Friday, December 10, 2010

Sharing the Faith

Ever wonder why some Christians seem to be very enthusiastic about sharing their faith? It is an especially important question in this day and age when you are expected to keep your religion to yourself, lest you “offend” somebody. In this post I’d like to give non-Christians some insight as to why followers of Christ share their faith with others.

Commanded to Spread the Gospel

The main reason Christians tell others about Jesus is that he commanded them to do so. Those commands are in all four Gospels, and what Jesus told his disciples in Acts 1:8 is very explicit:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NRSV

Jesus said this seconds before he ascended into heaven. Since these were the last words of Jesus spoken while he was on the earth, many Christians take them pretty seriously. Once Jesus had ascended into heaven, the disciples devoted themselves to telling others about him, usually at some risk to their lives. Some of them ministered in Jerusalem and Judea, which was local for them, and some traveled to the ends of the earth. For example, Thomas went as far east as India, and Paul may have gone as far west as Spain.

Love Your Neighbor

In addition to Jesus’ commands, Christians tell others about him because we love our neighbors as ourselves, as Jesus said we should. Christians believe Jesus came down to earth for all of us. He said to love your neighbor as yourself, quoting from Leviticus 19. The best way Christians can show they care about others is to share their faith in Christ.

Want to make the world a better place? For followers of Christ, there’s no better way than bringing people to faith – thus working to transform the world. Coming to faith in Christ won’t make people perfect, just as no Christian is perfect. But it will make them a whole lot better than they otherwise would have been since they are now be “going on to perfection.”

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