This is the most simple and succinct tool I know for telling others about Christ. It gets right to the heart of the issue so many people are confused about. That is, it addresses the question of what part our own efforts play in attaining God’s salvation.

Since this illustration is verbal, without need for any props or visual aids, it’s a good one to use in ordinary conversations, including talks on the telephone.

It’s also great for times when you know you’ve got to say it cleanly and quickly — like when you’re on a ladder, halfway between a sailboat and a dinghy, looking up at a handful of slightly inebriated seekers! That’s what I tried to do on that occasion.

“Well, first you’ve got to realize the difference between religion and Christianity,” I started. “Religion is spelled ‘D – O,’ because it consists of the things people do to try to somehow gain God’s forgiveness and favor.

“But the problem is that you never know when you’ve done enough. It’s like being a salesman who knows he must meet a quota but never being told what it is. You can never be sure that you’ve actually done enough. Worse yet, the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we never can do enough. We’ll always fall short of God’s perfect standard.

“But thankfully,” I went on, “Christianity is spelled differently. It’s spelled ‘D – O – N – E,’ which means that what we could never do for ourselves, Christ has already done for us. He lived the perfect life we could never live, and He willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty we owed for the wrongs we’ve done.

“To become a real Christian is to humbly receive God’s gift of forgiveness and to commit to following His leadership. When we do that, He adopts us into His family, and begins to change us from the inside out.”

I was glad to have such a concise tool as the “Do vs. Done” illustration. Let me encourage you to master it as well. It’s easy to learn, yet it’s very effective as a tool to help people understand the central tenets of the Christian faith, especially those who think they can get to heaven by being good enough. Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels, Mark Mittelberg