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Growing up, everyone called the Bible “The Good Book.” You heard it on the streets and on TV: “Well the good book says.” Sometimes they misquoted the Bible like, “The good book says, God helps those that help themselves.” No, it doesn’t. Nevertheless, The Bible was held in high esteem even by those that had not received Jesus. So, when it came to sharing your faith, the Bible was a good starting point for truth. Many times just showing someone what the Bible said about God, Jesus, and themselves was enough to convince people to follow Christ.
Not so in today’s world. Our nation no longer trusts or even believes in God. The very Bible they swear upon they don’t believe. The Bible is no longer the standard for truth in our society, but self-expression rules the day. For a moment, culture replaced the Bible with Science, but when actual science kept leading back to God, even that couldn’t be the standard for truth any longer. Now truth is a relative term individualized to each person.
- The truth of the Bible tells us that God made humanity male and female: man and woman.
- Science tells us that the DNA of a male is different than that of a female causing their makeup to be distinct.
- Society tells us that you can psychologically choose to be a male, female, or nonbinary.
All I’m saying is the Bible is no longer the standard by which people judge their lives and, therefore, not the overwhelming evidence it once was. I believe the Holy Spirit is moving and working through the Bible to convince people of the truth. But, the idea of “the Bible says so” does not hold the weight it once did to the general public.
So, how do we share the good news of Jesus in a post-Christian nation? Some would argue we shouldn’t share because it is offensive to others, and the truth of God and ourselves might be offensive to some who choose to reject him, but that doesn’t change who you are as a Christian. I have every right to share my faith and belief in Christ, as others have the right to share their views.
The lostness and hopelessness of our neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers are greater than ever. I don’t believe we can settle for not sharing the hope of Jesus with them because they don’t understand the truth of the Word. I also don’t think we need better sales tactics to convince people to buy the truth we’re selling. The formula God has used for centuries of drawing people close to him still works today.
Here are five steps to sharing your faith in a post-Christian nation.
Step One: Be Led by the Spirit
Jesus taught his disciples to follow the will of God and not his own will. He said what the Father told him and went where the Spirit led him. Throughout the book of Acts, we see people listening to God and following the Spirit to bring Christianity to places that had never heard the name of Jesus. Listening and following the movement of the Spirit has become a lost practice in Christianity today. Most Christians are content with being sinners saved by grace instead of sanctified saints walking in step with the Spirit that saved them.
The Spirit will still guide you into all truth and involve you in His work around you. So, the first step of evangelism is to walk in step with the Spirit that is working. The Spirit’s work is to point the world to Christ. Walking in step with the Spirit, you will naturally point people to Jesus.
Step Two: Learn to Love Well
Loving well in a natural outpouring of the Spirit, for God is love. So, here are some things to consider as you learn to love people well.
- Don’t Judge! Jesus was adamant about not judging in Matthew 7:1-5. Our country is so polarized over the issues that we have forgotten how to listen and hear one another. Jesus was effective in His witness because He listened and took an interest in the person. Every person you come in contact with, Jesus wants to save.
- Don’t get hit with the boomerang of Judgement! Jesus promises that how you judge others will become the standard for your judgment. My advice: Be nice!
- Let God be the judge! God is very capable of being God with you. If there is vengeance to be had, God will take it. That sets us free to love people unconditionally and share the love of Christ with those that are already condemned.
- Practice acceptance without affirmation. Acceptance is receiving people just as they are and not as you would have them to be. Affirmation is “supporting (someone) by giving approval, recognition, or encouragement.” Loving people well requires accepting their person but doesn’t require affirming their actions. I, like Paul, don’t even affirm my actions most of the time.
Step Three: Learn to Build Relationships
As a young Christian, I was taught bait-and-switch technics. “Bait-and-switch” is a sales technic of presenting one thing and selling something else. People see right through it. Christians get accused of the bait-and-switch just for sharing their faith. It is one thing to have a relationship with a hidden agenda and another to converse with an agenda. Most conversations have motives behind them. There is a point you are trying to make or a question you want to be answered. But these conversations don’t have to determine the relationship. Contrary to popular belief, you can disagree and still be friends.
Show love and compassion for the one you are speaking to, and always look for points of pain to which you can apply the gospel. An easy non-offensive way to do this is to pray for the issues of pain that you uncover. When God answers prayers, the person will come face to face with the supernatural working of God.
Step Four: Learn to Live by Example
Many view the church as a house of hypocrites; in some respects, they might be right. Just because someone is struggling and growing doesn’t mean they should be labeled a hypocrite. If that’s the case, we are all hypocrites (which I have heard many preachers say). But hypocrisy and vulnerability are not the same things. Let’s define our terms:
- Vulnerability is being open and honest about your struggles.
- Hypocrisy is a deceptive portrayal of one’s character and person.
When you are vulnerable, people can relate to you and see Christ at work in you. When you are a hypocrite, you cease to be relatable because you portray a standard no one can match. In your vulnerability, press toward God’s high calling by making the Bible your final authority for all life and practice. You don’t have to be perfect to be a “Bible Believer.” Sanctification is a lifelong journey and one every Christian should be taking.
Step Five: Learn to Share Your Faith
One of the questions we would ask people during door-to-door evangelism was, “If you were to die today would you go to heaven to be with God or to hell without God?” This question has many assumptions: 1. There is a God. 2. There is a heaven and hell. 3. There is an eternity after this life. Jesus didn’t save us to escape hell or to gain heaven, but to be with Him. Sharing your faith is to reveal the internal and spiritual relationship that you now share with God through his Son, Jesus Christ. It is your love relationship with God that is appealing to those without love. God created humanity as an expression of His love and with the ability to love Him in return. So, when we expose this love relationship to others, it naturally draws the soul to the source from which it came.
We have made evangelism too complicated. Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
The power and work of the Holy Spirit to save people in this generation and nation is just as powerful as it’s always been. If we will love people with the love of God and walk in the light of God’s truth and forgiveness, those around us will see the light and be drawn to the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The challenge is to take this journey with God to the masses as we build new and meaningful relationships with those God has placed in our path. A Christian on a journey with God will naturally light up the darkness, and people are always drawn to the light.