In my environment, my immediate surroundings, I sometimes make assumptions about people and their beliefs. I assume the people I live around or shop with or work with are ALL Christians, except of course, the doctors I work FOR (lol)! I live in a fairly civilized, moral-following community. The fact of the matter is, following morals and being civilized, or defined as civilized, does not equal salvation.
I take for granted that someone who treats me and others with respect and apparently scored high on the kindergarten report card entry: “plays nice with others”, is a Christian. I have fallen prey to Satan’s attempt to quiet me, and my reach for the lost. Often I don’t even ask people I KNOW if they are “saved” or not. I either assume they are a Christian or I write it off as not wanting to “butt in” or make someone uncomfortable with questions about their salvation. I just pacify myself thinking “My role is really more about discipling Christians”…or… “they’ll hear about it on Sunday or from someone else”. But by staying “safe” I’m also risking their lost souls.
What I’ve found recently is that there are SO MANY people in MY OWN immediate surroundings (work, homes, grocery store, etc.) that honestly believe, that as long as they live a good life and treat others well, they will get into heaven.
At first I couldn’t believe it. People surely don’t actually believe that, do they? While it would help ease our minds about serial killers not entering heaven, it isn’t grounded in truth…and that is a scary place to be. Most of these people have even HEARD about Jesus. But they have never experienced that process of confession, repentance, forgiveness and redemption to salvation through Him.
GOD DO SOMETHING! What can I do? What have I done? For starters I prayed and asked God for His guidance about how to approach these people He brings into my direct line. I pray for words. I pray for Scripture. I pray for strength. Slowly, I’ve started to share my own “story”. I share about encounters with God since becoming a Christian, just in casual conversation. I ask if I can pray for them about anything. I don’t ask straight out “If you were to die tonight where do you think you’d end up?”. Speaking as someone who has, and still does, ABHOR that ‘fire insurance’ theology, I can tell you for me, the more effective means is get to know me before you try to “heal my hurt”.
I DO look for opportunities to share, for doors that are opened through hurt and anger and pain. I know these things. We all know these things. The difference between hurt, anger, and pain without Christ, is they are all so defeating. With Christ, we have overcome! We will still walk through desert places, but we will never again walk alone!
One of the doctors I work with actually saw me reading my Bible during break one day and asked about the chapter I was reading. He asked about Peter, whom he had heard about. He was either patronizing me and knew all about Peter, or he truly didn’t know and God allowed me to share what I did know in a safe, non-threatening way. The irony of it is this is the same physician that often speaks to me as though I am a complete idiot without an original thought in your head, even about issues I was hired specifically to do.
It never gets “easy” for me to confront someone about salvation. Maybe it’s a character flaw or some fear issue I’ve yet to deal with. What I CAN do is just converse with someone and in the natural flow of things show and speak my heart, which is ALL about my relationship with God through Christ, and where He is leading me.
I love to hear how others do this? First of all, DO YOU share your faith? Then, how do you share your faith? And more specifically, how do you share your faith with non-believers?
Just one more thing to ponder….please chime in....