Evangelism – Part Two

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

We all have heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” When we create stereotypes over an individual or group, it turns into false judgment. A stereotype is “to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same” (Merriam-Webster.com).

When we judge people by their appearance, personality, or hobbies, we make assumptions rather than get to know them for who they really are. An assumption is “a fact or statement taken for granted” (Merriam-Webster.com).

Can you remember a time when you were judged harshly by others, because they did not agree with the choices you have made for yourself? How did that make you feel? I have experienced judgment over the decisions I have made in my life. It is very hurtful to be rejected by the people you thought cared about you and loved you. The harsh words and mockery can affect your confidence in the next big decision in your life.

Have you passed judgment on others? We are all guilty of hurting people with our false accusations and harsh words. God made us all unique, and we need to accept everyone for who they are and what they do. We may not always agree with people’s lifestyles and the choices they make, but we need to love them as Jesus loves us.

In Matthew 7:1-5, it says, “do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’”

In the Scripture above, Jesus says to examine our lives to see what is not of God. We all have to make decisions based on what is best for us. Some of the choices we make are good and follow after God. Other choices are of this world, and we learn from our mistakes. It is part of being imperfect and living in a sinful world. Before we judge others, we need to realize that we are not perfect, and there is always room for growth to become a better person.

In Romans 14, the Scripture warns us about judging others. It says in verses 10 through 14, “you, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” The words brother and sister in this passage refers to a believer, someone part of God’s family.

We are to treat people with respect and encourage them in their endeavors. We need to empower people with our words instead of tearing them down.

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Evangelism – Part One

LOVE LIKE JESUS

In the Book of First John, chapter 4, verse 8, it says, “God is love.”  Jesus is God in human form with divinity. Jesus is love.   Jesus came down from heaven to bring the love of God to the world.

Jesus’ love is beyond our comprehension. He does not hold a grudge if we have wronged Him or judge us for what we have done. His love is unconditional. As Christians, we need to follow after Jesus’ example. First John 4:11 confirms the statements above by stating, “since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” As we read further into First John, chapter 4, the Scripture continues to speak of God’s love, and His love living in us. It says, “we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

God is a forgiving God. Ephesians 4:32 says to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” According to this Scripture, God forgave us for our sins, and we are told to forgive others who have wronged us. Love and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. To love people, we must learn how to forgive.

What is Evangelism?

Sharing God’s love is not complex or even something to fear. Sometimes we fear of being mocked or being rejected by others when we talk about God. Have you ever felt God nudging you to share His love with a family member or a friend? What about a complete stranger in a public place? The nudge from God is not something to ignore. Jesus’ main goal, while on earth, was to spread the Good News. The Good News was that His Father was God, and God brought Jesus to earth to bring redemption into a lost world. When Jesus left earth to be with His Father, he asked us for one thing and that was to continue to spread the Good News. Evangelism is simply spreading God’s love to the world. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, evangelism is “the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ.”

Sharing God’s Love with Others

The love of God is to be spread all over the world. His love is not just for us to experience. It is for everyone to experience. Matthew 28:19 says, “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.” As Christians, we have a responsibility to fulfill here on earth.

God sets up divine appointments for us to share His love with others. It is not a coincidence that we talk about God with a family member, friend, or even a complete stranger in a normal everyday conversation. It is a purposeful encounter that was arranged by God. These moments are called divine encounters.

Steps on Sharing God’s Love with Others

Before we can share God’s love with others, we must know Christ personally. First, we have to experience God’s love in our lives and be transformed by it. One of the first steps to evangelism is to allow others to see Christ in us. People see Christ work in our lives when we live for God. The best way to spread the Gospel is to show God’s love through our words and actions.

Another way to win people for Christ is to accept them for who they are before becoming a Christian. We are not to judge by appearance or life choices. The only way they will accept Christ in their hearts is for us to be like Jesus. We must love them unconditionally.

God’s Expectation as Christians

As we share God’s love with those around us, some will accept Christ in their hearts and others will reject Him. Our part is to be obedient to God and to continue to share His love with others. We are not responsible for them accepting or not accepting Christ. We are to plant the seed, and whatever they decide to do with it is their choice.

We are to love people, no matter where they are in life. We are to be an encouragement to those around us. We live by example, and our example is Jesus Christ. He loved everyone equally, and we are to do the same.