Are you a Christian? – by Brady Tarr
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“Are you a Christian?” is a question that I want us all to be prepared to answer and explain, whether we are the one being asked the question or whether we are asking someone else the question in order to share the unique guarantee of salvation from sin that is only found through the gospel of Jesus Christ.Jesus himself boldly and clearly proclaimed that salvation from sin is found in no other religion, no other gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and no other person than himself when he said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
How is Jesus’ exclusive statement usually received by those in our postmodern and inclusivisitc world who believe that salvation is possible apart from faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.We have all heard the phrase “All paths (religions) lead up the same mountain and God is found at the top.” This phrase is actually true in that every person is on a path on the mountain of life, and when they die, every person (no matter what path they were on) will meet God.The only thing is that, according to the very words of the God of the Bible whom everyone will meet when they die, only those people who walked the difficult, straight, and narrow path up the mountain, as a Christian, have been forgiven and are the recipients of God’s eternal grace. All others, who have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ, will meet God, be condemned to hell, and will experience his just and terrible wrath there for all of eternity because their sins were not forgiven.
Is this troubling and hard for us to hear as Christians who undoubtedly have either family or friends who are not Christians? It is for me. Our response to the unrest that we have knowing that either our friends or family will suffer God’s wrath because of their denial of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should not cause us to overlook or deny what the Bible teaches about sin and salvation, but rather we should be compelled to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with any and everyone that we can. Our love for Jesus (Mark 12:30) and for others (Mark 12:31) should compel us to verbally share with others that they must repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ in order to be saved.
Christians often encourage each other to share the gospel by saying “Share the gospel and if necessary, use words”. Although I am a firm believer that a Christian’s life and actions are important, the above phrase is unfortunate and misleading because our visible actions or good works should not be understood as sharing the gospel because many non-Christians do nice things or good works. But rather as Christians, we have the privilege and are commanded to verbally share the gospel as often as we can. The necessity to verbally share the gospel can be found in Romans 10:12-17 which says, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. As this verse makes clear, we are to speak the word of Christ (the gospel) to others.
While some people will be receptive or at least listen to what you have to say about the gospel, many people will react with anger or call you any number of unpleasant “names” including “intolerant”, “judgmental”, “unloving”, etc. When these things are said, we should not be deterred (2 Tim. 3:12).Just because someone calls you these things doesn’t mean that what they say is true… the Pharisees and many others said the same things to Jesus and he was sinless and loving in what he said to them. Jesus boldly proclaimed the gospel to people because of his great love for them. This should compel us to follow his example of love by sharing with others the gospel… whether it is easy or not. We are to follow Jesus’ example in John 15:12-14, 18-20 which says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”… 18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
A Christian’s greatest act of love toward a non-Christian is sharing the gospel with them.All we have to do is love others by sharing the gospel with them the rest is up to God (1 Cor. 3:6-7).
Who are you going to share the gospel with today?
Father, help us to fear you more than we fear man. May you give us the boldness to share your gospel with those whom we come in contact with. We ask that you would give us the desire to pursue the lost out of a love for their soul. May we all long for your return and eternity with you more than we long for anything in this world. Help our unbelief. Please help us live lives that are pure, holy, and submissive to your Word. Thank you for your gift of faith which enables us to live a life of faith pleasing to you. Amen.