"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

10/22/12

How To Be Enemy To The Lost

 He said to them, “Go into all the world and 
preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15 NIV

I've said it before. Many times.

Sharing the Gospel is very scary for me. It is totally out of my comfort zone. And, I'm ashamed to say, it's partly, I'm sure, because of lack of practice.

I just don't go around doing it very often. And that is probably being kind on my part. It is RARE that I share the gospel.

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And trust me - it's not because I don't have the opportunity. Though I live in a very "religious" area, I am surrounded by lost folks. Folks who have never heard of the saving work of Jesus. Folks who don't understand salvation. Folks who totally get it, but haven't accepted it. They're everywhere: at the grocery store where I shop, at my kids' school, at soccer practice, at gymnastics. In my extended family. In my email inbox. On my Facebook page. My twitter feed. Among my blog followers.

The associate pastor at our church has recently taken over teaching my Sunday School class (the 35-50 year-old group), and every week, something he has said has challenged me. Yesterday, it was something he implied.

We were talking about how people in the church sometimes see the unsaved as the enemy. If they're different from us, we act like they don't belong. Their sins cause US to make a separation between us and them. We decide who we should share the gospel with based on our comfort, or our perception of if they'd "fit" in the family of God.

I've done that. And I'll bet you have too. (Hey - even PB admitted to catching himself doing so)

Well, do you know what I realized as I sat there?
If I won't share the Gospel with someone, I am, in essence, seeing that person as my enemy.
Cuz what if I'm the only person able to do it? If I'm the one God hand-picked to share His truth with her? If I refuse because I'm afraid, embarrassed, or any other reason, I'm essentially saying I'm willing to let that person to go to hell.
If that isn't an enemy, I don't know what is.
What's more important - my self-esteem, or a lost friend's eternal home? Do I care so much about my own comfort that I'm willing to send someone to eternal damnation because to do my part would be inconvenient?

Now, I know that I can't save anyone. That's the Holy Spirit's job. But He has left me here on earth to share His good news. Not to be comfortable, to have good self-esteem, or to live an easy life.

And he told me to love my enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 6:35). And what greater love can I show than sharing the path of salvation?

Heavenly Father, help me to stop treating the unsaved as my enemy. Help me to care more about the eternal destination of those around me than my own comfort or self-esteem. I want to share Your good news with the world - give me the boldness, and confidence, to do so. Help me remember, Lord, what is REALLY at stake. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen

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We're discussing this here, and at Living By Grace today. Won't you join us?


 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

4 comments:

  1. I've never thought of not sharing Christ in this way before. You're right. It's a whole different perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm with Jane. I never thought about it like that. You've given me something to pause and reflect today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. James BrownOctober 22, 2012

    Very well put Joanne

    ReplyDelete

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