Each era presents with different opportunities and challenges in witnessing Christ. Believers need to be gracious in making sufficient changes to successively make Christ known to the world without compromising the core message. A promising attitude to emulate is shown by the Apostles who were courageous and gain power and wisdom from God himself in sharing God’s love with the lost world.
Christ has left a remnant in this world to proclaim to the lost the message of redemption. He could have accomplished that in a moment through an angel. But God wants each one of the redeemed to let the world know of God’s work of salvation. Certainly, it is the Holy Spirit “who will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). For that, God uses the redeemed through various means: Music, books, sermons, conversations, debate, movies, short stories, blogging, podcasting and social media. If everyone who is saved is prepared to witness God through the opportunities they are presented the gospel will fill the whole earth rapidly.
“An author should never conceive himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before but simply and solely as trying to embody terms of his own art some reflections of external beauty and wisdom.”C.S.Lewis
God’s word is presented in a way such that it caters to the human needs of understanding and reason. The diversity of Scriptural revelation includes parables, proverbs, commands, miracles, stories, logic, songs. That shows the grace of God to us. He could have summarized the prime theme in just one form and in two or three pages. Rather the Word of God is given to speak to the heart of every individual. Similarly, each of those redeemed by the grace of God is gifted with talents and opportunities so that they are to be availed to witness Christ. No wonder the message of Christ adapted quickly to almost every language and cultures and corners of the world than any other thing has accomplished.
While creativity is good, bear in mind of this caveat proposed by C.S Lewis in his book Christian Reflections. “An author should never conceive himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before but simply and solely as trying to embody terms of his own art some reflections of external beauty and wisdom.” Thus no one needs to seek out creativity for the sake of appearing contemporary or seeking recognition. God will show ways of expressing His love to others when one is willing to walk with him, through ways no one could have imagined.
Don’t leave to selected others the work of witnessing. One does not have to be like Ravi Zacharias or D. L. Moody to be used by God. God uses everyone’s experiences, circumstances and gifts to share with others His love. He gives grace and wisdom to share his glory with others. Whatever is the domain of work, no exceptions!
Message, Method and Messenger
There are three key elements involved in presenting the gospel: The message (i.e. the gospel itself), the method used in presenting it and the messenger. The message is unchangeable. The gospel of God’s saving grace through Christ’s atonement remains invariable. In contrast, methodologies change and are adaptable. The gospel presentation strategies are vitally important, particularly in these rapidly-changing times. One factor often under-emphasized is the messenger.
The Christian’s role as an instrument of God in reaching the lost is crucially important. The essence of Christianity is relationships, the Christian’s relationship to God and his relationship to his fellow man.
Regrettably, individuals in modern society are growing increasingly isolated due to a multitude of factors such as working from home, distance learning, online shopping, etc. Developing deep and close relationships with others is becoming more difficult and rarer. This phenomenon has been greatly exacerbated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying need to socially distance. Coincident with social isolation is an increasingly divided culture in which race, status and political views have resulted in widespread disunity and suspicion. The individual’s sphere of personal contacts and friends is rapidly contracting.
The challenge for the 21st century Christian is to penetrate that sphere and to develop relationships, relationships based on love and acceptance (not of sin, but of the person). In spite of societal change, the human heart remains the same and desperately longs for those two qualities. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Genuine love is such a rare commodity in today’s strife-filled world that it is at once a peculiarity as well as tremendously attractive and intriguing.
Jesus Calls Matthew from Episode 7 of The Chosen, the first-ever-multi season show about the life of Jesus
In the 21st century, effective evangelism will be accompanied by sacrificial love. The Christian needs to be proactive in developing relationships in an increasingly introverted and hostile society. He needs to show God’s love through his own character and actions. And he can be assured of Christ’s promise to those who go forth making disciples, “Lo, I am with you always” (Matt 28:30).
For many, it has certainly become more challenging during the pandemic to simply walk up to someone and try to present the gospel (e.g., a public place like a campus or a park). Or perhaps everyday interactions have diminished or disappeared, seeming to hinder relationships with those we used to see regularly and were developing friendships with. But at the same time this situation presents new opportunities. For example, the uncertainty of the pandemic and the fears that some are feeling have made them more open to ideas like Christianity. They’re thinking more about the afterlife and struggling to cope with the current life. They may be putting more thought into what truly matters, what will truly last and what is the purpose of life. And because many people have not been able to enjoy their usual socialization, they crave whatever socialization is available, even when it’s via virtual platforms. Believers might also consider an increased presence in digital communication venues like ebooks and podcasts.
But more important than all that is for Christ’s followers to be ready, aware, and open to His leading. We need to be sure we’re making the most of whatever opportunities God sends our way. God calls us to be faithful in what’s He’s given us (Matthew 25:21, Luke 16:10). How are we being faithful to the opportunities He’s already placed in our lives?
This article is developed by Pool Writing Program is a new writing initiative by Renew In Knowledge. Jim Haesemeyer, Dijo John, and David Friedli participated in this article.