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.