"Your sin has created an uncrossable canyon between God and you. On your side, there is an inescapable fire approaching. God has provided one escape. It is a bridge away from the fire and back to Him. Jesus Christ is that bridge. Will you run onto Jesus?" Then quote John 3:16.
That's a good way to start evangelizing, if you are looking for a simple analogy and a fundamental Bible verse. Just make sure to start early on with the Gospel itself.
We should beware of discussing the truth of the Gospel when the unbeliever doesn't first have a basic intellectual grasp of Christ and the grace of the cross. We should ask ourselves, "Does this lost soul think I'm trying to win him or her to a 'Christ' who is not God? To a 'Gospel' of earning one's salvation? Before I run headlong into rational arguments, do they know what I am battling for?"
As evangelicals we agree that we must win unbelievers to the real Christ and the real Gospel, or not even bother. So, before giving them any logical reasons to believe we must first- at God's sovereign appointment- explain to them Who God is, Who Christ is, what they have accomplished for sinners by the great sacrifice on the cross, and finally, WHAT THEY OFFER TO SINNERS. Pure grace, and love, and forgiveness- forever! If these things are not spelled out up front then we may well be laboring to get them to believe something that we ourselves would never want to believe!
Hopefully it will be enough for them simply for us to patiently and lovingly explain to them the profound basics. The power of the Word and the explanatory breadth and depth of the Christian worldview may itself bring the person to their knees before Christ. It is its' own argument! It carries its' own persuasive power. Its' own converting power- Divine power. So, love requires that we continually return to the Word of God in seeking to be an instrument of the unbeliever’s conversion. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1: 16.) Many people would believe if they just knew what the true Gospel message was!
In our pursuit of showing how logical Christianity is we sometimes forget that there is a great fog which lays over the understanding of unbelievers that no logic can pierce by itself. Unbelievers need to miraculously hear the Voice of the one true God speaking in the Gospel. The Gospel cuts through, and echoes through the fog of sinful unbelief. If by God’s grace they will really listen to the glorious Voice they will also see the Speaker Himself, looming in the mist, then breaking through it with redeeming love. They will see the royal, bright, and shadowless Christ, and will know beyond doubt- supernaturally- that all beliefs not consistent with this One Person are surely false.
Explain the glorious Gospel- it is our hope. As a rule of thumb, let us ask first to be heard just on the substance and content of the Gospel. Nothing else. Then, if necessary, persuade their minds of the truth by logical, gentle, argumentation.
Now, to be clear, what exactly is the Gospel we are trying to share? I have explained it elsewhere on this website under the link, "The Good News" and will paste it here:Dear Reader,
I am compelled by God's love to share with you the best news I have ever heard.
God has spoken in the Bible, saying: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come!" (Second Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17.)
A MIRACULOUS NEW LIFE
God has promised newness to those who give themselves fully to Jesus Christ. If you give yourself to Him, you will be made new and fresh on the inside. God has promised, and He cannot and will not break a promise.
I can say for myself that God really gave me a new heart and a new start. He gave me a strong heart-belief in, and LOVE FOR, Jesus Christ. He changed me powerfully, and He can truly do the same for you. If you gave up believing in miracles a long time ago, or if you have never believed in them, its time to take a deeper look at the power of God promised for anyone who gives their whole life to Christ.
Can miracles happen? Well, just look at your body, how complex and wonderful it is. Computers are the most complex things we can design, but they are nothing compared us. Obviously we had to have been designed too! You are not a cosmic accident. You were designed by One with infinite wisdom, power, and love. He made your body and your soul, and so He is very able to change you for good- and give you hope.
Now, you may think that this message from the Bible is just for other people who need to be changed. But we all need to be changed, whether we feel like we do or not. You can't change others, but YOU can receive a change from Christ.
A LOVING GOD
But why is God even WILLING to change people like you and me? The Bible says in chapter three of the book of John, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." Do you see it? It's His own incredible love that motivates Him: "For God so loved the world..."
But do you notice something else? It says that we will "perish" if we do not believe in Jesus with our hearts. In other words, we desperately need to be changed! We are all sinners- that means we refuse to love God with all that we are all the time. We sin. Can you see why this is an awful thing?
It is quite possible that you already believe in Hell (and Heaven). The Good News is that nobody who simply loves the Lord Jesus Christ will ever perish by going to Hell! Wow! And it's true. It is not just "wishful thinking" or "blind faith". But the big question is: do YOU love Him?
Jesus actually commands you and me to come to Him. Why? Because He is God the Son and totally deserves to have our full love. Why else does He command us? Because you and I desperately need to be connected with our God so that we can have eternal safety and enjoyment.
Jesus said there is no other way but through Him. He declared, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14: 6.)
He died on a cross about 2000 years ago, so that people like you and me wouldn't have to suffer in Hell forever. He suffered INSTEAD of those people who will, in time, give their lives to Him. You see, it's like a glistening sword called, "My Countless Sins Against God" was about to fall on my neck, and at the last moment Jesus pulled me aside and took the blade on His own neck. He took my sins and the punishment they deserve on Himself! The corpse of Christ was taken down from the cross and was buried. But because He was perfectly righteous, He was able to rise up again to new life! Now He gives us new life- resurrection life- if we simply put all our trust in Him to save us from our misery and true guilt. If you truly trust Him, He will forgive you ALL of your sins- no matter how bad they were.
But then you must follow Him closely for the rest of your life (this becomes a joy!), showing that you really do love Him. Sadly, many say they love Jesus but show by the things they do that they really don't.
Jesus Christ can see you and hear you right now. Won't you go give your whole life to Him as your loving and mighty God, Who is totally able to change you and give you true happiness? The Lord is all about people finding joy in Him, not about some sort of religious slavery where there is no love or passion for Him.
If you can get a Bible, start reading through the book of Matthew, (which is the first book in the New Testament), or the book of John. Read the Bible as much as you can. If you don't understand something, just keep reading. Read, and talk to Jesus. He IS alive! If you find that you still do not love Jesus then keep asking Him to give you that great love. And keep trying to live AS IF you did have this love and passion for Him. He may yet give you the infinite rescue that you so desperately need. We must remember two things: we don't deserve a new heart from God, but He is full of mercy and grace. Seek Him.