The BIG IDEA:
Inviting someone to respond to Jesus’ good news is the fourth “sound barrier” to break when seeking to have an impact for Christ in a person’s life.
We fear awkwardness and rejection, so we shrink back from inviting people to place their faith in Jesus after they’ve heard the gospel.
Knowing that it can usher someone into forgiveness, life, and satisfaction that can’t be found anywhere else, take the step of faith to invite people to respond to Jesus when sharing the gospel with them.
A bride and groom at the altar about to say “I do”; or a contract focused on the signature line with a pen next to it for the person’s signature.
- What I want the group to know and understand: It’s key to invite someone to trust in Jesus once that person has heard the gospel.
- What I want the group to experience: Excitement about the prospect of God working through us to lead someone to faith in Jesus; conviction that we need to give people this opportunity and leave the results to God.
- How I want the group to respond: By taking the step of faith to invite people to place their faith in Jesus when sharing the gospel with them.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
It’s possible to break sound barriers by starting a conversation, bringing up spiritual matters, and explaining the gospel but stopping short of giving a person the chance to begin a relationship with God by trusting in Jesus. Breaking this additional sound barrier can be what God uses to change a person’s eternal destiny! So it’s critical to see the importance of breaking this sound barrier and learn some practical ways to do it.
Liven your lesson up with these creative ideas. A well placed video, illustration, game or activity can really make your lesson memorable. If you have ideas you would like to share with the community, click here.
1. Creative Touch 1
more creative touches…
Things have come such a long way with Jon and Ivan. At the beginning, Jon didn’t even know how to start talking to Ivan. But now they’ve become good friends. One of the highlights for Jon was when he got to explain to Ivan what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. Since then Ivan has been thinking about giving his life to Jesus. But he hasn’t actually done that yet. Jon doesn’t want to push Ivan into a decision, but he also doesn’t want Ivan to miss out on trusting in Jesus because of a lack of encouragement. What would you do if you were in Jon’s shoes to encourage Ivan to trust in Jesus?
1. Read Acts 3:1-11. How do the people respond to God’s miraculous healing of a man who can’t walk?
They are amazed. They can’t believe it!
2. What does Peter explain to the people about Jesus in Acts 3:12-15?
He explains that God glorified Jesus (i.e.: showed everyone how amazing he is). But he explains that the Jewish people in Jerusalem denied him and were responsible for his death when they brought him before Pilate, the Roman governor, to incite his execution while also encouraging Pilate to release another prisoner who was guilty of murder. Yet God raised him from the dead!
3. How does Peter explain the man’s healing in Acts 3:16?
Peter explains that the man’s healing came through the power of Jesus’ name and by their trust in Jesus’ power to heal him.
4. Read Acts 3:17-21. What action does Peter call the people to take?
He calls them to repent, which means to stop moving away from God and move toward him instead.
5. According to verses 19-21, what will happen if they repent and turn to God?
Repenting and turning to God will result in their sins being wiped out. It will bring times of refreshing from Jesus’ presence. It will result in Jesus coming to them. And it comes with the promise of Jesus returning someday to bring complete restoration in our world.
6. Based on what we read in this passage, why is it such a big deal to invite people to make a decision about Jesus Christ? Why can this be hard to invite someone to do?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group to see it’s so important to make a decision to trust in Jesus because he alone can wipe out our sins against a holy God (verse 19). He alone can bring joy and peace in our lives (verse 20). It can be hard because we can feel awkward about potentially putting someone on the spot. It can also be hard because we fear rejection if someone says “no” or that they’re not ready to make that decision.
7. Who do you know that needs to make a decision about Jesus?
Allow discussion. Encourage your group to think about friends, family, classmates, teammates, teachers, and co-workers that have heard the gospel but haven’t yet responded to Jesus.
8. What does it mean to make a decision to follow Jesus? Whose responsibility is this decision?
Allow the group to discuss. It means that a person is choosing to trust Jesus to forgive her sin and give her eternal life and inviting Jesus to provide leadership and direction in her life. While people may pray a prayer to express this choice, the prayer itself isn’t the most important thing. While it’s important to be “public” about your faith, it’s not a decision that needs to happen publicly. The decision is the individual’s responsibility, and it happens when God opens the person’s heart to see the beauty of the gospel (see John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 4:1-4). We give the invitation, but we can’t control how people respond.<
9. What happens if a person never makes this decision?
Allow the group to discuss. Those who don’t place their faith in Jesus at some point in their lives experience God’s judgment and wrath. They experience eternity separated from him in hell (see John 3:36; Hebrews 9:28; and 1 John 5:11-13).
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.