Truth, Justice, Freedom [under fire]

Politics can be mundane, but rarely boring

Sharing the Gospel of Christ with A Friend

with 10 comments


Sharing the Gospel of Christ with A Friend
Are You Willing to take the risk? It might be worth it.

Most of us have friends, or even a best friend who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, even if that friend does attend church. Too often the focus of teaching salvation often seems to become a race to find, fund and travel to a “New Missions Trip”.

Whether that mission is simply traveling to the closest city and preaching to the homeless, or perhaps to an unreached population in another country is sometimes deemed to be irrelevant as long as we’re reaching out and moving in a ministry of salvation.

Those ministries aren’t wrong at all, they are absolutely necessary in the larger scheme of reaching all the nations, and all the people who are so hungry for the answers only Christ is capable of providing. It is possible however, to miss those who are closest to us, simply because they are so close. Another instance of where the trees are making it impossible to see the forest.

Do those who are closest to us get passed over in our desire to fulfill the Great Commission because the risk of losing a friend, or at the least, alienating a friend is outside our comfort zone?

The Great Commission:

16-17 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

 –The Message Matthew 28: 16-20

Or for those who are traditionalists:

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  KJV Matthew 28: 16-20

In that simple statement, Christ gave each of us throughout our lives, a task to complete to the best of our ability. Save the unsaved. And then another piece of the task is offered by Christ through the Apostle Luke.

45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.”  – The Message Luke 24:46-49

 

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And ye are witnesses of these things. KJV Luke 24:46-48


Notice in this passage, the need to begin in Jerusalem, not in Asia, or Samaria, but in Jerusalem. It’s as if when He came back to show those who had followed Him, and who were still having trouble trying to believe in His resurrection, they should continue what Christ began. Christ didn’t leave his home town and go to Asia, and didn’t even start His ministry in another town apparently, he got His brothers on board by providing a witness.A daily witness, one which none of the Sadducee’s, or Pharisee’s were able to match or even come close to.

That witness seems to have won over those who are the most difficult to win, our family, and our friends. The people who would have seen us when we might be out of sorts, or had the flu and were puking our guts out.

Christ wants all of us saved, it is His desire that none should perish, but all should have everlasting life, and it begins where we are. Should we place our comfort level above the desire of The Father and His Son? Never.

Yes, it is hard to proselytize our friends, it can be uncomfortable, it can even place us at risk of losing a friend! Better however, that we lose a friend than our friend would lose eternity. And it need not even be that large a risk, if we take on the task as one which isn’t based on beating our friends over the head with a Bible, but is instead one of providing a daily witness of what it is to walk in the love, and forgiveness of Christ.

In our daily witness there will come the day when our closest friend is puzzled about why we have the joy they are so hungry for and can’t quite achieve. It’s at that time, when our witness prompts the question, that we have the chance to offer the real solution to the emptiness of chasing an empty world.

Is it worth the risk of losing a friend, when the chance of gaining a Brother or Sister in Christ is so real?

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Written by Gar Swaffar

August 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

Posted in Re-Thinking

10 Responses

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  1. Superb post, Gar. This is awesome. All I can say about the post is, Praise the Lord!

    In answer to your question at the end, yes it is worth the risk. As you said, the Lord is not wanting anyone to remain unsaved. Each of us was once in that condition.

    Mrs. AL

    August 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

    • Thanks Mrs AL, and the risk, it is what it is, win or lose, the greatest loss is to not take the risk.

      Gar Swaffar

      August 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  2. Great post Gar. Something we all need to keep in mind. My family and friends are all Christians so. Don’t have that many friends left. They’ve mostly died. I’ve been spending time with the Amish, a very religious group and wonderful people.

    pepperhawk

    August 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    • The Amish,- gotta love folks willing to forgo the delights of television (and by extension, the MSM) Thanks Pepp.

      Gar Swaffar

      August 6, 2013 at 12:37 am

      • Gar, oddly enough, the Amish are quite up on the political and social issues going on in this country. Don’t ask me how but w/o TV or Internet, they know everything.

        I assume since they talk to the English (what they call anyone not Amish) they find out stuff and the word goes around. Elmer, the 70 yr. old grandfather who I met visiting my Amish neighbors across the road, knew a LOT. He even understood what a blog is and asked me what kind of blog I write.

        The Amish have their own newspaper that they all read from around the country everywhere an Amish group lives. They also are very friendly with the Mennonites who do use electricity and get info from them.

        So there ya go. Something that surprised me. Some Amish communities are not too friendly with the English but the Amish community here is very friendly with us. I learned all kinds of things from them. They showed me how they do things w/o electricity. I’m learning so when we can’t afford our electric any longer we can do like the Amish.

        pepperhawk

        August 6, 2013 at 12:55 am

      • Yeah, I realized I had over generalized somewhat, and was likely off the mark. However, they do still probably make the best ice-cream. Being off-grid for 15 years before we moved here, it’s different, but not at all a bad route to go.

        Gar Swaffar

        August 6, 2013 at 1:12 am

      • Gar, the Amish also make really good cheese too and bake products fresh. They sell them in town. Great jams and jellies to name a few. We love buying from them because we so love their food. I think if we lose our electricity in one way or another, the Amish will do quite well. They raise just about everything they eat. Now they do go to the stores for certain items and they immediately know how much grocery items go up. I was a bit surprised to see a bunch of soda pop cartons on the back porch. LOL! I had no idea they drank that.

        pepperhawk

        August 6, 2013 at 1:23 am

  3. It also occurs to me I didn’t explain where this post came from. It was an extended version of an article I wrote for Believe.Com (although unpublished so far)

    Gar Swaffar

    August 6, 2013 at 12:39 am

  4. Soda? Even I don’t drink those poisonous concoctions!

    Gar Swaffar

    August 6, 2013 at 1:28 am


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