Back in the 1980′s I participated in an evangelism outreach on the streets of Richmond Virginia. Around sunset on Friday nights, a team would assemble, pray that God would send those whom He willed into our path, set up some speakers and lights, play loud Christian rock music, and talk with whomever God sent. For those familiar with Richmond, we set up on Broad Street, one block north of the fan district.
I remember overhearing part of one such conversation. One of the team members said something like, “If you are not worshiping the God of the Bible, you are worshiping a dead god.” The person to whom he spoke this took offense, and I heard him very clearly refute: “MY GOD IS NOT DEAD! YOUR GOD IS DEAD!” Everyone within a hundred yards or so heard him refute our team member.
I do not know the details of the conversation that lead up to the confrontation. If memory serves, the conversation ended with the evangelism team member praying with the gentleman after he had calmed down.
We are all learning and growing. Some of the things we are learning are truth and truth always leads to growing towards God. Some of the things we are learning are not truth and are leading us away from God. It’s easy to confuse the two.
The gentleman in the story was enduring an adjustment in his beliefs. Correction is painful, no matter the source. But correction towards the truth and away from error yields good fruit. the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews states it thus:
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11 (New King James Version)
Many resist “chastening” as the gentleman cited above. I sure did. Some do it loudly, as he did. Some do it by debate, as I did. Resistance takes many forms but it produces the same fruit. That fruit is not the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Christians share the Gospel for many reasons. The Great Commission is a command from Christ Himself to His followers to share the Gospel wherever we go. In fact, we are explicitly commanded to “go” and “make disciples.” To people who do not know Christ, this may sound like a strange compulsion. But many find this an extremely easy command to follow due to an abundance of joy and peace in their hearts.
Christ gives us a better life. By nature, people seek a better life and most desire to share it once they’ve found it. When someone recommends a recipe they found for a new dish they enjoyed, this is sharing a piece of a better life. When one begins to enjoy the fruits of physical exercise and shares tidbits about the new energy they experience or reduced pain and stress or the weight they’ve lost, this is sharing portions of a better life.
Now we may find people sharing such information annoying. And, no doubt, some may in fact be annoying. But many others just want to spread the goodness they’ve discovered.
the same holds for many Christians: they simply want to share abundant life in Christ. That’s their motivation for spreading the Gospel – their relationship with Christ is so awesome they cannot help but to share!
An Invitation to a Better Life
Today is Good Friday, the day we remember Christ’s sacrifice for our sins on our behalf before any of us knew Him. While we were yet sinners, He died for us. That’s a powerful truth. Because Christ died for us and was resurrected, we can live in a relationship with God. That’s one of the things His sacrifice means for us. But Christ’s sacrifice means so much more.
If you don’t know Christ, I encourage you to seek Him. How? There are many ways. Praying, studying the Bible, attending a Bible study or worship service, or simply talking (or emailing) with a Christian friend.
Christ offers a new life – today. It’s a better life.