"Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they re born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:1-16
One fourth and final point on soul-winning from this encounter - "GO FOR THE CLOSE".
To review, point one is "GET TO THE POINT", two is "ASK QUESTIONS" and three is "KEEP IT SIMPLE".
I think this may be the part many dread because if you go for the close there is a 50% chance you could face rejection. But if you don't ask for a commitment, what is the point of sharing in the first place? Christ wasn't in the information busines He was in the transformation business. He still is!
Let me illustrate how Jesus did the close and then make some observations from my experiences.
I notice that Jesus tailored His close to the person with whom He was dealing. A once-size fits all approach rarely works. If you would study His encounter with the woman at the well and Zaccheus and with Mary Magdalene you will readily notice how differently He handled each close.
With Nic, Jesus pushed hard for a commitment because Nic was a religious man with a higher level of understanding. That's because with God, accountability is measured in proportion to knowledge. Let me illustrate from Jesus' words:
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.14
In other words, Jesus is saying, "You are having trouble believing what I say because you have not believed Who I Am. Believe in me!"
That is the essence of closing the deal! No one is saved by accepting a plan, they are saved by accepting a person. So, like Jesus, you must ask for that commitment after sharing the plan.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
With this statement, Jesus is turning up the pressure on Nic by reminding him of an Old Testament story he knew well. Due to their rebellion and blatant disobedience, God sent a plague of poisonous vipers to punish the Israelites in the wilderness at the foot of Sinai. Then in a prophetic symbolism, God instructed Moses to hold up a brass serpent on a pole and all who looked upon that serpent would be delivered from certain death.
What Jesus is saying to Nic is, "You are snake bitten by your sin. God has lifted me up. Believe in me or die!"
Sharing the Gospel of salvation IS a life and death proposition! So why would you not push for a life-saving decision?
Once you have presented the plan and asked for the commitment, smile kindly and the person and say NOTHING until they respond.
Let me close with a few observations about asking for the close:
1) It is easier to close when then seeker comes to you.
2) It is easier to close when you do the first three things well.
3) It is easier to close when you understand the life and death urgency of it.
4) It is the Holy Spirit's job to win the person it is your job to witness.
Imagine that you go shopping for a new car. You find the exact car you want and you take it for a test drive. By the time you get back to the dealership you are totally in love with this car and can't wait to make it yours. You walk back into the office with the salesperson and tell him you want to buy the car, but he tucks the paperwork into his desk, reaches out his hand and say, "Well, it was good to meet you! Thanks for coming in! Have a great day!" Then he walks out of the office leaving you sitting there.
How would you feel if he didn't close the deal?