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Introducing Jesus to a Non-Believer

As a Christian you know you have been called (commanded) by Jesus to share the message of salvation. These instructions were his very last words to us before he returned to heaven. We call these instructions the Great Commission. If you’re like me, you’ve had them memorized since you were a child. But just in case you don’t, let’s look at them before we go any farther:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore 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 28:18-20 NIV

Okay, that’s all well and good, you say. You get that you are supposed to tell others. What you don’t get is how you are supposed to get the job done. Just the thought of knocking on a stranger’s door and inviting them to church starts your knees to knocking and your voice to start shaking. And you’ve tried talking to your co-worker and your sister in-law, but they have made it clear that they are not interested in anything you have to say on the matter. So what’s a guy or gal to do?

Walk like Jesus

Walking like Jesus means your steps lead you in the same directions Jesus went here on earth:

  • Into regular times of worship with fellow-believers. Your neighbors might not say a word, but they will notice you leave every Sunday morning and at the same time each week for Bible study and small group time.
  • Into areas of service. You donate your time and talents to those in need and to things that serve to spread the message of the Gospel.
  • Away from sin. Your steps won’t take you into bars, nightclubs, movies that aren’t Jesus-honoring, or into unhealthy relationships.

Talk like Jesus

We have four books of the Bible filled with Jesus’ teachings. We also know in reading the last verses of the book of John that these four books are a mere sampling of what he said and did…

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ~John 20:30-31 NIV

But Jesus’ words were not limited to sermons. His everyday speech and conversations reflected who he is. The same should be true of us. Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (NIV).

This really shouldn’t be too difficult for us to do. If we truly have the Holy Spirit actively living inside us, we will be consciously avoiding things like:

  • Foul language
  • Gossip
  • Lies
  • Rude comments
  • Sarcasm
  • Hurtful remarks
  • Words that cause dissention and divide

Instead, we will choose to be encouraging, uplifting, forgiving, loving, mending, or just silent.

Act like Jesus

You’ve heard that actions speak louder than words, right? And what about the old saying, “It’s not what you say but how you say it”? Both of these are true statements.

I was recently reminded of just how true these statements are in a not-so-pleasant manner. A man who has claimed to be a Christian for many years was recently exposed as a fraud. For years he’d been presenting himself as a master-craftsman of a dying art. A close extended family member admired what he thought was this man’s work and spent several thousand dollars on his supposedly hand-made items. Recently, however, while showing these items to someone, it was discovered that this man had failed to remove some tell-tale evidence from the items that clearly proves that he did not make them. When confronted about the issue, the man became belligerent and anything but Christ-like.

While listening to the account of events in this situation, my first thoughts were that it’s no wonder non-believers often look at Christians and shake their heads. Why should non-believers want to be like that?

Now I know the man I just spoke of is not the norm—that there are far more true Christians than not. Praise God! But sadly, the ones like this man I spoke of get the most attention. That’s why it is essential that we act like Jesus by:

  • Being a living, breathing example of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  • Ask yourself WWJD and then do just that.
  • Live with the attitude that people would rather see a sermon than hear one…and do just that.
  • Live what you believe and don’t be ashamed of the Gospel.
  • Remember that what you do and say could have eternal effects on someone else and DO have eternal effects on you.

Share Jesus

Max Lucado wrote in his book, “Just Like Jesus”, that there are going to be a lot of really nice people in hell. In other words, it’s not enough to just be nice, do good deeds, and not say bad words or do bad things. For these things to be the true fruit of the Spirit, Jesus needs to be the reason you do everything you do.

What I’m saying is this: That while sharing Jesus with an unbeliever is best initiated by your actions and attitude, at some point you need to let him/her know why you are who you are—that Jesus is your LORD and Savior and he wants to be theirs, too.

You can do this by:

  • Telling them you are praying for situations in their life.
  • Invite them to church. Yes, you can do it.
  • Share a favorite Bible verse with them in the course of conversation where it fits (or make it fit).
  • Tell them about ministry and service events you are involved in and invite them to participate. Invite them to fellowship activities at your church.
  • Meet special needs they have.
  • Give them a devotion book for people investigating the relevancy of a relationship with Jesus.
  • Pray for yourself—for opportunities to share and the courage to share Jesus with nonbelievers.

You and I are the ones Jesus commissioned to share his truth. Don’t be afraid to do so, because Jesus will be right there with you every step of the way.

~ By Darla Noble

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