Why Christians Should Share Their Faith
I hate writing! More accurately, I really hate writing articles, papers, anything! If you know me, you know I love talking, but I hate writing!
I cannot tell you how many papers for college, seminary, devotionals, or sermons I have written in my lifetime. I honestly do not think I enjoyed a single one of them.
There is one paper (only one) that I had to write that I will never forget. It has stuck with me in a powerful way for nearly 40 years. I had to write a paper on Hell.
I had to describe as graphically as I could what Hell would be like, how long it would last, and how painful it would be. It had to include everything I could discover about Hell.
I grew up believing in God. I understood at a very young age that Jesus died for my sins. I knew I would be spending my eternity in Heaven, not because of anything I would do, but because of what Jesus had already done for me. Because of this…
I never thought about Hell; I didn’t need to.
This paper blew me away by what I read in the Bible and in commentaries about what Hell is going to be like. I could not shake the sick feeling I felt in my gut. It wrecked me, thinking about what those separated from God would experience for an eternity.
This paper created within me a passion to do whatever I could to help people discover a relationship with Jesus.
An awareness of Hell can be a great motivator for a follower of Jesus to learn how to share their faith. At the same time, talking about Hell to someone who is not yet a believer is the wrong starting point.
What Is The Gospel Anyway?
It is essential for those who are not yet followers of Jesus to understand the Gospel. God created mankind and desired a relationship with us. Our mistakes separate us from God because He is perfect and cannot be around anything imperfect, like us.
God did not want to remain separated from us. In an extraordinary mystery, God decided to let Jesus come to the earth, live a perfect life, and die on a cross as payment for our sins.
God did all this so we could be forgiven and reunited with Him. But I’ve learned that this isn’t the right place to start either.
Learn to Listen
The best place to start when it comes to sharing our faith is to listen to the story and beliefs of someone who doesn’t know Jesus.
Like, actually listen.
The goal is to understand and value them.
As you listen, you will hear simple opportunities to talk about the ways God has loved you and helped you through your struggles, and how He gives you hope and purpose.
Take it one conversation at a time. Don’t rush it. People who don’t know Jesus are not projects. They are people.
When we take the one-conversation-at-a-time approach, we make sharing our faith less stressful for us and less confrontational for those we care about.
Why Do You Believe in Jesus?
Over the years, I have been taught every form of evangelism you can imagine. However, what I have discovered in my experience is people just want to know, “Why do you believe in Jesus? What difference does He make in your life?”
I find some incidents from Jesus’ life to be funny and others to be very challenging. In Mark 2:1-12, we are shown four men who bring their paralytic friend to see Jesus so he might be healed. When they get to the house, they can’t get in.
These friends are determined to get their friend in to see Jesus. They go onto the thatched rooftop. They dig a hole in the roof. They then lower their friend down into the house on a mat. The paralyzed man lands safely in front of Jesus’ feet.
I find the situation humorous. What must have been going through the mind of Jesus, the crowd, and the homeowner?
What is going on here? What are these guys doing to my house? Who do these people think they are?
I find it challenging when I think of the determination of the four friends to get their friend in front of Jesus. Many of us would have left discouraged when we arrived too late to get into the house. Some of us would have just waited knowing that sooner or later, Jesus had to come out.
These guys are so desperate to make sure their friend meets Jesus they tear a hole through the roof.
I guess these guys had not heard about the idea of praying for an “open door” to share their faith.
Are you this determined to get your friends into the presence of Jesus? Do you see barriers and give up? Or do you decide to find a way around all the obstacles?
I am determined to do everything I can to get as many people as I can in front of Jesus.
There is no greater transformation in the universe than the change from lost to saved.
There is no greater distance than the distance between Hell and Heaven. There is no greater purpose in life than to help introduce people to Jesus and help them begin a relationship with Him.
Let’s partner with the Holy Spirit and have conversations with our friends about the goodness of God. When our friends ask us how the whole forgiveness-and-personal-relationship-with-God thing works, we can share the gospel with them and help them get to the ultimate destination, Heaven.
Personally, I do not feel like I have the gift of evangelism. I am jealous of those who do.
What I do have is a commitment to have conversations, ask questions, and seek to cause people to think about their relationship with God.
I believe with everything within me that if people knew Jesus, they would fall in love with Him. My part in the process is to have simple conversations and then let the Holy Spirit draw people into a relationship with Jesus.
This is something all of us can do! I hope you will join the Holy Spirit in the dialogue He is already having with your friends.