Because of Jesus

I have to be fair, I suppose.  The speaker at our conference was great and his message was encouraging.  He spoke of the desire the people of the world have to understand spiritual things.  He told us all to quit hiding behind the doors of our churches and expecting the people to come to us.  He told us to take the message to the world.  He just didn’t tell us what the message was. 

The day is gone, even in our culture, when you can walk up to someone and ask him if he is saved.  He may wonder what he needs to be saved from.  He may not believe in any kind of hell or even any kind of eternal existence.  He may already be happy in his Buddhism or Hinduism or some other world religion you probably don’t understand.  Or he may be in one of the fastest growing religious groups in our country, representing 1 out of 6 Americans – unaffiliated.  It doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in spiritual things, but it might mean that he has examined your religion and others to his own satisfaction and simply isn’t interested.

According to our speaker, the old statistic was that 80% of Americans would attend church one time if asked by a friend.  Today that would be acceptable to only 40%.  Evangelism today cannot be limited to an invitation after the sermon.  Today, the message that God is real and cares about people is something new.  I don’t have any particular problem with this.  Of course it is true. 

But if all you take to the people is the message of the love of God, without telling them how God loved them and what He has done for them, you don’t really give them anything.  God’s love is Jesus!  The Father sent the Son to be the Savior.  He did that for you and me and for anyone who will believe.  All that is necessary is that a person reach out and take the gift.  Jesus is the center of the gospel—and there is no gospel message without Jesus.

So, go out and be nice to people, but love them in the name of Jesus.  Be kind to those who serve you and interact with you, because of Jesus.  Let Jesus move your heart toward them and know that it is Him doing it.  Then don’t be afraid to tell them about Him.  Jesus is our message. 

Comments?

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Because of Jesus

  1. Kay

    Dave: You are right on tract. This is where humanism, secularism has turned our Gospel from Jesus to “another gospel”…has brought the lukewarm Church into anything goes but don’t speak the Name of Jesus.

    I had a long conversation yesterday with three Church co-attenders…2 squirmed at my speaking my Lord’s name…none of the 3 used His Name in either blessing or curse. I began at the end of the time preaching His
    Salvation, burial and Ascension. Shocking!!! One finally said she hoped…. Scary. Preaching to regular attendees of a Protestant congregation. Their eyes reflected the spiritual lukewarmness/spiritual death.

  2. Rebekah Grace

    I’m going to say it……some may disagree, but I’m going out on a limb and saying it…..

    I think John 3:16 has been so overused and so oversaid, it actually means nothing to the world at large.

    Think of it: You tell an unbeliever, one you aren’t too close to and have no idea where they come from in life or personal relationship experience that, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. You think you’ve fulfilled your evangelical duty for the day and yet give no thought to the reeling in the unbelievers mind…..

    God so loves the world? Love? Like what? Like my abusive dad loved me? Or maybe my believing spouse who left me for someone else? Or love like my church going neighbors who are more interested in how my children dress or the music they listen to than how we are actually doing on a daily basis? If it’s that kind of love, I don’t want any of it.

    To the general public, even some church going Christians, John 3:16 is so nebulous. We aren’t quite sure what that means. We’re busy “working” and “striving” and begging God for wealth, health and prosperity, we aren’t praying any of Paul’s prayers or seeking the Kingdom first. So, we spout love that we can’t back up because we aren’t abiding in Him.

    Oooohhh that was kind of like a soapbox. I apologize. I mean no disrepsect. My heart is in a very conflicted and heavy place this afternoon.

    • There is no magic verse. There is no magic prayer. There are no magic words. Even a wonderful verse like John 3:16, when used as a trite statement of faith, can lose its meaning.

      I think the Christian faith is only truly understood through relationship. Years ago I learned this: they won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Even human interaction is about relationship. I very much agree that we should show the love, the real love – not just two minutes or canned sermonettes. What I get worried about is that we have to remember that the only real answer, the only real help, we can give anyone is Jesus, and Him personally – in relationship.

      When you become my friend I earn the right to introduce you to another of my friends. Something like that.

      Everybody needs a soapbox once in a while. Thanks for using this one. I am praying for you.

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