The society that we live in today says that we are not to get pushy about faith or religious matters and that everyone has the right to believe, or not believe in, whatever it is they wish to. In other words, I should endeavour not to push my beliefs onto others who may hold different beliefs than I do. I understand that and I try to honour that right that everyone obviously has. And if we were just talking about a philosophy of life or a particular mindset, where differing perspectives were simply different paths in which to arrive at a particular goal, I could easily live with that.
The problem of course, is that we are not just talking about a particular philosophy of life or a particular mindset. What we as Christians, are talking about, when we speak to others about our faith, trust and hope, is in fact, the ultimate truth and reality and the consequences of not understanding what this truth is and the reality that it encompasses, is severe, for each and every individual that we know, love and care for.
What with todays vast and varied communication options, discussing anything that borders on intruding into what someone else may view as a personal choice is always a risky matter because venturing into this “no man’s land” must be undertaken with acute sensitivity and a wide spectrum of knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, when one becomes a Christian, the required level of sensitivity, coupled with a wide spectrum of knowledge and skills does not automatically just appear. All of these things are acquired over considerable time, and to varying degrees and too frequently, what we display to others of different persuasions, while we are yet going through this learning process ourselves, is not only sometimes less than satisfactory, but it can be downright counterproductive. For lack of better words, the result of our endeavours can sometimes produce the exact opposite from what our intent is. Rather than persuading others to look at the “truth” that we have come to accept and believe in, we end up displaying an attitude that basically invalidates the message that we bring.
The message that we Christians bring to others is both complex and simple. God is real. God is Holy and we are not. God extends His love towards us through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the personification of the Father, in the flesh or bodily form. Jesus, the Son of God, is the means whereby our Heavenly Father brings us back into union with Himself and this was accomplished by Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, and rising again from the dead after three days, just like Jesus said He would.
No one else, in the history of the world, has ever perfectly followed the will of God like Jesus did. No one else, in the history of the world, said the words that Jesus said. No one else in the history of the world, did all of the things that Jesus did. No one else, in the history of the world ever paid the price that our sins necessitated with His own death and then rose again from the dead. No one, ever. Jesus is the way to God, the truth of God and the promised eternal life with and in God. There is no other name given unto man by which humanity can be saved or brought back into union with God, it’s Jesus and Jesus alone. One either accepts Jesus for who He is or one doesn’t. Following Jesus means adhering to His commandments, it is a way of life, lip service to Jesus does not and will not count when our time comes to stand before God. To reject Jesus as Lord and Savour is to reject God’s expression of His love towards humanity, His creation, and as such, when we stand before God after we die, which we all will, either Jesus says we are His or we stand on our own. And when it comes to those that we love and care for, not one of us wants to see them standing before God on their own.
God’s Word tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and as such we should be mindful of the following partial list:
Christians are to be gentle and kind.
Christians do not return insult for insult.
Christians are to forgive because all Christians need forgiveness.
Christians do not try to feed others meat when they themselves are still feeding on milk.
Christians are continually mindful of where they themselves came from and exemplify that in all their dealings with others.
Christians study God’s Word to show themselves approved and take the necessary time to do all of their required homework.
Christians are patient because God is patient with them.
Christians nourish themselves on God’s Word.
Christians commune with God through daily prayer.
Christians endeavour to lift others up versus tear others down.
Christians pursue and defend sound Biblical doctrine.
Putting all of this together is never easy and there isn’t one of us that does it all perfectly. Especially when it comes to sharing our faith with those that we love and care for and those whom we may infrequently encounter who oppose or outrightly disregard our message. But the bottom line is that Jesus is not an optional choice without dire consequences, so as opportunities present themselves, in faith, we share with others, the love that has been given to us.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!