I had coffee with a couple of guys the other day. One was a friend of mine and a member of our church. The other, who I will call Dave, I had just met for the first time.
As we sat there chatting, Dave, unsolicited by me, began to fill me in on his life story. He shared how much he loved his wonderful wife and beautiful children. He told me how great his mom was and about the community services he was involved in.
It was honestly a great conversation. Most of the words were spoken by Dave, but my friend and I were attentive listeners. At one point, Dave, knowing I was a pastor, asked me how I coped with the responsibility of teaching people every week.
This gave me the chance to share the good news of Jesus Christ with him. Dave sat there listening intently as I told him we are all sinners, how Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, and if you confess your sins and put your faith in him, you will be forgiven and have a right relationship with God.
Then Dave said, “I believe in philosophy and pray to God every day.” I answered, “That’s great, but you can’t think your way into a right relationship with God. No one is that smart. Only Jesus can make you right with God. That’s great you pray to God. Which God? The Bible says there is only one God, and his name is Jesus.”
After talking for several minutes, I could tell I had Dave’s attention. And the wheels in his mind were turning. Not because of my ability to share the good news. But because it was the good news of Jesus. It alone has the power to break the chains of darkness in people’s lives.
Then I said, “Dave if philosophy is wrong, wouldn’t you want to know? And if Jesus was right, wouldn’t you want to know? Because if you are wrong, it’s an eternal decision. If you want to know if Jesus is real, ask him. Pray and say, ‘God, if you’re real, please reveal yourself to me,’ and he will.”
Dave said, “I’ll pray that prayer.”
I said, “I believe you will.”
I don’t know if Dave and I will ever cross paths again. But I know he has now heard the good news of Jesus. There’s no getting around it. He must now decide for himself if he’s going to believe or not.
I didn’t share the good news of Jesus because I’m a pastor. I shared it because I’m a Christian. And as a Christ follower, I am responsible for telling everyone I can about what Jesus did for them.
Jesus told us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
It’s the calling of us all. No one is exempt. Our life context might be different, but our mission is the same.
If you’re a Christian, can I ask you a tough question?
How is it possible to believe in Jesus, have friends and family members, sometimes for years, and never tell them the good news?
We should adopt the same attitude as the Apostle Paul in the Bible when he said, “I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)
Who are you going to tell?