Frequently, the team at Unlocking the Bible receives thoughtful questions and helpful feedback from our listeners and web users. The inquiry below is a recent and very relevant example.
Dear Unlocking the Bible,
The reason I am writing is because of one of my colleagues who is an African American. I told him about Jesus, and he told me that he would like for me to tell him more and to mentor him. But I am not sure I can do much. So, I would like to know is there any way you can help me?
This question is apropos for anyone who has ever felt ill-equipped to open the Bible with an unbeliever. Which is all of us! If we’re honest, every believer has experienced this sense of inadequacy at one time or another.
After all, the gospel is both simple and profound, and we want to uphold the biblical integrity of this good news. We want to share the gospel effectively. Yet, Jesus tells us in Matthew 13 that our efforts to sow gospel seeds will have varying results.
A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear (Matt. 13:3-9).
When you share the gospel with your unbelieving friend, family member, neighbor, or colleague, you may find that the person’s ears are not open—not able to hear the truth of God’s word. It’s as if the words you share are snatched away, inaudible as soon as they leave your mouth (Mt. 13:4).
You may encounter a person who appears to be open to hearing the gospel, but no deep, lasting roots of faith are growing. Whatever belief begins to take root soon fades under the first “heat” of trial or testing (Mt. 13:5-6).
Perhaps you faithfully share the gospel with someone, but competing (and false) ideologies choke out whatever spiritual growth is taking place in his or her heart (Mt. 13:7).
We long to share the gospel effectively—to see the seeds of truth falling on “good soil” and producing a fruitful harvest of genuine faith (Mt. 13:8-9). This extraordinary, God-given yield can leave us feeling reverent and thankful, yet uncertain of our next step.
Where can we find help to come alongside a person whose faith is new and growing? How can we mentor the open-eared friend toward deeply rooted, long-lasting faith?
The Answer for Open Ears
Dear Web User,
Thank you for your good question. It sounds like you had a wonderful conversation with your work colleague! Pastor Colin Smith and Unlocking the Bible have developed something that we call “Open.” This resource is specifically for situations like this, where a person like you has the opportunity to introduce someone to the Christian faith.
Just go to the website: www.openthebible.org and create a login. You will notice that there are three pathways through the Bible: a 10-session (flight), a 30-session (drive), and a 50-session (walk).
The 30-session (drive) is the best path for someone who is new to the Bible. It is not the shortest path, but it is the easiest. This is the one I would recommend for you.
You will also notice that each session contains:
- a Bible passage
- a teaching from Pastor Colin
- a discussion question
You could meet together and do all three parts. Or, you and your friend could do the first two sections separately (on your own), and then meet and discuss the question together. You could do it online or in person (if you are able to). Notice also that you have the option of listening to or reading the teaching sessions.
I am praying that your colleague would be open to doing this, that your time together would be fruitful, and that the Holy Spirit would lead you as you open the Bible.
–The Team at Unlocking the Bible
The “Open” resource is ready and waiting for you! It may be exactly what you are needing as you seek to share the gospel. Since “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17), open your Bible! Let God’s word fill and direct your conversation, so that he who has ears will be able to hear.