Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart fromthe faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,and doctrines of devils. - I Timothy 4:1
- Matthew 28:19-20
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to obser ve all thingswhatsoever I have commanded you:and, lo, I am with you always, evenunto the end of the world. Amen.
One need not travel half way around the world to find a mission field. It is right in our neighborhoods, often right at our front doors. However, without clear understanding of what God expects of us and some basic training in how to convey His truth to the lost, the effectiveness of our Christian witness will be limited at best.
Now make no mistake; reaching cultists for Christ is no picnic. Witnessing to those caught up in the Cults, New Age Movement and other world religions is not an easy task. Compounding the task, there is a lack of trained workers motivated to delve into the quagmire of cultic beliefs around us.
The bad news is that there are "giants in the land."
But don’t despair.
The good news is that God has the answers IF we are willing to meet the "giants" head on!
We need to remember that unless we are willing to share our faith, others will surely perish - for eternity. The "Great Commission" - the last thing Jesus left us to do in the book of Matthew - is not optional for the Believer.
Our job is to be a voice of love and reason in a lost world through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit! It won’t always be pretty; it won’t always be comfortable; and it won’t always be without confrontation. But it will be worth it!
With no space to discuss each cult, religion or New Age group here let us give some general pointers accompanied by this word of encouragement.
God loves the cultist. He loves those caught in mysticism. He loves the Muslin, Hindu and Buddhist. He desires that none of them perish without Jesus as Savior and Lord. And each of those lost outside Christ are dying to meet him - they just don’t know it yet! And unless we effectively communicate with them they are sure to die without Him!
Whenever we witness to the lost we must recognize that we are entering a war zone. There are supernatural forces at work wherever and whenever we bring Christian witness. The enemy consistently attacks three main areas:
1) The Identity of God (and Jesus)
2) The Authenticity of Scripture
3) The Need for Salvation Because of Man’s Sin
These are questions you need to have rock solid answers and evidence for before you tread into the battlefield of winning the cults. In other words, don’t attempt fighting the battle for those lost in the cults, New Age and world religions without the solid foundation of knowing what you believe and why you believe it.
For example, with nearly every aberrant group or religion the attempt is made to humanize God, deify man, minimize sin, and separate you from the authority of Holy Scripture. The last is often done by adding to the Bible, that group’s own created scripture of higher authority, usually given by mystical means to that group’s spiritual leader. They will also make every effort to convince you that salvation is only available through that group and its special plan for your step into eternity.
1) Know What You Believe and Be in a Strong Relationship with God.
As we’ve mentioned, knowing what you believe and being well grounded in your faith is a must for witnessing to the cults. But it’s just not for their good that we reiterate this. It is for yours as well.
Recognize that though your intention is to win the New Ager or cultist to the Lord, their intention is to win you as well. Just how many Christians, ignorant of God’s word and without spiritual covering and protection, are derailed in their faith because of the cults, we don’t know. But we believe the figures would come as a shock. Being spiritually prepared for such encounters is a must so that you are not shaken in your faith and drawn into error.
Remember the old adage that if you know the real thing, counterfeits are easy to spot.
2) Understand What You Are Dealing With.
Having a working knowledge of the beliefs, structure and errors of a particular cult or New Age group will help you dialog with those lost in it.
This does not mean that you need to become an "expert" on any specific cult (unless God has called you to an apologetics ministry) but some knowledge will help greatly. Just telling a cultist that Jesus loves them will not dent the shell Satan has constructed around them. Slamming the door in their face or telling them they are doomed to Hell certainly won’t communicate Christ to them either.
Attacking cult leaders or sages may alienate those you are witnessing to as well. For example Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founder, was indeed a false prophet and a liar but it is Mormonism that has the stranglehold on a Mormon. Stick with dealing with beliefs, not personalities, at least to start with.
Remember that witnessing to the cults is a vital act of spiritual warfare, one that Satan will defy you in however he can. So, steps one and two here reinforce the importance of knowing your stuff - first about Christianity itself and then secondly, learning to identify cultic beliefs and errors when you are faced with them.
3) Act in the Love of Christ - Be a Friend.
Building a relationship may be the single best way to win a cultist. In long term witnessing strategy this goes a long way. They need to see Jesus living and operating in you. Do this whenever possible and realize that you probably won’t get a died-in-the-wool occultist to repent in the first encounter! However, by being sincere and acting in a Christ-like manner you can make a positive impact in every encounter working toward the goal of seeing he or she set free in Jesus. It’s really true that what you are usually speaks louder than what you say.
Remember that these people are not God’s enemies nor are they ours. Also, they are not just trophies for us to attempt to win. They are people with genuine concerns just like us who are the victims of false teaching.
4) Pray First.
Paul prayed for the Ephesian Church (Ephesians 1:17-19) to have their spiritual eyes opened by the Holy Spirit. How much more must we pray for the lost in the same way? This can happen even as we are actually witnessing and talking with them as we silently pray in our hearts for God to open their eyes!
Remember also to take authority in Jesus’ name, privately praying and binding every deceptive, cultic spirit before each encounter with a cultist.
Pray according to the Bible that the strongman be bound so that his captive can be set free. Pull down those strongholds and cast down vain imaginations and "every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..." (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Ask for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to draw the cultist to the Cross of Jesus for salvation. Also, solicit the assistance of the prayer group at your church and/or among other believing friends and family.
This bondage can be broken through prayer in the name of Jesus. Many have been set free through the love, intercession and fellowship of committed friends and relatives.
5) Use a Scriptural Basis as You Witness.
This doesn’t mean beat up the cultist with the Bible! This means that while you speak use the concepts found in God’s word. One doesn’t have to quote directly from the Bible (a sure turn off for New Agers) to have the Holy Spirit bring illumination into a darkened heart. Just make certain that your words stay consistent with the Scriptures and watch the Holy Spirit do the rest!
One warning here...avoid using Christian jargon i.e., "Praise the Lord, brother, glory to God! Wouldn’t you like to get saved and delivered from all of those cultic demons?" You can kiss your witnessing opportunity good-bye doing that!
6) Answer all Questions and Objections from Scripture.
But remember you don’t have to answer every question when it’s asked. In fact, your friend will feel a whole lot more comfortable with you if you can’t. You can say, "I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out", or "Let me think about it a little more and I’ll give you an answer the next time I see you." Then, find the answer, be sure you understand it and bring it back!
If possible, try and arrange a meeting to introduce the cultist or New Ager with others who have been set free from the cults. This will encourage them that there is life and hope after leaving a cult.
Perhaps study the Bible together. God’s word will prompt you on what to say and when to say it as well. Remember that the word of God is the power unto salvation (Romans 1:16)!
7) In Some Way Give Your Own Testimony.
A good place to begin is to tell specifically how God has answered prayer in your life. Avoid testimonies that talk about the peace and joy you have in the Lord.
Remember that those who follow eastern religions and any number of the new cults will give just as fervent a testimony. Like the Mormons who use their burning in the bosom as a test of truth, each group has its own subjective method of instilling a counterfeit sense of security.
8. Emphasize that Christ is the Sin Bearer for All and that No Religion Can Do What Jesus Did.
Remember that your friend has been programmed to think that he has to carry his own sin until it can be released only through his cult group leadership or through his own good works. It’s up to you to show him that is not true!
Remember the areas that the cult cannot deal with and bring your friend to an understanding of these important matters; the power of the shed blood of Jesus, the Cross and the nature of salvation by grace. For example, be able to give a good, clear definition of the doctrine of the Trinity, an area of confusion with every cult.
9. Ask for a Decision.
As a general rule, it’s not good to continually press for a decision, but you will prayerfully know when the timing is right in the matter.
10) Persevere! Don’t Give Up!
Keep in mind that it is not our job to win the lost. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to do so. All you are to be is a willing conduit to share the truth, positioning yourself in the right place and frame of thinking to do so.
Tragically, the number one reason that the Church does not witness to the lost is fear of rejection! Yet unless we’re willing to boldly and readily open our mouths for Christ the toll of those doomed to be rejected by God is too great to imagine. We have GOT to tell them!
Remember that God would never have given us the "Great Commission" of Matthew 28 unless He has also given us the tools to complete it. There is a richness of joy and blessings beyond compare for all those willing to do what Jesus left us here to do - spread the lifesaving Gospel in a lost and dying world.
Our goal in this pamphlet is to lay out some simple yet effective methods and ideas to help the reader become more effective in carrying out the "Great Commission" given us in the Scripture passage above.Steps to Winning the Lost
God bless you as you labor for Him!
© 2000, Ed Decker & Eric Barger