|By: Staff Writer; ©2004|
|Have you ever realized how difficult it might be for some people to accept the Gospel message? What are they risking? What can you tell them that will make it “worth the risk”?|
Sharing the Gospel: What If It Were You?
Have you ever realized how difficult it might be for some people to accept the Gospel message? What are they risking? What can you tell them that will make it “worth the risk”?
There’s more to presenting the truth to someone than just mouthing the right words. Here’s why.
Suppose someone were to approach you with information that proved beyond a shadow of doubt that your religious position was dead wrong. You have given all that you are and have to that view. Now, new information has challenged and threatened your whole world.
You know that to ask too many questions will mean a talk with the religious leaders of your group. You certainly don’t want that! But still, you’re not sure who is right anymore. You also know that if the evidence persuades you to the point of leaving the group, your wife, your friends, your boss, all the folks that you know may well try to talk you out of your new doubts. Or, they may shun you!
Facing the evidence can sometimes be very painful. So can the realization that you have been wrong, or even that you have been deceived.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came to us “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In Him, God combined boundless love and care for the sinner, as well as an unswerving devotion to Truth.
Christ knew that Truth without loving-kindness would harden and destroyed. It is like a slap in the face because we know we can’t measure up.
Jesus also knew that grace alone, without truth, was not much better than spineless pity— lots of good feelings but no roots, no stability, no real hope.
So, in Christ, God told us the truth about ourselves in such a way that we can handle it. His grace persuaded us that change was not only possible, but that we would not have to face it alone. We would have His help, encouragement and strength to do it.
When we present Jesus to someone from a different religious view, we would do well to follow the example of Christ. That means we must be sensitive to how the truth sounds to someone who is bogged down in deception and falsehood.
We certainly need to press the truth when sharing the Gospel, and it will not bend either to my, or to another’s personal wishes. But this is why we need it. Only the truth is a sure foundation for lives and thinking. That’s what Jesus said that in knowing the truth we would be set free. With the truth comes hope and life.
Then, when we clothe the truth in gracious love and understanding, it “goes down” easier.