How do we convince nonbelievers of Christ?

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How do we convince nonbelievers of Christ?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:51 am

As Christians, we are certainly called to carry the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all around us. In words that have since come to be known as the Great Commission, Jesus said, [G]o and make disciples of all nations, baptizing 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—Jesus Christ, Matthew 28:19-20. The gospel of Mark contains a similar idea: Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation—Jesus Christ, Mark 16:15. And at the very end of His life, just prior to His ascension, He said, [Y]ou will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”—Jesus Christ, Acts 1:8. Certainly in the case of Matthew and Mark, those words are given His disciples as commands. As Christians, we are to obey. And certainly the Scriptures reveal God’s heart in reaching out to the world around us with the gospel. As Paul noted in his first letter to Timothy, [God our Savior] . . . wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth—Paul, I Timothy 2:4. Peter underscored that passion of God’s for the unsaved when he wrote, The Lord is . . . not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance—II Peter 3:9b. And yet, at the same time, we cannot convince nonbelievers of Christ. Successful outreach is NOT dependent on how clever we are, how many verses we quote, did we quote them correctly, did we explain everything about Jesus Christ good enough. A three-year-old kid singing “Jesus Loves Me” (and hitting only about every twelfth note correctly) may, in a God-ordained moment, make a greater impact for salvation than the greatest sermon or the greatest testimony. Everyone (including us) comes to Christ ONLY by means of God the Holy Spirit. Salvation is entirely of God, and nothing of us. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul share this reality with us. During his time on earth, Jesus said, No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him—Jesus Christ, John 6:44a. And remember that incredible moment in Matthew when Jesus asked the disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is?—Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:13b. And it was Peter who answered, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God—Peter, Matthew 16:16. It’s Christ’s response to Peter’s answer that is so interesting: Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven—Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:17. Peter doesn’t see this truth unless God Himself has shown it to him; it was all of God. Later, in his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote, [N]o one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit—Paul, I Corinthians 12:3b. The fact is, as Jesus Himself said during his Last Supper fellowship with His disciples, Apart from Me you can do nothing—Jesus Christ, John 15:5b, showing the utter futility of anything solely in our own efforts accomplishing anything. And Paul certainly learned that; as he pointed out in his second letter to the Corinthian church, Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God—Paul, II Corinthians 3:4-5. A situation in the Corinthian church illustrates this. There had developed divisions in the church over who they should follow: Paul, Cephas (Peter), Apollos, or Christ. Paul adamantly tried to put an end to that conversation, not only for the sake of unity but for the sake of underscoring the truth of the foundation of the church to which they all belonged. As he said to them, What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ—Paul, I Corinthians 3:5-11. What it most comes down to is this: Coming to Christ is a process—created, developed and completed by God the Holy Spirit. When someone crosses our path, we have absolutely no idea where in that process they are. We don’t need to know. All we need to be is obedient to the Master, and sow the seed that particular moment allows us—whether by word or maybe by deed. We have wonderful seed, the best. And God will use that seed that we’ve dropped to grow something for His purpose, for His honor and for His glory. So always be ready; if by word, as Peter said, 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 3:15b. And if by deed, You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven—Jesus Christ, the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-16. Either way, as was promised to us by God through the prophet Isaiah, As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and make it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it—God speaking, Isaiah 55:10-11. And one thing we can know: We are not doing this alone. We are in partnership. We are partnered with the Son, who is praying for us: Therefore [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them—Hebrews 7:25. And the Holy Spirit is praying for us as well: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will—Paul, Romans 8:26-27. We can’t get any better support than that. One final thing to ask ourselves: Is the way we live in Christ so attractive to someone watching us that they simply need to know more? In other words, do our lives make Christ look as amazing as He truly is?

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