Two men talking in a coffee shop

Sharing Jesus In America

Sharing Your Faith
How do we share Jesus in a country that wants nothing to do with Him? Or do they?
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Sharing Jesus in america can be really challenging. Especially when it feels like no one cares to hear about it. I travel halfway across the world to evangelize in the rural bush areas of Zambia, Africa and that is less intimidating to be honest. Something about being rejected at home or with friends just seems daunting and scary. So it's not really an issue of communication, but rather of fear winning the battle before it even starts. We need to overcome fear, learn to truly be filled with the joy of the Lord, recognizing the goodness of His gift to us, and just heckin tell people about Jesus. It's not about what you know, it's not about being a scholar or theologian, it's about your testimony and how God has changed you. And if He really hasn't changed you, then do you really have him? Seek first Jesus, and naturally you will want to share Jesus with others over the fear of rejection or lies of unqualification. Then go tell the world what you have experienced, with passion, and watch as people are attracted to Jesus through you.

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The topic of evangelizing in America is in my opinion, not talked about as much as it should in Christian communities. I was recently able to talk to a pastor of a church in Roseville, California who told me “It is very easy to talk about how to live a good Christian life or go through certain stories of the bible, but it is much harder to to preach the gospel or a message on the gospel.” Why is this? Shouldn’t the gospel be the center of all christian messages and what drives us to preach Jesus? Well, yes of course. But why does it seem so difficult to share the gospel of Jesus with not only other Christians, but more importantly those who are lost?

It would make the most sense to first grasp a proper understanding of what the gospel is and why it is so important for Christians to be sharing. As always we must look to understand what scripture defines as truth and apply it to our lives. One of the most popular verses in the bible (for a reason of course) is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV). This is the hope we have in Jesus clearly stated in scripture. One single verse that Christians can place their hope because Christ Jesus died in our place, giving us life if we choose to accept his free gift of grace. Another passage that explains the gospel in more detail is in Romans ten,

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10: 9-13).

Now as Christians we hear the gospel as the sweet sound of forgiveness and redemption; because we know what we have been saved from (death and eternal damnation) and what we have been saved for (obedience to Christ and eternal life with the father). But do all non-believers hear the gospel that way? I would say unfortunately, no.

I believe the reason evangelism is difficult to talk about in church or among Christian circles is because when accepting Christ as one's savior, one must repent of their sin and accept their life is not their own and they have been doing it wrong this whole time. It is hard to grasp sometimes that we are dead in our sin and we cannot do it on our own. The message of Christ shares that we must die to our old ways and let Jesus into our once damned souls. It is hard for prideful humanity to accept this. So, understanding that not everyone will choose the free gift of grace Jesus provides, it makes it harder for Christians to share this message. If we know that most people will decline the good news (Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 13: 23-25), it scares us to share that good news because we don't want to be rejected. Now in no way am I saying this fear is not real, for I have struggled with sharing the good news in my own life, but we must also understand that our own God was rejected when he spoke the truth to his hometown of Nazareth (Luke 4). The reality of sharing the gospel is that most will not enter through the narrow gate that leads to life, but that does not mean we should stop what we are called to do as the bride of Christ.

I heard a speaker named Megan Fate Marshman say once that Christians are called to “obedience regardless of results”. That phrase rang so true to me that I decided to get it tattooed on my arm. The life Christians are called to live is not one that changes due to how many people you bring to Christ or how many instagram followers respond to your posts. Yes we should strive to preach Jesus and bring others to know him and his transforming gospel. But what happens when somebody rejects your invitation to church, or leaves the faith, or doesn’t want to accept the gospel you preached to them. Ouch. Does that change the truth of the gospel or my purpose as a follower of Christ? Simply put, of course not. We must do our best to be prepared to share the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15), but we must also retain faith when we are rejected.

Sharing the Gospel in America is NOT easy. For that matter it is not easy in any place. But that does not change our calling. It does not change the message that forgiveness is for all people, Jew and Gentile. And most of all it does not change the goodness of our God.

The brilliant “prince of preachers” Charles H. Spurgeon once said “I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is that the world has so much influence over the church”. If we desire to be used by God to the fullness he wants, we must be lights in a world that praises darkness. That means being bold. Bold in loving those who disagree with the faith, bold in glorifying Christ on social media, bold in forgiving those who trespass against us, and most importantly bold in sharing the Gospel whenever the Holy Spirit gives us the opportunity to.

The last words Christ shared on earth was the great commission in Matthew 28, “Therefore go 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” (Matthew 28:19-20). Maybe it is time for our churches and Christian circles to focus less on how to live a comfortable life, and more on how to better share the gospel to those who are lost and dead in their sin. And maybe it is time for believers to embrace the call of the Holy Spirit and share the hope they have in Christ. It is Christ who showed the example of loving those with a grace and truth like no other.

The great reformer Martin Luther once confessed, “I must listen to the gospel. It tells me not what I must do, but what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done for me.” May we share in his confession and better listen to the Gospel and understand what Christ has done for us that we may live and enjoy his grace. For our purpose is to enjoy his grace and extend his glory. One without the other creates a faith that is lopsided and prideful. My prayer for myself and for the church of Christ is one of boldness and strength. Boldness to know the gospel needs to be preached regardless of the results; for we know the Holy Spirit is the one who saves not our preaching. And strength because it is by his goodness alone that we are able to share what he has done for us. I pray that the church of God may focus more on becoming more like Christ and sharing his message than trying to tickle the ears of this world.

Peace and Blessings.