Sunday's sermon was based on Romans 1:11-17, where Paul gives his reasons for preaching the gospel to the citizens of Rome. Based on Paul's motivations, we were challenged to share our faith. Our pastor encouraged us to give people "a glimpse of the hope that we have" - to be ready to explain the hope that lies within us.
As I have been mulling this over in my mind, and discussing it with fellow believers, it has been interesting to note some of the "methods" of witnessing. Some people believe that "sharing the faith" with their neighbour would mean telling them, "I go to church." Other people suggest saying "I'll pray for you" or "I don't believe in homosexuality because of the Bible" could be a way to communicate the gospel. I would like to suggest these to be conversations about spiritual things which may be a way to enter into deeper discussion. However, I wonder if we are actually more often "skirting" the truth.
Could a person come to see their sinfulness from such a conversation? Can they understand their destiny - hell? Do they understand why Jesus died on the cross and what actually happened when He willingly hung there until His last breath disappeared? Have I given them any true hope, which I now have because Christ overcame death and was resurrected?
Dear sisters, I fear that, too often, we are talking about spiritual things with our non-believing friends without taking the conversation to the main points of the spiritual - the gospel. When all is said and done, the critical topic to be addressed is our spiritual state: are we still covered in our sinfulness or are we pardoned under Christ's blood?
I have been convicted this week. Sadly, I have not always been faithful to the cross and therefore not been sharing accurately the truth. My goal is to make my dialogues with friends go deeper into the spiritual and honestly share the truth - the whole truth. My hope is hope because I know that I was a sinner and now am forgiven. My hope is hope because Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died a sinner's death when He didn't have to... and did this on my behalf. My hope is that I will someday be in heaven with Him, worshipping at the throne of Almighty God, singing with the angels.
Let us not stop short in our conversations of things spiritual. In Romans 1:16 Paul says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. May this be true of us as we are faithful to share that gospel with those around us! !