’ in the Bible is in Acts 11, where we read ‘The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.’ So a Christian is a disciple. The words Christian and disciple mean exactly the same thing. The term ‘Christian’ was invented by unbelievers in Antioch as a label for disciples. According to the Word of God, the only person who can accurately be called a Christian is a disciple.
So let's use the word ‘Christian’ the way God does even though it contradicts the worlds opinions. By looking at the scriptural definition of the word disciple, we will at the same time be defining the term ‘Christian.’ The New Testament uses the term "disciple" almost 300 times. A Christian, then, is to imitate Jesus Christ.
He is a man of faith as he learns and understands Christ’s life. A Christian is not to be content to be lukewarm, but to be transformed daily into His likeness. He is to be a man of zeal in season and out of season, willing to suffer and to sacrifice; for Christ’s name. He is a man of prayer and desired to follow the master in continual prayer to the Father. He is man of holiness as he follows the Master. He knows that he is redeemed to be holy, to do good works, to follow righteousness. He would not be content with just being saved but seeks to become more unlike the world. He is a man of love in loving the Father, the brethren, sinners, and to show love at all times, in word and deed.
There are those who have the gift of Evangelism, but we are all called to evangelise or be a witness for Jesus Christ. It may not be your gift but that doesn't mean that we cannot share the Good News or gospel message with others.
Witnessing means to share your faith with someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The hardest part of witnessing is getting started, especially for a new Christian or someone who has never tried it before.
To help set yourself up, you can pray for your lost friends, and whenever possible invite them to the church you go to, either for a Worship Service, Sunday school, prayer meeting, Bible study, or just some good fellowship. Try to include yourself with your lost friends and introduce spiritual matters to them naturally and as opportunity lends itself.
When given an opportunity to visit, memorize the name and the information you are given about the person. Notice the family's interest by what you see in their yard and homes that can indicate family size and interests. Do not appear too anxious as if you had something to sell. Let people know immediately where you come from and why you have come.
To simply mention God will take courage. Ask questions that move smoothly from natural things to spiritual matters. Ask them things that interest them such as about the person's spouse, children, hometown, and so on, and draw parallels to your experience. Ask about their interest in any hobbies, sports, community activities, and so on, that are mentioned. Keep conversation moving towards spiritual matters by asking leading questions that encourage conversation in that direction.
You might ask if they came to a place in their life that they know for certain that they will go to Heaven when they die. If yes, ask, if they would mind sharing when they accepted Christ. If the person gives the right answer, follow up with questions about his or her level of committment, such as baptism, church attendance, and discipleship. If the answer is no, continue with your presentation.
Try to find out if they are resting in good works, tradition, baptism and if so you can be relatively certain he or she does not understand the gospel. Move into a direction to share the Gospel message. It is important to ask for his or her permission to share the good news to prevent the person's cutting the conversation short later.
If the person says that it is not all right for you to share the presentation, graciously ask if you can another time. Maybe sometime we can get together at your convenience. Do not try to force someone to listen if he or she does not give you the privilege to share with them. Some people seem ready while others are not.
A deliberate effort should be made to lead the lost person to accept Christ as Savior.
Tell them that God sent His Son to suffer and die in our place. Tell the sinner of the love of God in Christ; that Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. If they will repent and trust in the Savior, God will forgive them of their sins. Ask if he understands and is willing to confess and forsake his sins, and trust the Savior with his eternal salvation. If so pray for him.
Millions have been saved when someone invited them to accept Christ in a one on one encounter. A lost person often avoids worship services because he or she is under conviction and does not want to hear the gospel or its invitation. A Christian can take the gospel to the lost person and give him an invitation to accept Christ. God intends for Christians to carry the gospel and an invitation to the world not wait for the world to come to a church.
The time for asking a person to accept Christ is a tense moment. Present the gospel. If they want to accept Christ as their personal Savior, help them pray the sinner's prayer.
Do not fail to press for a decision to bring the lost person to Christ. Don't question the integrity of the lost person or put your own desire to have the lost person accept Christ above the integrity of the lost person.
Leave a gospel tract or some literature with the person and encourage him or her to read it carefully that night. Remind him or her that they can accept Christ at any time and in any place.
Without evangelism there will be no church. When Jesus went to Heaven, He said "Go into all the world and make disciples." Evangelism should never leave a Christian's mind. The church is only a generation away from extinction.
Christians seem afraid of the nonbeliever, they often stay within their closed circles and don't mingle with the people in the world to bring them to Jesus Christ. Christians often beat around the bush and are not convinced that people without Christ are truly lost forever. If we believed that people were truly lost without Christ and heading straight for Hell, we would take advantage of every chance to preach the gospel.
While only some have the gift of evangelism and will do things like speak at mass crusades, all of us should be witnessing whenever opportunity arises. This means seeking open doors, pushing the doors that seem open, taking advantage of opportunities.
Evangelism means living out the love of Christ in practical ways specifically sharing the gospel. Witnessing to Jesus Christ is done through one's life.
If we don't evangelize we forget that unless people are converted, they will not enter the kingdom of God.