One of Jesus’s first calls to His disciples in Matthew 4:19 was to witness, “‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” (NIV) In Romans 10:14, Paul talked about the need to verbally share how to know Christ as Savior, “How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (NIV) Your call to be used by God in bringing others into a saving relationship with Him is a daily balancing act of representing Christ and verbally sharing the path to salvation. Yesterday a friend shared how his religious sister was pursuing a path of sin. He was uncertain whether she was a Christian, but hesitated to verbally share Christ in fear that he may lose the future opportunity to point her to Christ while representing Christ. This is always a difficult situation for fear you might be a hindrance to one’s salvation instead of a guide to salvation. Here are some thoughts in handling that predicament.
God is constantly working to bring each person to salvation. There is seldom little middle ground in a person’s life. You are either resisting the work of the Holy Spirit for salvation and Christlikeness or you are moving toward salvation. Once someone starts moving towards habitual sin, he/she has moved from seeking God to hardening his/her heart. The hardening of a person’s heart involves justifying sin, manipulating God’s ways to allow for sin, or outright rejecting God. The longer that person remains in this condition, the more hardened he/she becomes to knowing Christ. All that has helped that individual justify his/her position has now become the defense for sin.
Allow God to make you His vessel for the redemption of this person for salvation. God desires you to be a conduit for the Holy Spirit to work through you as well as a vessel of God’s love and compassion. God almost always wants to use you sooner than later. The early stages of a person whose life is being consumed by sin may make you more hesitant to share in order not to drive him/her away from Christ. In reality this is a person’s most fertile time; allow him/her to vent what is going wrong in his/her life. You can eat an egg runny, fried, or hard boiled. But once it is hard boiled, it is too late to serve it in the other two ways. The same is similarly true with someone who is choosing sin over God. It is best to allow God to use you early on in opening someone to God’s ways. Ask questions to discern where one is spiritually. Understand this person’s spiritual journey. Does this person really know Jesus as Lord and Savior? Why would this person choose sin over God? A person’s choice for sin seldom satisfies one’s real needs.
If someone is already hardened to an open ended discussion about God, the chances of you getting the opportunity to share later will be awkward, embarrassing, and very difficult. Why would you wait to share and discuss the most important issue in life after the egg is boiled?
2 Corinthians 5:11 “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.” (NIV)
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