Daily Proselytizing – 12/11/17

Do you have to proselytize every day?

Yours is a good question and one that I am delighted to address. I appreciate your honesty and polite manner in which you post your question.

I think that the term “proselytizing” suggests some sort of covert, unwanted or unwarranted intentions. Indeed, I believe this was precisely the problem that the Jews had with Jesus. “Relativism” and “forbearance” were clearly the rule of his day. Otherwise Pilate would not have said to Jesus, “What is truth?” To the Jews he was an upstart, a nobody from the sticks, a know-it-all. Really now, who does he think he is?

Blasphemy was simply the legal loophole that they needed to crucify him. It would have been much easier to overlook his blasphemy and declare him insane. But they wanted him dead because he was “proselytizing” the masses and because of his lack of “forbearance” with those who did not share his point of view.

Paul said of Christ, “if the dead are not raised, let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” And again Paul says, “if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Under threat of criminal punishment for proselytizing, we might ask what compelled Peter and John to respond to threatening public officials, “We cannot help but speak those things which we have both seen and heard.” Peter was acutely aware of the accusations that suggested his truth was no better than anyone else’s. Hence, in his 2nd letter he writes “we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his Majesty.” So Peter was a believer not just because he saw miracles but because he witnessed Christ transfigured, Christ resurrected and Christ ascending. He was convinced of the truth because he had first-hand experience with the man who declared that he is the Truth, the Life and The Only Way.

I believe God does indeed reward those who follow blindly. But from the first 2 chapters in the book of Acts we understand that it is clearly God’s intention to reward believers with a confirmation of their faith known as the “gift of the Holy Ghost.” What Christians sometimes call a “blessed assurance” is, in my opinion, essential in this world to have the power to boldly and unabashedly declare truth regardless of how intolerant one might seem.

You see, “the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” In other words, one would have to have a “spiritual rebirth” so to speak, just to begin to see the value of this message, this good news, this gospel.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the response of Jesus to the well-known Rabbi Nicodemus, “Truly I say unto you, except a man be born again he cannot even see the kingdom of God.” I don’t enter into debates with people in an attempt to prove Christ. I don’t try to share Christ by disproving science, upholding Biblical archaeology, disqualifying so-called false Christians or engaging in other circus acts.

I believe people come to Christ when they are called by Him. And if you have been called – his silence is deafening until you repent of your sinful nature and cry out to him, asking him to reveal himself to you. I testify about Him because I know Him and I love Him.

I pray someday soon you also come to personally know this God in the flesh, this Jesus of Nazareth whose I am and whom I serve.