Do Christians really love sinners? As children of God, we have been entrusted with the most precious gift that exists. As 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (ESV) says:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
God is making his appeal to mankind through us. We have been made ambassadors for Christ. We have received a significant gift and very valuable good news. Why then do many Christians keep the good news of Jesus and him crucified to themselves? Good news should be shared. and we are the ones who need to share it.
I have heard many excuses for why we don’t share the good news of Jesus and him crucified. Some feel they do not have enough knowledge. Others say they don’t know how to share effectively. Still others say that the harvest is ready elsewhere, but not in America.
You say you don’t have enough knowledge. If you don’t know the story of Jesus, how then were you saved? Do you know that all people sin? Do you know that no one can earn salvation? Do you know that Jesus bore our sin? Do you know that he suffered for us in his crucifixion? Do you know that his righteousness was imputed to us? Do you know that through the vicarious death of Jesus that God has adopted us as his children (and therefore co-heirs with Christ)? Then you know enough to share the good news of Jesus.
You say that you don’t know how to share the faith effectively. Do you know how to love people? Do you know how to be kind and compassionate toward people? Do you recognize the needs people have? Are you able to take care of those needs? Do you know how to engage in conversation? Do you know how to let your life be an example to others? Do you know how to take an interest in the lives of people? Do you know how to ask questions that will help them think about their own worldview? Do you know how to introduce people to other Christians? Do you know how to invite someone to a Bible study or worship service? Then you know enough to share effectively.
You say that America is not ready for the message of Christ. Is no one hurting? Is no one lost? Is no one looking for answers to life’s most important questions? Is no one looking or love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control? Is no one seeking eternal security? Then America is ready for the gospel of Jesus.
The truth is that we have made excuses for too long. We have been entrusted with the answers to the most important questions of life, namely questions about origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Every other system of faith is based on a human being’s ability to live righteously (which no one of us can do perfectly). Only in Christianity does the creator of heaven and earth take on the form of his creation, identify with the suffering of his creation and die for his creation. If the story ended there, then there would be no good news to share. But the story continues with Jesus being raised from the dead. This fact is verified by the empty tomb, the eyewitness accounts of hundreds of Christians, and the hostile testimony of those who deny that Jesus was raised from the dead (they said his body was stolen because they could not produce it). See http://crosstalkin.wordpress.com/resurrection/ for more evidence of the resurrection. What great news we have to share!
Sure, people have tough questions that need answers. And there are good answers to those difficult questions. We only need to do a little research to find good answers on websites like http://www.apologetics315.com/, http://www.str.org/, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/, http://pleaseconvinceme.com/, http://crossexamined.org/, or http://www.reasons.org/. If you know how to find information on the Internet than you know how to say something like, “let me look into and think about that question and let’s discuss it again later”.
The reason America is in such a mess is because Christians have been silent for too long. We have huddled together in the safety of our church families and have failed to share the truth of God with a lost and dying world. It’s time to live lives that are consistent with what we believe. It’s time to engage our culture with the message of Christ. Its time to speak and not remain silent. Its time to love our neighbors as ourselves. Its time to speak the truth in a loving, winsome, courteous and respectful way.
Are you ready to be an ambassador for Christ? If not, I urge you to get ready and get to work before it’s too late! Jesus is coming soon. We must use the time we have been given to make a positive difference in the lives of others for both time and eternity.