Roads to Salvation?

What is the best way to lead people to salvation in this modern age? I don’t want to offend folks in the churches I attended for years, but my opinion has changed as I’ve aged. I have come to agree with those who say that a scripted approach, using a recipe of verses pulled out of context and a magic, “follow after me” prayer, is not the most effective solution.

When I was in college, some of my Christian friends were handing out “Four Spiritual Laws” tracts and using those as talking points during personal evangelism.

Before that, as a teen, and for many years thereafter, I was taught to “witness” using the “Romans Road to Salvation“.

There is nothing wrong with these tracts or using them for talking points. They are certainly well-intentioned, and they present legitimate Scripture. But I’m an old guy now, and looking back on my life, I don’t know for sure if I ever won a single convert with these methods. I heard professions of faith, certainly, but my efforts to disciple these people were always rebuffed. I don’t think I can name or even picture a single one who demonstrated Biblical salvation afterwards.

What did show positive results was driving busloads of kids to church every week and simply chatting with them about Jesus. That makes sense in light of my own experience as a child. I was taught all the “Bible stories” by Godly parents and teachers, and I have never doubted them. By the time I was eight I belonged to God.

Even as a youth, though, I often wondered why God, in His infinite wisdom, would hide the recipe for salvation by scattering it around Romans like that. Why not just come out and say it? Well, He did, actually! For example, from the “faith” chapter:

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
(Hebrews 11:6 ESV)

I didn’t need a cookbook to find Jesus. God drew me to Himself and put me in an environment where I would learn about right and wrong, repentance, and Jesus.

The Jordan River in Galilee. ©Ron Thompson

Author: Ron Thompson

Retired President of R. L Thompson Engineering, Inc.

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