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How to Share the Gospel
With Catholics

April 4, 2006

How to Share the Gospel with Catholics

Dear John:

You asked:

"From what I have learned about you, you have very much experience with working with Roman Catholics and their faith. I live in a country which is extremely Roman Catholic, and I was wondering if you had on your heart any particular experience you find relevant in witnessing to and working with Roman Catholics? It is very hard for us here, people are not very open to the Word of God, and the priests tell people not to come to our meetings because we are a "sect" (although we are no sect at all, we are simply not Roman Catholics, but that is enough for them), have not liturgy etc. ó John"

I was raised Catholic and at one time thirty-eight years ago I was studying to be a Priest. You will not reach Catholics with the saving faith of the Gospel trying to get them to come to a meeting or by attacking their faith verses yours. The Bible doesnít command us nor is there one example of Jesus, the Apostles or anyone else in the New Testament trying to reach the lost by inviting people to come to meetings. Jesus and the Apostles in the book of Acts, however, by life and example show us that we are to go to the lost where they are, and indeed this is the only command Jesus gives us for reaching the lost:

Matthew 28:18-20 "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. GO THEREFORE and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

My wife while doing evangelism on the field recently led a Catholic woman to Jesus Christ. She said to her "I am out today taking a survey on this booklet titled What Is Eternal Life? May I take a few minutes of your time and get your honest reaction to it?" The woman explained to my wife that she was a Roman Catholic. My wife explained to her that the survey was not about religion but about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

John 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (p. 1 of the Salvation Tract)

She then said "Yes, I would like to hear that!" My wife then went through the Salvation Tract with her and She prayed and received Jesus Christ into her heart as Savior and Lord.

I was taught as a Catholic that if I attended a religious meeting outside the Catholic Church that I would not be saved, that I would go to hell. For that reason I never considered looking for answers to my spirituality outside the Catholic Church. It was only because I decided to read the Bible (first, the New Testament) that, first, I came to realize that if salvation were dependent on me I would never be saved; and, second, that by accident, not by knowledge, I called upon Jesus to save me one day while riding my bicycle home from high school and as a result came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. It was only As time went on and as I continued to read the Bible and as the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14) opened my eyes to the truths of Scripture that my church preference in worship and fellowship changed. I am now a Full Gospel Minister.

The key to reaching Catholics is, first, not trying to get them to come to meetings. If you do that, you have lost their attention automatically. The key is to go to them individually and try sharing the salvation tract or whatever medium you prefer and share with them how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That they are not opposed to. There is nothing in Catholicism that tells them they cannot have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and in fact is what will save them not what church or denomination they belong to or attend. When they come to Christ, the Holy Spirit Himself will correct their wrong theology and in time, just as was in my case, they will find an appropriate Church to attend which more clearly lines up with the teaching of Godís Word.

Another tool I have is The Community Religious Survey.

http://www.layevangelism.com/layevang/survey.htm

http://www.layevangelism.com/bastxbk/illustrations/comsurvey.pdf

The survey gives people you are surveying a way to express their spiritual needs and helps you understand what they believe about salvation so that when you present the Gospel to them afterwards you can personalize according to what is keeping them from seeing that Jesus only is the answer to their salvation.

If they come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, when going over how to grow as Jesusí disciple on pages 13-14 of the Salvation Tract, when you talk to them about the importance of Church fellowship you can then let them know they are more then welcome to come fellowship with you and you can even leave them a church brochure with the service times. In many cases because they came to know Jesus personally through you, they will be curious to come and see what you are all about. However, whatever you do, do not ever attack their Catholicism or their church, stay focused on Jesus, not their church. If you attack their church you will lose them forever. You have to let the Holy Spirit work that out in their hearts as they read and study His Word the Bible. Now that they have the Holy Spirit living in them because they have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit is able then, just as He did with me as a Catholic, open their eyes to see the truth of Godís Word and knowing the truth will set them free from the false doctrine of the Catholic church. You see even I myself as a Catholic would never have gone outside the church to look for answers, for I was told I would go to hell if I did so. However, if someone had come to me to share their faith with me, out of courtesy and curiosity I would have listened. However, in my case no one ever did and I would never chance losing my salvation by attending a protestant meeting. The closest I got to a protestant church before coming to Jesus was my involvement with the Boy Scouts. We met in the hall of a protestant church, LOL.

Never bring up church or denomination to a Catholic. Talk only about Jesus and knowing Jesus. I talk about how using this approach I was able to preach in a Catholic Mass (by Holy Spirit arrangement) and brought many Catholics to saving faith in Jesus Christ. See the following link for this story under the sub-heading "My First Year after Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit."

http://www.layevangelism.com/advtxbk/sections/sect-5/sec5-3.htm

The story about the Catholic Mass starts on the second page:

http://www.layevangelism.com/advtxbk/sections/sect-5/sec5-3b.htm

This is part of the Advanced Textbook Training material on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and how to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit in ministering the Gospel to men and women.

Again, to reach Catholics you must talk to them one on one as I have suggested above. You will never get them to come to your services because they are taught that venturing outside the Catholic Church will lead to eternal hell, so they will not consider that as a possible answer to their needs. You must go to them door to door using the survey and then just focus on Jesus, not your church and never about what you think is wrong with their church. If they bring their church up say "Well the purpose of this survey is not to tell you where to go to church or how to worship, but about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ." If they allow you to go through it and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord and then you leave them with Jesus Is the Answer to Your Needs Discipleship Book, what they will learn in it will eventually lead them out of the Catholic Church and to a more Bible centered Church where they can grow in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus said in John 8:32 "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." The only way to reach a Catholic is by just simply sharing the truth of Godís Word with them about their salvation in Jesus without ever making reference to their Church or what is wrong with it. As soon as you attack their Church you will have a 5 mile titanium steel wall between you and them and anything you have to say. They will literally spiritually run for their lives. Just in love share the truth of the Gospel with them (focus on relationship with Jesus, they cannot argue with that) and the truth will set them free.

I also would encourage you to listen to my testimony about how as a Catholic I myself came to saving faith in Jesus Christ:

http://www.layevangelism.com/lectures/testimon.htm

Your Friend in Jesus,

Dale P. Kruse
Pastor-Evangelist

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