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Conversations that Connect #2 ‘’Listening to illuminate’

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1 Conversations that Connect #2 ‘’Listening to illuminate’

2 Jesus calls his first disciples to follow him John chapter 1 verses 39-43-51. 35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John - but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).

3 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown. 45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. 47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel - a man of complete integrity.” [is no deceit/nothing false] 48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God - the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

4 Jesus had a conversational approach with Nathanael and the others and also listened to the Holy Spirit. ‘Post-modernism’ means ‘post/after the modern era’. from the industrial revolution to the 1980s. During this time our Western culture became very confident that science and human reason would understand and solve all life’s problems. But Western people have become 1. Sceptical of any claims to “truth” 2. Rejected absolute authority & moral absolutes 3. Indifferent to religion (people ’know’ that no religion is actually true)

5 A conversational approach to evangelism is a method that suits our times. Through the use of key questions we can help people to examine their own beliefs, and consider other ways of seeing things ­ and do this in a non-threatening way, which is the point. Kiwis are still spiritual people - they just don’t want to be preached at! If a person says they believe that “all religious roads lead to God”....

6 Three key questions in a Hearing Conversation: Question 1: What do you mean by...? Would you explain/help me understand what you mean? Clarify instead of assuming. This seeks to clarify WHAT they believe. Question 2: Where did you get that idea from? What led you to that conclusion? Clarify instead of assuming. This seeks to clarify WHY they believe that. Question 3: Have you considered that...? This seeks to redirect to/illuminate a different way of thinking.

7 (a) What the religions say about Gods existence is different. (Atheists and Buddhists cp other religions; other religions dont actually believe this as they excommunicate those who change religions); (b) What the religions say about the necessary path for salvation is very different; (belief in their God, doing good works, overcoming karma & incarnations through good works, overcoming all natural desires through following the 8-fold path, through God’s love by faith alone in Christ alone); (c) That statement isn’t really logical – all roads don’t lead to Rome, right? If you go the wrong way, don’t you get to the wrong place? (d) The claims of the major religious leaders are all really different. Buddha claimed to be a teacher who pointed the way. Mohammad claimed to merely be a prophet, not God. But Jesus claimed to be God become a human person, to live a sinless life, to die for the sin of all people, and to be the only means for any person living to be forgiven and receive eternal life. The differences between their claims are very large!

8 The Benefits of learning to ask key questions Instead of just saying what we believe straight off, asking such questions 1. creates space for you to listen to them before you speak (and not make assumptions) 2. creates space for you to listen to God before you speak 3. potentially opens an ongoing conversation 4. returns the onus of proof on them, if they have criticised 5. is less threatening; you can disagree without actually disagreeing 6. can cause the other person to re-evaluate their own beliefs.

9 Jesus often responded to a question with a question Luke 10 v25 A teacher of the Law asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Remember the power of asking good questions!

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