I recently came across one of my older bibles from back in the day. It's a King James with wide margins (you know, so you can write the definitions to all those old English words no one uses anymore). I once used that Bible a lot. One reason was due to how flimsy it was. You could bend the cover back or even roll it up, and for some reason I liked that in a bible.
But another reason was those awesome margins that allowed me to write down ideas and thoughts. Many of the notes were from sermons I had heard at my old church, and some were from Sunday school lessons I had taught.
Then I came across a verse in Romans. Out beside that verse was the number "1" and a reference to another verse in Romans. So I flipped to that verse where I found a number "2" and yet another reference to a verse in Romans.
The number trail was, of course, the "Romans Road". A popular little technique that is used to lead people to Christ. It use to be so familiar to me, but I haven't thought about it in years. Im not even sure people still use it. At least I hope they don't.
I know there may be several different versions of the Romans Road that include one or two different verses here or there, but here is the basic version and what seems to be the most common people use as far as I can tell. These are the verses I had marked in my bible.
Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23a, Romans 6:23b, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:13, Romans 10:9,10
It's no surprise that I am not a fan of this particular way of evangelism. In fact, I think it's a little crazy. Sure, there are people who have, and who will say the prayer at the end of the rehearsed, formulated presentation.
I remember using the Romans Road on a kid at a youth, beach trip. He indeed "got saved/asked Jesus into his heart" (said the prayer) that day, but it had nothing to do with these, "copy and pasted", string of verses that I showed him. It was because I scared the hell out of him first. I, of course, let him know what would happen to him if he rejected the Jesus I was presenting to him. He happily accepted and went back to playing frisbee. It was a good day for all of us.
But here is what makes no sense to me. One of the most popular ways that people are sharing the gospel today doesn't even quote any of the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John... You know, those guys who are credited with writing the gospels. And it surely doesn't quote Jesus (that guy who said he came to proclaim the gospel).
Could it be because the "Gospel/Good News" that we like to share/preach today, looks and sounds nothing like what Jesus did or said?