Is there a good way to evangelize to people in cults or false religions?
While every person and each religious movement is unique, there are many important principles that help us better share our faith with others.
First, we are called to pray for those who have yet to believe. Second Corinthians 4:4 says, "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." We seek to help unbelievers "see" the truth and love of Jesus Christ by first asking God to open their eyes to Him. Apart from God's intervention in another person's life, our efforts will be ineffective in reaching others for Christ (John 16:7-11).
Second, we must be unashamed and unafraid to share our faith in Jesus Christ with others. First Peter 3:15 says, "…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…" Romans 1:16 teaches us to be unashamed, regardless of the other person's background, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
Third, our lives must reflect the beliefs we share. First Peter 3:15-16 continues, "…yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." Jesus compared this to the way a city on a hill cannot be hidden and to the way a lamp in a room is seen by everyone in the room. He instructed, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
Finally, we must be willing to suffer when others oppose our message, including those from other religious backgrounds. Peter taught, "For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil" (1 Peter 3:17). Jesus serves as our ultimate example for suffering for what is right. His teaching led to both suffering and death, giving His life for all who would believe in Him (John 3:16).
When sharing our faith with people involved in cults or in other religions, we may find it helpful to have somewhat of an understanding of what they believe. Satan often likes to distort the truth to lead people astray. We can see in other religions a hint of God's truth, but it is incomplete. Knowing where the pitfalls in a particular person's belief system lie may help us to better understand that person and to know how to better share our faith with them. For instance, if a person already believes that God is creator, we may not need to share as much about our similar belief. However, if a person believes Jesus was nothing more than a prophet, we may wish to share how the fact that He is God makes a difference to us. In any type of evangelism, it is important to respect the person to whom we are speaking. Our God is loving; Jesus came in grace and truth (John 1:14), and our approach should be the same.
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