Humanly speaking, evangelism is not difficult; it's impossible. Nobody on earth brings a person to Christ. That's something only God can do.

How does God do that? The answer comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. Referring to the Holy Spirit, John 16:8 begins, "And when He has come, He will convict the world." Convict has the idea of putting the truth before an unbeliever in such a way that he has to recognize it as being truth.

The rest of verse 8 reveals three truths in which the Spirit will convict the world: (1) sin, (2) righteousness, and (3) judgment.

But why exactly must the Holy Spirit convict the non-Christian and what are the implications of His convicting work?

We are all sinners—concerning sin, verse 9 reveals, “they do not believe in Me." Spurgeon is reported to have said, "Before you can get people saved, you have to get them lost.” The Holy Spirit wants everyone to understand, “You are lost. You are a sinner. And the ultimate sin is not believing in Christ.”

Jesus Christ is the perfect son of God—concerning righteousness, verse 10 continues, " I go to My Father, and you see Me no more." By his life, death, resurrection, and ascension Christ proved He was the perfect Son of God. That's why He could become our substitute. A sinner cannot die for another sinner. So the Holy Spirit wants them to know that Jesus Christ, as the perfect Son of God, took the punishment we deserved and rose again proving His power over sin and death.

Judgment for sin is certain—concerning judgment, verse 11 explains, " the ruler of this world is judged." Satan’s judgment guarantees that those of his kingdom will also be condemned. The Holy Spirit wants them to understand that eternal separation from God awaits those who do not trust Christ to save them.

Can you explain those three things? Sure, and you should. But, only the Holy Spirit can enable an unbeliever to understand and accept what you're saying as truth. As you evangelize, recognize the tremendous help of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). Evangelism is participation in the Spirit’s work. If people come to Christ, God through His Holy Spirit brought them. If they reject the message, they are rejecting Him, not you.

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