Sharing the Gospel Message
Getting Personal With Christianity 4
Apostles are the ones along with the seventy set apart and commanded to spread the gospel as was the case in the New Testament when Jesus Christ first organized His missionary force during His three-year ministry; however, there is a caveat regarding the regular Saint in the church. We are commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
If we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, then are we not to share with them what has been shared with us? The answer is yes! We are to share what we have learned about God to all who will listen.
That can be intimidating!
I hate to make a sales reference when talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the best way for me to relate it, however.
I saw a commercial that blew me away earlier this year because of how convincing it was at eliciting a response from my materialistic side to purchase it. The commercial showed me how effectively it convinced a few interviewees that a weapon of mass destruction had struck in their city, the video below.
I want that TV! Sure, I would have been ticked about the experience initially, but the graphic power has me sold!
The most effective way that Christians can share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is through demonstration. Does the gospel make us happy? Does it give peace in our lives? It will show in our daily walk without words ever having to leave our lips. Our behavior may cause another person to ask us about our beliefs.
The Message that we have to share is the knowledge that life is not meaningless and we can have salvation by following Jesus Christ's teachings. Well, the message is Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead. That other stuff about the salvation and peace are natural occurrences because of Him. We call it the Atonement.
It may take a lifetime to understand fully the efficacy of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made in suffering for our sins and hurts as can be found in the book of Isaiah. We may never in this life understand the science of His resurrection along with all of the saints who had been dead who rose immediately after Him.
It only takes a few moments to share our faith. We believe that it is true that we can be saved through the grace of Christ because He paid the penalty for our sins, which is death; and He suffered for those sins that we would not have to suffer if we would just follow Him.
Sharing, Count the Ways!
Guilt is a motivating factor to share the Gospel. The scriptures can elicit much that seems to be in the form of chastisement that leads to guilt, then repentance. If all the tools of sharing the Gospel are not explained to a person, it could lead to a bad experience which can further exacerbate a desire to share. I don't like to feel guilty. It works though.
First and foremost about the gospel is honesty. There is nothing more damaging to Christians than faith promoting lies.
NEVER should we pretend to any experience so that we can build the faith of others or interest other people in our belief system. In the end, faith based on a lie is an abomination to God! There is a scripture that comes to mind: Proverbs 31:16-17.
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look,a lying tongue....
A Christian who feels that it is appropriate to invent fictitious stories and peddle them as truth shows no faith in the power of God and shows a form of Godliness but denies the power of God. In other words, that person does not trust that God will reveal Himself to potential converts and feels that he or she knows better than God.
The moral of the story is be honest always. If the principles of the gospel are a sore trial for you, but you are holding on in faith like Job, then be true to that experience. If we are not happy, we are not to pretend. We are also not to be miserly either--a tortured soul so that others would think that we are pious! There is a fine balance we should attempt to maintain with the hope that peace will come through Christ's teachings.
If what we Christians believe is of worth, there is no need to fib about it.
Sharing the Gospel can occur through acts of service or random kindness. The most important place Christians will share the Gospel is in the home. Start there first with kindness and service then radiate out. A sign of true Christianity is how we get along with our family and in our community. Jesus Christ was love both of God and men as he grew towards His ministry. Service will lead others to question why we, as the servers do the things that we do. It may even lead them to do the same works and seek out Christ.
Fear is not of God
Sometimes instead of repentance, some Christians experience other things like I-am-not-a-missionary disorder or I-am-not-going-to-church-anymore syndrome. I am sure all are familiar with holier-than-thou-itis and condescension-oids.
Due to a lack of faith, some of us will fall into these categories of spiritual illness. It would not be conducive to the Spirit of God to accuse a Christian of these ailments, but knowing why a person may experience these woes may help to avoid falling into the same pit!
Fear is the big motivator for I-am-not-a-missionary disorder or I-am-not-going-to-church-anymore syndrome. Fear can cause us to avoid fulfilling our responsibility to share and thereby forget the importance of the covenant. God may not have called all Christians to serve as apostles or in quorums of seventy, but He did call us to be witnesses of His love.
Paul in his counsel to Timothy wrote that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." [2 Timothy 1:7] God gives power to His faithful, love to His faithful, and intelligence to His faithful. If we have faith to live the word of Christ to love God and our neighbors as ourselves, then we all are ambassadors of Christ. We love people enough to respect them where they are on their spiritual paths and share our lives with them to the degree that we can as did Paul, in somberness and truth.
Avoiding church or concluding that we are not appropriate missionary people coping behaviors to deal with the guilt associated with not fulfilling a Christian duty. Instead of pushing us to love our neighbors through service, we avoid leave our comfort zone by not thinking about that part of the Gospel or skipping church all together. Fear of rejections or persecution are real factors that many of us struggle to overcome. However, with patience for ourselves and faith in our ability to change through the repentance process, we can rise to the level and share the love of God to others. It could be as simple as a hello or as comprehensive as a discussion about faith.
Pride Comes Before the Fall
Pride is also associated with those excuses--a refusal to change or try to change to meet the demands of true Christianity.
Pride is associated with holier-than-thou-itis and condescension-oids. There are so many spiritual disorders associated with pride which cannot be covered in this article. Pride gives people the false sense that they are somehow better than others because they are chosen to be called the people of God.
In a horrible display, a group of ancient Americans founded a system of belief where each man would worship by standing on a pulpit called the Rameumptom and repeating the same words. Listed in part is the prayer these people gave:
Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ... O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God. And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen. [Alma 31:16-17]
Rather than share their beliefs, these people felt that God cherished them above all others. Though they were not followers of Christ, there are some of us who claim to follow Christ and feel that all who are not Christians will perish because God favors us above others. God is no respecter of persons that He thinks one group have more value of His children than another. Misinterpreting the Scriptures that way is a fatal flaw because Peter clarified that,
Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. [Acts 10:34-35]
Simply, the Gospel is free for all people. God will hold all of us accountable who refuse to share the truths that we enjoy due to the pride of self-indulgence.
In the last days, it is said that men or people shall be lovers of themselves. What better way for a person to love him or herself than to think him or herself superior to others? It is time for us to see God for the Father to all humanity that He is!
Through many personal and vivid experiences, I have come to a sure spiritual knowledge that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to eternal happiness and immediate peace if applied with earnest. It is okay for us to have apprehension about sharing things with others. We can learn to deal with the butterflies in our tummies while actually using one of, or multiples of the many ways to share the gospel--the ways that suit our talents and gifts.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony