How saddened and frustrated God must be with people who claim to be his children, but who refuse to share his gracious plan of salvation with others. The bible promises that those who are ashamed or who deny Christ will be denied before the father. (Matthew 10:32-33)
I recently met with a group of young adults who were gathered for a bible study. All claimed to be raised in the church and acknowledged that they had become believers before age 12. I opened with the question, “What do you know about Jesus?” Not one of the 8 young people answered. I tried again, asking, “What makes your life different because you claim to belong to Jesus?” Again, complete silence. None of the young adults would even make eye contact with me.
What a sad commentary on the state of Christianity in this current culture. Even in a safe environment where other professing believers are present people will not share their experience with God or their own story of interaction between themselves and Christ. When people refuse to speak openly about God in a safe environment, there is a 99.9999999% likelihood that they will never open their mouths in public.
In effect, these people are living out an attitude that basically says to lost, broken and hurting people, “I have Jesus, and am safe for eternity, but you are on your own and you can go to hell.” This may be hard for all the squeamish so called Christians out there, but someone has to lay down the truth. We do people who are headed for a hopeless and Christless eternity no favors when we refuse to share the loving, gracious and merciful plan of salvation God provided at Calvary. We show no compassion for broken people when we offer no hope for restoration in Christ.
Private Christianity is both sin and blasphemy. Peter tells us to “Always be willing to share the hope that lies within you.” (I Peter 3:15) Paul tells us that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) ” How can they call on him unless they believe in him? How can they believe in him if they have never heard of him? How can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14).
Who is going to hell because you are silent? Whose life will continue to be embroiled in heartbreak and turmoil because of your unwillingness to acknowledge or speak up for the cause of Christ. Those who refuse to live openly for the savior do not belong to him and will find themselves in the “Depart from me, for I never knew you,” line at judgement.
Why the fear? Why is it not important to share one’s faith with those who are either on their way to eternal separation from God, or who are suffering and struggling? If you claim Christ, someone shared with you. You didn’t figure it out on your own. How can anyone really believe they are living for God when they never risk anything for the cause of the kingdom?
Some may respond to this post with chagrin or self righteous anger. Others may respond with an “amen.” For the former, what makes you angry or upset? That a challenge has been laid before you to check your witness, or that the Holy Spirit is convicting you to do something for Christ. For the amen corner, are you living out your faith complete with commentary about the amazing salvation and provision of God?
There will always be opposition to the gospel. It should never be hindered by those who claim to be believers, yet who live a selfish life where spiritual matters are concerned.
“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (James 4:17)