Confession time: sometimes in my own faith, I can have a “me, me, me” mentality. A lot of times my prayer life looks like - “God give me strength, God give me wisdom, I pray for my faith to draw closer to You, God give me forgiveness…” As Christians, we should be focused on much more than just our own personal faith.
After Jesus lived a perfect life, died, and came back to life - He visited His disciples. In one of their final moments before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He told them “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). This is the poster-verse of evangelism, known as the Great Commission. In Mark’s corresponding account (Mark 16:15), Jesus is recalled saying, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” This is no subtle suggestion. Jesus didn’t say, “hey guys... if you’re up for it and the timing is just right, maybe consider telling people about me…” Nope. He instructed His followers to go, and that’s exactly what we should do. Listen to Jesus… GO!
Christians, think about the person that shared the Gospel of Jesus with you. That first time you understood you are separated from God because of your sin, the first time you understood the impact of the sacrifice Jesus made. Remember that first time that you asked for forgiveness and dedicated your life to Christ? Do you have someone in mind, that helped you walk through that process? Now consider if that person didn’t. You could still be living for yourself, living in sin, and still separated from God. God places people in our lives for a purpose, and it is an essential piece to our faith to share Jesus with them!
Peter gives us a good look as to what spreading the love of Jesus looks like on a practical level. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us that we must be ready for the call to answer any questions and prepared to speak about Jesus, but we must do this do this with a gentle spirit. Be ready to answer in love. There may be fears associated with sharing the Gospel, because we may not have all the answers. But we need to at least be able to articulate what we believe, right? Just to be clear, Christianity is not just being a “good” person that attends church on Sundays and believes there’s a God… Many religions will tell you to be “good,” will encourage you to join their religious gathering, and believe in a god. Christianity has very essential elements to the faith. Here they are:
- An understanding that our sin separates us from having any sort of relationship with God. (Romans 3:23)
- God sent His Son Jesus to die as payment for our sins. (John 3:16) Jesus, being fully man and fully God, lived a perfect life and is the only one worthy to die on our behalf.
- Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself to die for our sins. (Romans 5:8)
- After three days of being dead and buried in a tomb, Jesus came back to life - defeating sin and death. (Romans 6:23)
- If we trust in this and only this, we’re given forgiveness and a personal relationship with God here on Earth and for eternity. (Romans 8:1)
This is the Gospel in the hearts of all Christians, and this is what we need to be prepared to share with the people in our lives that need to hear it! It’s not our job to convert people, that is the job of the Holy Spirit - but we do need to share this great news. Penn Jillette is a famous comedian, magician, and outspoken atheist. He said something that sticks with me, he said, “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” That’s a powerful statement to marinate on…
So, reflection time: is your faith “me, me, me” or are you actively looking to share the Gospel with the people you encounter?
Here is the video of Penn Jillette, telling about a Christian man who gave him a Bible after one of his shows. The whole thing is pretty powerful to self-reflect on, but the portion to really focus on is from 3:00 - 3:50.