Thursday, December 17, 2015

Too Hard or Too Easy

We need to be careful of making sharing Christ too difficult. The Bible says we are all to be witnesses of what Christ has done for us (1 Peter 3:15; Acts 1:8; Colossians 4:5,6). We do not need to have gone to seminary, know the Bible backwards and forwards, hold a particular office in the church, or be a perfect person to do this. But there can also be a danger of making it too easy. There are leaders who give the impression that there are vast numbers of people just waiting for us to share Christ with them, and if we do so they will all immediately be converted. Or that all that is keeping people from coming to Christ is some misunderstanding, and if we can just get this corrected they will all come. This does not seem to fit with reality. It also does not fit with Scripture. Scripture says that the truth of God is foolishness to the unbeliever (1 Corinthians 1:21-25; 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:3-5). It also says there is a work of God in an unbeliever’s life that is necessary to bring them to Christ (John 6:44; Acts 16:14; Romans 10:17). (It is not my intention here to go into the complicated subject of Calvinism versus Arminianism, but merely to point out that, whichever you believe, there is a work of God involved.) The result of this is that we should expect resistance to God’s truth (John 15:18-21; 16:1-4; Matthew 10:16-28).  

Now I do not want to discourage people from sharing their faith, but there is nothing more likely to discourage a person then to be told something is easy, only to find out the hard way it is not. It is ultimately setting them up to fail. It is like starting a regimen of physical exercise with the idea, not that it will be hard but worth it, but that it will be a piece of cake. Now there are people out there whose heart God has prepared and who are ready to hear the message. But there are also many others who will only come to Christ after considerable exposure over a period of time (and there are those who will never come). Therefore, evangelism is often a long term process. And we need to be careful of giving up too easily. Also, there is the importance of presenting the message of Scripture (Romans 10:14,15; 1:16; Hebrews 4:12). It is not enough just to live the Christian life (though this is important), but we also need to deliver the message. And we need to deliver it with the understanding that it will not always be readily accepted. In fact, without the working of God it would never be accepted. Therefore, we need to go forth trusting in Him and His power (Psalms 127:1,2; 1 Corinthians 3:6,7; Ephesians 2:10). Then we will be prepared to be involved in sharing Christ over the long haul.

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