One thing you quickly learn while evangelizing in Nicaragua is that everyone is a Christian. I’m not trying to say that everyone is saved… not by any means. What I’m saying is that everyone there has grown up either in the Catholic Church or in some other form of Christianity.
Unfortunately this rarely equates to them having faith in anything but their religion.
The Purpose of Evangelism
In Nicaragua, if you ask, “are you a Christian” or “are you saved” or even “do you know Jesus” they will ALL say “yes” and you will walk away thinking everything is fine.
The fact of the matter is that many of them are not saved… they just don’t know it.
The trick is that you have to cut to the core of what it means to be saved.
I know it may sound strange but many people there who think they are saved aren’t. This shows most obviously in their lifestyle and what they do when they are not at church. If your life is not bearing fruit then you have serious reason to doubt your salvation (but that is the topic of another blog). For now we can simply be sure that those who are relying on their religion or that they grew up in a Christian home are going to be in for a shock come judgment day.
Our goal in evangelizing is to be sure they are relying on the sacrifice of Messiah and nothing else for their salvation.
How to Evangelize to “Christians”
This of course begs the question: How do you go about evangelizing to people who already define themselves as Christians?
I’m glad you asked.
What you have to do is ask, “if you were to die today and God was standing at the gates of Heaven asking you why He should let you into His kingdom… what would you say to Him?”
This question reveals exactly what it is people are relying on. You will get responses like “I try to do good” or “Because He created me so I’m His child.”
Once they tell you what they would tell God you can share with them what Yeshua taught:
I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9)
Then you share that it is through faith in Him that they can be saved and you can lead them in a confession of that faith.
The Benefits of Multiple Evangelists
This year we had the benefit of having my mother-in-law with us. She is still a Catholic although she is charismatic and learning Torah.
Having her with us opened up many doors to us which would have otherwise been closed. You see in Nicaragua if you are not Catholic, many Catholics will not have anything to do with you.
When people would ask what religion we were, whoever was doing the talking would share and then if they said they were Catholic and didn’t want to talk to us Mamma Ana would jump in.
It was such a powerful thing to see different parts of the body of Messiah working together to share Truth. At one point we were able to help unite a household torn apart because one was Catholic the other was Protestant. I nearly began to cry because of my new found awareness of how much we needed each other out there.
Ultimately, it’s not about what religion we are it’s about what Yeshua did.
If you aren’t trusting in Him, then you are missing the point entirely.
The Power of the Kingdom
In one house there was an old Catholic mother and a middle aged Protestant daughter. They were not exactly friendly with each other but they had just lost their husband/father and were living together in a small house.
At first the older lady wanted nothing to do with us because we were not Catholic. Then Mamma Ana shared that she was and we were able to pray together and she began to open up about her hurt and her concerns. We all prayed together including her daughter and then we got a word of knowledge that she had pain in her legs. She said she did, in her legs, feet and hips.
This opened up the opportunity to pray for her even though we were non-Catholics. The pain went away!
We were able to share that the kingdom of God is more than your religion. It is the power of God to heal! When you bring the Kingdom with you, you are able to see bodies healed and families restored.
That mother and daughter now had something greater that brought them together than the petty differences that had kept them apart.
They now have Yeshua and His Kingdom.