With recent trends in various court rulings, plus legislative proposals that attempt to limit our religious freedoms, many Christians feel apprehensive about sharing their faith in today’s anti-God climate. This concern certainly seems legitimate and highlights a believer’s dilemma: How do you stand for truth and speak the truth without it becoming a flashpoint of controversy or even a point of personal rejection?
Is it better to just stay silent?
For our own sake and for our own comfort, the honest answer to this question might be yes; but for the sake of others and to share the gospel, the correct answer for every believer is an emphatic “no”. After all, the Great Commission is a universal commission that is given to all those who follow Christ.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (Amplified Bible)
Scripture further illustrates this point in the analogy of the seed, which is the Word of God. It stresses the importance of planting the seed, watering what has been planted, and trusting God to grow it to maturity. We might not see this process come to fruition in all the lives we have invested in, but if we are faithful to plant, or faithful to water, we can trust the ultimate result to God.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV)
To plant the seed, we must share the Gospel. And in my own life, I have found that one of the best ways to begin the conversation is by living what I believe. In other words, my life can either validate the message I hope to share or disqualify it. And when I live my faith authentically before others, especially those closest to me, it gives me the opportunity to share what I believe.
A recent study released by Lifeway Research sheds light on this fact, even at a time when verbal expressions of faith are highly discouraged. In partnership with the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, Lifeway found that 79 percent of unchurched individuals in America have no objection to a friend discussing their faith with them. Additionally, the study shows that “half (51 percent) of unchurched Americans say a personal invitation from a friend or family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church”[i]. Of all the outreach methods polled, the “personal touch” was the most effective in reaching others.
So the next time you feel like you want to share your faith with someone close to you, be encouraged. That relationship you have labored to build, and the life of faith you have labored to live, might just be what God will use to open the door to the Gospel message.
And that’s Good News.
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