Month: January 2017

“Why do Christians try to get me to believe in Jesus?”

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QUESTION: Why do Christians share the gospel with people? Is it a political thing? Are we just trying to increase our numbers?
ANSWER: “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. WE IMPLORE YOU ON BEHALF OF CHRIST, BE RECONCILED TO GOD. For our sake, He made Him (i.e., Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
Telling people how to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus is an act of love, though it is not always taken that way (and sometimes, we don’t do it that way). It is like leading a person in a burning building to the fire exit. It is one beggar who found bread showing another beggar where to find bread. The point is not to bug people; the point is to share what we have found and hope that you will want it, too.
The Bible calls the message of salvation through faith in Jesus (for what He did on the cross in dying to pay the penalty for our sins) “the gospel.” It’s a word that means “good news,” and when we share it, we are just trying to spread that good news (though, sometimes, we fail in our delivery and it doesn’t always come across as good news). But despite our sometime-frailty as deliverers of this message, the intention is not to corral you into some movement or anything like that. It is simply that we have received God’s gift of salvation (which is accessed only through believing on Jesus Christ), and we want others to have that gift, too. After all, according to the Bible, the alternative to God’s gift is God’s judgment, and that will be an eternal, unpleasant situation (Revelation 21:8).
There is one other reason we share the gospel: it is God’s calling upon those who have believed in Jesus. As the Bible passage above says, God has entrusted to believers the message of reconciliation (i.e., of being made right with God), and so we are ambassadors for Christ, with God making His appeal to unbelievers through us. And so, to echo the passage above, I implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. Christ became sin for you so that you might become the righteousness of God in Him. Seeing that become a reality in your life requires an act of faith on your part (John 3:16). It requires you to believe.
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Pressing on into 2017

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Three days into 2017, are your New Years resolutions still intact? I’m not one for making such resolutions, but I do strive (however feebly) to live by the Scriptures every day of my life. The very end of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians gives us some good things to shoot for as believers in Jesus in 2017 (and beyond, should the Lord tarry). His last three statements (prior to the “amen”) are powerful:

  1. “Our Lord, come!”
  2. “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.”
  3. “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.”

If we could wrap all of that into one resolution for the new year, it would look something like this: Long for the Lord’s return while living in the light of His grace and loving one another.

Can you imagine how transformed the Church of Jesus Christ would be if our lives were so defined? Can you imagine the focus we would have? Can you imagine the trivial things that might fall by the wayside in our lives as the things that really matter rise to the forefront? Can you imagine the impact we might make for Christ?