People often complain that Christians are a nuisance when they try to talk to them about Jesus Christ, and seek to explain the gospel. A common response is, “Don’t try thrusting religion down my throat”.
However, one of the most important commands that Jesus gives to his followers is as follows –
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” - Matthew 28: 18
This command has never been rescinded!
The apostle Paul writing to one of his fellow workers told him to –
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want hear – 2 Timothy 4: 2 & 3
Jesus himself said –
“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God – Luke 12: 8 & 9.
And on this same theme, the apostle Peter declared –
In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect – I Peter 3: 15
If we look more closely at these Scriptures that speak of making Jesus Christ known world – wide, firstly, as disciples of Christ in our daily life, and secondly, through preaching the Word, and thirdly, by being ready to acknowledge him before men and give the reason why you are his follower.
Not passive believers, but disciples, learning academically and actively how to both live out daily what it means to be a subject of the kingdom of God and to be an instrument to extend it. Being salt, restraining corruption, and every kind of evil, and sowing goodness and truth.
When alone, as candles flickering in deep darkness and defeating it, or together with others, blazing out together in a widening circle of light – The kingdom of God is light and evil cannot throw the switch!
Ready to proclaim the Word of God, whether the moment is appropriate or not, testifying to the truth of the Gospel, that God sent his Son to live a sinless life and shed his blood as a ransom for many. The cross of Calvary is the most important happening of history and is as relevant, in this age of ‘relativism’, as it has been in the past...
Be prepared, and able to give, to anyone who asks a clear reason for your hope of eternity with quiet conviction and respect, that the love of God may be seen in you.
The world usually says: Shut up! But Jesus says: Speak out!
The apostle Paul told Timothy –
The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths – 2 Timothy 4: 3 & 4
Take for example ‘love’ one of the great world – wide desires, continually referred to everywhere; but often it is just a word, nothing more, empty of content... Pure love, real love, love that endures, must be based on the truth..
“The “Beatles” were singing way back in the sixties, “All You Need Is Love; but love must have substance and reality. It is true that ‘truth’ can sound harsh and even abrasive sometimes , and today, when relativity reigns, many believe that, in any case, there is no such thing as objective truth; truth is what feels right for you and you can adjust it accordingly.
A verse in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians shows us that both love and truth are vital –
Speaking the truth in love we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ – Ephesians 4: 15
Love must be exercised within the framework of truth, otherwise it becomes mere indulgence and indulgence can be very damaging.
The answer, of course, is that both are equally important – “speaking the truth in love”
Neither truth nor love are abstract concepts – God himself is love and truth, and Jesus stated, “I am the way and the truth and the life”- John 14: 6
And he showed the extent of his love for a troubled world when he gave himself as a ransom for all those who would put their trust in him.
The apostle John had all this in mind when he wrote these words –
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No-one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us – 1 John 4: 7 to 12
I have written this article to encourage believers to witness with love and respect to Jesus Christ, but I will say this to all who read this article.
Here then is the reason why Christian believers can seem a bit of a nuisance at times. They just want to share the wonder of God’s love in Jesus Christ with others. It is a command by Jesus Christ that is to be obeyed, but it is also a delight, and especially when people respond positively.
Are you ready to respond positively to this article? If so, just bow your head, confess your sin and your need, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and you will be born anew by the Holy Spirit...
The Bibles states –
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation – 2 Corinthians 5: 17&18
Pastor Gordon Burgess