Evangelism Explosion Conversions

This account chronicles the Christian conversion experience of a Russian couple, Sergey and Katya, and their 10-year-old son Peter. My 12-year-old son David and my daughter Megan were with me that day.

I began by asking Sergey the two diagnostic questions I learned to ask when I took Dr. D. James Kennedy’s Evangelism Explosion (EE) course at my church 15 years earlier.

Me: Do you know for certain that if you died tonight you would 

                go to heaven?

Sergey: No. Not for certain. That’s what I’m so worried about.

Me: If you stood before God and He asked “Why should I let you

                into My heaven?,” what would you tell Him?

Sergey thought about it for a minute, and then he said:

I guess I’d tell Him I’m an honest man. I provide well for

                Katya and Peter, and I’m good to them and to our parents.

His answers revealed that he didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I didn’t think I remembered much of the rest of the EE presentation plan, but I did.

Me: Sergey, you can’t earn your way into heaven! It is offered as

                a free gift. You must realize that we are all sinners and we 

                need forgiveness. None of us are worthy under God’s standards.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

                         [Romans 3:23, NIV]

David: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith

                         —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

                        —not by works, so that no one can boast.”

[Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV]

Me: How many times a day do you think you sin--do something 

                bad, think an evil thought, or fail to do something that you 


Sergey: Oh, maybe 10 times.

Me: That would be 70 times per week. Let’s see, (scribbling on a

                 scrap sheet of paper), 3,640 times per year, or, if you live 

                forty more years, 145,600 more sins in your lifetime. But one

                 sin is too many. God demands perfection. 

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is 

                         perfect.” [Matthew 5:48, NIV]

Katya: How can anyone ever get to heaven?

Me: God has made provisions for that. It is true that God is just.

“The one who sins is the one who will die.” 

                         [Ezekiel 18: 4b, NIV] 

Me: God is also merciful and, therefore, does not want to punish


“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have 

                        drawn you with unfailing kindness “ 

                        [Jeremiah 31:3b, NIV] 

Me: God has solved this problem through Jesus Christ.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is 

                        eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

                        [Romans 6:23, NIV]

David: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has 

                        turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him 

                        the  iniquity of us all.” [Isaiah 53:6, NIV]

Sergey:    I don’t understand this. Who is Jesus and why is He so 


Me: People have many conceptions of who Jesus was. To some

                 He was merely a brilliant teacher. To others a 

                misunderstood prophet. To Christians He is the Divine 

                Messiah. And to others, Jesus is just a pious mystic. David, 

                Megan, and I are Christ followersWe know that Jesus is the

                Son of God.

        “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,

                         God lives in them and they in God.” [1 John 4:15, NIV] 

David: There’s only one way to spend eternity in heaven with God.

                Jesus said

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes

                         to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6, NIV] 

Me:         God made a way for us to be forgiven of our sins. He 
                showed us His love by giving us the potential for eternal 
                life  through the death of His Son. Think of it as if all of your 
                sins are written on a gigantic whiteboard. Jesus came 
                along  and erased your whiteboard—it’s as if you had 
                never  sinned! 

“‘ ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD.

                        ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as 

                        white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they 

                        shall be like wool.’ “ [Isaiah 1:18, NIV]

                        “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he 

                         removed our transgressions from us.” 

                         [Psalm 103:12, NIV]

Katya:         I think I’m beginning to understand.

Peter:         Me too!

Sergey:      How do we get this eternal life?

Me: [Reading from my Bible.]

A Jewish ruler named Nicodemus came to Jesus one 

                night and asked him how to inherit the kingdom of God. 

                Jesus told him he needed to be born again.

“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!” 

[John 3:4, NIV] 

Jesus answered:

“No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they 

        are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to 

         flesh,  but the Spiritgives birth to spirit. 

         [John 3:5b-6, NIV] 

David:     The most quoted verse from the Bible is also in this 

                chapter of the book of John.

“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 3:16, NIV]


                        If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and 

                         believe in your heart that God raised him from the 

                        dead, you will be saved.”  [Romans 10:9, NIV]

Katya: Don’t we need to be baptized as babies and follow the 

                rituals of the Russian Orthodox Church?


Me: No. There are no other religious formulas or rituals 

                required. Just follow the simple plan we’ve explained to 

                you, and you will have a personal relationship with God 

                and go to heaven when you die.

Adults often want a more sophisticated and complicated 

        plan of salvation. But God has made it simple so even a 

        child can understand. 

        For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then 

                we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I 

                shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

        [1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV]

The simple plan is this. First admit to God that you’re a 

        sinner. Then repent and turn away from your sins. Believe 

        that Jesus is God's Son and accept God's gift of 

        forgiveness from your sin. Finally confess your faith in 

        Jesus Christ as your Savior. 

Would any of you like to pray to God to receive this free gift 

                of salvation?

Sergey: “Yes, I would!

Katya and Peter agreed. So I asked them to stand and join hands in a circle with David, Megan, and me. I then explained that I would say a prayer, phrase by phrase, and they could repeat after me.

                  Dear Lord Jesus, I know I’m a sinner and I don’t 

                  deserve eternal life. I repent of my sins and place my 

                  trust in You alone for my salvation. I believe that you 

                  died on a cross and rose from the dead to purchase a 

                  place for me in heaven. Please forgive me of my sins 

                  and take control of my life.Thank you for dying 

                  for me.  Amen.

Me:  You can be assured of your salvation.

                I write these things to you who believe in the name of 

                the Son of God so that you may know that you have 

                eternal life.” [1 John 5:13, NIV]

                “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as 

                you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope 

                by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13, NIV]

Ruth Ann Manning,
Oct 12, 2018, 7:26 AM