Below is a conversation I had with a neighbor this week. I share it in hopes that it might assist you in understanding the types of spiritual conversation that are possible with our neighbors and other aquintances.
I only really met My neighbor within the last month when I jumped in uninvited to help him and his wife pull a sofa out of their house and load it into a pickup. Since that time, every time he sees me he says hello and is apt for conversation.
The following conversation represents the first time we’ve really had an opportunity to say much more than Hi.
NEIGHBOR: Hey Jeff
JEFF: Hi Jaun
NEIGHBOR: What are you up to?
JEFF: I’m headed over here (neighbor). How about you?
NEIGHBOR: Just finished remodeling my bathroom
JEFF: What all did you do?
NEIGHBOR: Fixed the floor and installed new flooring, ect
BOTH: More chit chat about home repair
NEIGHBOR: Jeff what do you do?
JEFF: I’m an evangelist. People probably have a bunch of different ideas about what that is. I work with churches to help them mature in the work of the Lord, like talking to people about the Lord. Waun, are you a believer?
NEIGHBOR: Oh yes. I pray but I don’t read the Bible much or go to church
JEFF:Do you believe the Bible is from God?
JEFF: Do you know what Jesus did for you?
NEIGHBOR: He died on the cross to forgive us
JEFF: Yes. How are we supposed to respond to that?
NEIGHBOR: Live right
JEFF: Right. Part of living right is turning away from sin and to God – repentance, the Bible says repent and turn to God. Do you know what else we are to do to accept forgiveness?
JEFF: Confess Jesus. Jesus said, Matthew 10:32,33 quote
NEIGHBOR: Right, Ok
JEFF: I was taught that that was it. That at that point I could acknowledge these things in prayer and be saved
NEIGHBOR: Yes, that is what I’ve heard too
JEFF: Well the Bible never shows someone being saved by prayer. The closest to it would be Paul’s conversion. Spoke about Paul’s former life as Saul and his conversion experience which included three days of prayer but no salvation until his baptism. The Bible says that to be saved we must obey the gospel. Do you know what the gospel is?
NEIGHBOR: It is Jesus
JEFF: Right, the apostle Paul said the gospel is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. How does a person obey the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus?
NEIGHBOR: I’m not sure
JEFF: It seems odd right? Well Peter tells us in Acts 2:38, quote of Acts 2:38. Why does that say we are baptized?
NEIGHBOR: For forgiveness
JEFF: Right. Peter explains it more later in 1Peter 3:21, quote and explanation of context. Being saved is when we become part of god’s family right?
JEFF: Well Paul wrote about when that happens. Quote of Gal. 3:26,27. Paul tells us that we become children of God through faith, and then tells us how, Baptism in Jesus. Paul describes baptism as a burial with Christ providing a hope of a resurrection with Him
NEIGHBOR: I just learned something new.
JEFF: Have you done these things? NEIGHBOR: No.
JEFF: I encourage you to think about it, read about it and do it.
NEIGHBOR: Alright thanks for the visit Jeff
JEFF: Yea thanks for the talk. If you want to study this further, I be happy to help.
NEIGHBOR: Ok, thanks.
OTHER:He was called away by his family at this point.
Normally I would have pulled out my pocket Bible and asked my neighbor to read the passages instead of me quoting them. However, we were having our conversation out in a dark street, next to the trash cans my neighbor just put out. Also, I have not shared the conversation verbatim but only the jist of it.
People are willing and some even eager to talk about the Lord’s will for their lives.
My prayer for each of us is that we will allow the Lord to use us to help them know Him better. This is part of our calling as Christians.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:2-6
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9