Image of woman in yellow texting on phone with text overlay, when I nervously stared the gospel with a friend who died months later.

Have you ever struggled over the conviction to witness to a friend because of the fear of rejection?

Have you ever seen a clear opportunity to share the gospel, but you were so afraid to take it? We can easily feel fear of rejection or of not having all the answers, but we must step out in faith, trusting the Holy Spirit.

Here’s what happened when I took the chance to share the gospel with a long-lost friend. Little did either of us know that he would die suddenly only a few short months later.

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Look for open doors to share the gospel with old friends

I just found out that a friend from elementary school passed away. It was so shocking to hear such sad news, and it seemed so sudden!

Five months ago I reached out to him online. We had just become friends again on social media, and he had recently lost his brother and was seeking God. He said he needed God in his life and was planning to find the path to Him.

That post was like an arrow piercing my heart.

As nervous as I was, I couldn’t NOT message him with the hope of the gospel. It was hard because we hadn’t talked since we were little kids, but he was looking for the most important thing in life, and I had the answer!

I asked the Lord to help me, and I took a deep breath and messaged him. I expressed my sympathy for what he was going through and shared a bit about the things God has helped me through, and I shared the gospel with him.

Image of a text message of thanks for reaching out, text overlay saying, what if I didn't tell a friend the gospel when I did?

Here’s part of what I shared with my long-lost friend:

Hey there, I remember you from playing on the playground back in the day. We didn’t have any classes together but you were always so funny and fun to hang out with at recess! So good to see you on FB!

I saw your post recently about anxiety the other day. I just wanted to reach out and say I’m so sorry you’re going through some hard stuff right now. Don’t know what you’re going through, but I can def relate to hard times… I lost my mom about 8 years ago to cancer and it was so hard. Whatever you’re going through, I pray God gives you strength and comfort.

You mentioned in your post about needing God in your life and wanting to find the path to Him. That is the best thing you can do, I speak from experience. I truly know I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for God delivering me from so many things, even some I’m probably not aware of. If you’re interested in some of the stuff I’ve been through (I’ve lost so many loved ones, survived an eating disorder, etc.) and how God saw me through it all, you can read my story here: https://livbygrace.com/my-testimony/

Well this message is getting kinda long (sorry!), but I just wanted to say that you’re not alone and God will make Himself known to those who sincerely seek Him. I encourage you to read the book of John in the Bible as you seek Him! (If you don’t have a Bible, let me know and I can send you one in the mail if you’d like.)

Also, check out this video from Living Waters on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_uI7MF9d0rU. It’s simple, straight truth—not about religion but about how to have a restored relationship with our Creator God. They have tons of other amazing videos on lots of topics too.

I know it’s kinda odd, me reaching out after not seeing you since elementary school, but when I saw your post, God laid on my heart to reach out. This world is drifting farther away from God and more toward sin—time is short and hell is real, so I couldn’t NOT reach out with what I know to be the only way of salvation from sin and God’s judgment. And that is through Christ Jesus and His payment for our sins at the cross. All we need to do is admit our sinfulness before God, turn from that way of living, and transfer our trust from ourselves to the Savior.

Thanks so much for reading this. I hope you have a great day and that you’ll check out that video soon. God bless!

I was so nervous after I sent the message. But I felt a strong conviction to do it. I couldn’t sit and say nothing when I had the answer to his problem!

I wasn’t sure if he would read or how he would react, or if he would even reply to it.

But then I got a reply. And I was so happy to hear what he had to say.

He was appreciative and receptive to thinking about it:

Image of a direct message from a friend after I shared the gospel with them.

My heart rejoiced after I read that! I continued to pray that God would work in his life and in his heart, and that he would accept the gospel and be born again.

Not long afterward, I got the news that he had died. I was heartbroken. I cried and cried.

I just can’t believe he is gone. 😟😭 I just couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. Even though I hadn’t seen him for 30 years, I broke into sobs.

He was such a kind, sweet, smart, fun-loving, and hilarious guy. He’d been through a lot in his life and continued to have a positive attitude.

It’s just not right that he’s gone.

We were never meant to die. God created us for life, and for joyous communion with Him. Our rebellion and sinfulness ushered in the curse of death and separated us from Him, yet He loves us so much that He provided redemption and restoration with Him through Christ. What patience and love God has for us!

I’m so thankful that God helped me to share the gospel with this dear person. I don’t know what he did with it, but I hope I see him again one day.

RELATED: 11 ways for students to share their faith this school year 📚

A harrowing thought—what if my friend only ever heard the gospel from me?

A horrifying thought occurred to me: what if I hadn’t shared the hope of the gospel with him? What if I had ignored the nudging of the Holy Spirit to message him? What if I’d let myself get discouraged by the thought that he might reject me or get upset?

I’m so grateful to God for prompting me and empowering me to reach out with the truth. What if he hadn’t heard it but from me? It’s a terrifying thought to think of the outcome of quenching the Spirit.

A few short years ago I would have shied away from reaching out. But I’m so very glad I did this time—it’s nothing short of a miracle, it’s all the empowering grace of God and His love that allows us to do so.

Image of woman texting with text overlay saying, what if I didn't tell a friend the gospel when I did? How to face your fears & share before it's too late.

The sudden loss of this old friend really imprints on my mind and my heart how short life is and how urgent it is for us to share the gospel as if our life depends on it—because others’ lives do! And we never know when ours or anyone else’s time is up.

I’d just talked to him a few short days ago, and neither of us knew his last breath was fast approaching.

Please, my friend, if there’s someone in your life who is in need of hearing the gospel, don’t wait.

After all, what’s the worst that could happen—they get mad? They curse you out? They hurt your feelings? They reject you and cut you out of their life?

If only. The worst thing that can happen is for us to remain silent and they go to hell.

Step into the ability of Christ, read the Word daily, and reach out with loving actions and the hope of the gospel.

If you want more ideas for sharing the gospel with family and friends, check out this article from GotQuestions.org.

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RELATED: Top 7 recommended online resources for successful evangelism 📱

Reach out and share the gospel with friends

Here’s a great opportunity that’s going on right now, but it won’t last long!

Living Waters is giving out a million copies of The Million Dollar Gospel of John—for free! All you have to do is sign up to request them, and pass them out in your neighborhood. It’s as easy as driving around your neighborhood and tossing them in driveways as you go by.

They’re so appealing-looking, and in every video that Living Waters has on YouTube where they hand one of these to people, their eyes light up and they smile. (There is a note at the beginning of the book explaining why it looks the way it does.)

Photo of a Million Dollar Gospel of John book.

There’s never been an easier (and more socially-distant) way to reach people with the hope of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. I requested mine yesterday, so we can be buddies in this endeavor, just let me know!

Click the button below to check it out, but don’t wait too long, they’ll be gone soon.

My friend, let’s encourage each other to live with urgency to share the hope of the gospel!

If you’re interested in The Million Dollar Gospel of John but just want one to check out for yourself, you can get a single copy right here. (affiliate link)

If the free distribution goes out of stock before you can claim some, you can purchase copies for distribution here. (affiliate link)

And if you would like to watch the video I shared with my friend, here it is below. Sending a link to an evangelistic YouTube video is a great way to reach out to a friend.

Final thoughts on sharing the gospel with an old friend

We never know when our time here on earth will be over. Scripture tells us that we each have an appointment with death, so let’s make the most of our time here and step out in the strength and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to share the hope of the gospel with those around us, especially our long-lost friends.

🤔 What do you think about this topic? Share your opinion in a comment below!

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How to share the gospel with an old friend (I did and he died months later)

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