Anyone Can Lead People To Christ, All It Takes Is A Willingness To Answer Their Questions

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   2/10/2013

It's been said that telling the truth is a business in which there is very little competition. It's also been said that a statement hurts in proportion to its truth.

Greg Stier proved both to be true in his column for the Christian Post. 7 Reasons America Has Not Been Reached for Christ

Stier pointed out deficiencies in our work as Christians, and if we care about our work, we'd better take his points into consideration.

First, he explained the urgency yet failure of Christians to verbalize their faith. In fact, most of Stier's points are about engaging verbally with culture. Simply put, we aren't prepared or expecting to share our faith, nor do we consider it a privilege to do so. In fact, many are ashamed to share their faith.

I wish we had the exuberance of my 4-year-old daughter. She's quite verbal about sharing Bible stories with anyone who comes to our house, and she knows that Jesus is real. In fact, months ago when I broached this question about sharing Jesus, she adamantly stated, "I don't want to share Jesus with anybody! He's my best friend!"

Yet for most of us adults, verbalizing our faith with others seems to be akin to public speaking- it's our greatest fear. In that case, here's some scriptures to ponder:

"Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." -Jesus in Mark 8:38

Contrast those words with the following in Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

These two scriptures identify two perspectives: the first one is on myself. What will they think of me? What if I say the wrong thing? These thoughts precede a feeling of shame of the gospel. The second perspective in Romans 1:16 shines on the truth of the message. God's gift of salvation- what better thing is there! Where else have I had such great joy and experienced the power of God? Wow! I have to talk about this!

Lifting our focus off of ourselves and unto the message is sure to help us more boldly relay our faith. As we share, we'll receive a wide range of responses-- many of them questions. Yet even then, some of us lack the knowledge to answer these questions.

Stier addressed this also. Being unprepared to give an answer for our faith is in direct violation of scripture. 1 Peter 3:15 says, "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you."

We certainly don't have to be Bible scholars, but we do need to be able to explain why we believe what we do. We can rest in God's faithfulness knowing that He will do His part- our part is really quite small. In fact, He even promises to give us the words to say when questioned before rulers.

One stumbling block to being prepared to discuss our faith, however, is that we don't know what we believe in the first place. It's easy to "ride the waves" within church, especially if you were raised in it, without adopting its message in your own life. This real possibility should lead to a healthy introspection in which you ask yourself, "Am I really saved?" If you are unable to describe your spiritual relationship with God, this question must be asked.

I had one of these moments in college when I found myself doling out "Christian-ese," or language I had grown accustomed to using within the church, but wasn't able to defend it scripturally. A few times, I found myself saying to another person, "You just have to listen to this one speaker, then you'll see what I'm saying," instead of being able to explain something myself. Inwardly I began asking, "Well, where is this in scripture?"

I began searching through the Bible on major doctrines and some minor ones. This process fine-tuned my faith and gave me a more accurate view of who God is and who I am in relationship to God. I found some of my beliefs held little Biblical backing and should really be discarded. Others I could write in stone on my heart and mentally stored my defense for it so that I could relay it to others.

The late Frank Pastore, former major league baseball player, addressed this issue of unpreparedness in a message shared by Focus on the Family.

In his testimony, Pastore lambasted a group of Christians who neglected to intelligently answer the questions he posed to them about their faith-- questions like, "How can the Bible be true?" Thankfully, God is bigger than our negligence, and He moved Pastore to become a Christ-follower another way. Pastore then returned to this group and called them on their unpreparedness to answer common criticisms of Christianity.

In what we call the "information age," we really have no excuse to not be informed to address those who respond to our faith. Dig into the works of Ravi Zacharias, J. Budziszewski, Lee Strobel and Josh Mcdowell. Stier also offers tools for evangelism on his website: dare2share.org.

Stier wrote that in general, Christian leaders have not been leading the way in evangelism. Honestly, we can't blame our pastor for not being perfect, nor should we expect him to be perfect. But we can expect them to prepare us to face this world spiritually. We are no longer surrounded by people who profess to be Christians. We are presented with opportunities to share our faith, and instead of responding appropriately, we turn the other way and crawl in our cars back home. Christian brothers and sisters, this should not be! We are commanded to speak up, and our message is not one to be ashamed of.

As I write this, I'm thinking of moments in the grocery store when I've offered only a half-smile at a comment that could have turned into a spiritual conversation had I said something. Now that is something to be ashamed of.

I also remember a fellow church-goer complaining about a radio host who often spoke against Christians. I asked him if he's ever called in to the program. No, he said, because he wouldn't know what to say. I think back to that and wonder, "If he didn't have much to say, does he not know what he believes?"

This leads me to wonder of those in the church who remain silent. If we don't have anything to say, do we really know Jesus?

Stier hits on one point that cannot be overstated: prayer. We as a church have forgotten who we are talking to when we pray. Do we really believe God can do anything? Then why don't we pray like it? I think our biggest roadblock in prayer is that we don't know God. Knowing God comes from knowing the Word-- another reason to dig into scripture.

These truths hurt, but it's a good hurt. As was said, a statement hurts in proportion to its truth. If the ache runs deep, consider yourself blessed with impacting truth.

And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. - part of Jesus' prayer in John 17:3. All verses from the NRSV

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