THE BRIDGE ILLUSTRATION
Begin by writing GOD on the right line and PEOPLE on the left line. State that in the beginning God made each person to have fellowship with him, but each person chose to go his or her own way, turned his or her back on God, rebelled against him, and so fell into sin. This caused a separation between people and God (draw the two sides of the cliff on God's side and people's side).
We know that a great separation exists between God and individuals because the Bible tells us that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Write the word SIN vertically between the two sides of the cliff, and write Romans 3:23 under the side of People, noting under it, "All have sinned," then circle the word "all." Now quote Romans 6:23, write it down under the People side, and note under it, "Sin earns spiritual death." Then quote Hebrews 9:27, write it down, and put down, "Judgment is coming." Then say, "This is the BAD NEWS, and write it down at the bottom. At this point a person is in a hopeless and helpless condition with no way of crossing the chasm.
Then quote Romans 5:8, and, as you are quoting it, draw the cross over the term "sin" by drawing the lines starting from God's side. Write down Romans 5:8 and "Christ died for us" underneath the side of God. Now quote Ephesians 2:8-9, write it down, and note, "Redemption is a free gift." (God's grace is absolutely free.) Then quote John 1:12, and as you are quoting it write "Believe" on the left side of the cross and "Receive" on the right; write the reference down on God's side with this notation under it: "We must believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior." Then say, "This is the GOOD NEWS, and write it on the bottom of that side. This now is the only way a person can cross the chasm of sin that separates the individual from God.
The sinner then believes (puts his or her total trust in) that Jesus' death on the cross paid the penalty for the individual's sin, then receives Christ into his or her life through a prayer that invites him to come in and take over. The result of this "transaction" is that Scripture now gives us assurance that a person then becomes a child of God. When a person confesses Christ as Lord and Savior and believes in his atoning work on his or her behalf, the person is saved - quote Romans 10:9-10, and write it over the whole illustration.