The Blade is Clean

Buenos Aires, Argentina…that is where this letter is being sent from in December of 2014. I am here doing an evangelistic Crusade in this enormous city of 12 million people. It is overwhelming watching the masses of people strolling around from place to place; overwhelming because a continual question runs through my heart as I look at the faces of these multitudes of people, “Does that person know Jesus yet, does that person know Jesus, what about that one…if they died today, would they go to heaven?”

the-blade-is-cleanThis piece of writing is not going to be “politically correct.” Nor is it going to be “seeker friendly” or “humanitarian based” or “guilt-free” or reviewed and refined by our editor (so it most likely will have some grammatical errors in it). I am writing this with these “filters” down. So, if you like receiving only “mushy” words from the Bible and you are not open to the “tough love” parts of the Bible–the prophet angles–most likely you will not like the following words, so you may want to stop reading now.

Question: when is the last time you VERBALLY shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with another human being? Research tells us anywhere from 75%-99% of people who claim to be “born-again Christians” never verbally share their faith once throughout their Christian life, let alone share their faith verbally on a regular basis like we are supposed to. To those of us who are choosing to share our faith regularly we know the joy and peace that sharing our faith brings. And, by God’s grace, we will be rewarded later for sharing our faith, even though it is our minimal service, as Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luke 17:10). To those of us who do not verbally share our faith on a regular basis, the following Bible verse makes it simple enough and “black & white” enough so that children understand this truth…we are in sin if we are not sharing our faith with words on a regular basis. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17). We can excuse it, or we can deny it, or we can justify it, or we can dissect it to find Theological loopholes, or whatever. But, there is absolutely no escape from these words, “GO…into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). What are you and I doing PERSONALLY with those words of command from Jesus Christ? The way you “GO” may be different than the way they “GO.” The way they “GO” may be different than the way I “GO.” The point is are we personally “GOING”…are you going and sharing?

The target group for this letter is not those of us who are “imperfectly” sharing our faith regularly. But rather the target is Christians who never, or rarely, share their faith. And also a target is–unbelievably & unthinkably–Christians who never even consider sharing their faith verbally with another person. The intention of this letter is to put us—you and me—into a corner and ask about the people in your office that you see every day…what about the people at the gym…the people at the restaurant…our neighbors…your business clients…our Bible class visitors and members…your medical patients…your students…your teachers…our family…your children…the people in the mall…the person in the seat next to you on the plane? What are we doing to verbally share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people that the Lord has put in our lives? These people are not mind-readers who “know” you are a Christian by your smile and lack of cuss-words. Nor will they meet Jesus only by our invitations to church and only by our good humanitarian deeds, which are great things that we should be doing regularly! However, these “great things” are not to be used as a replacement for these words, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

A huge percentage of Christians choose to keep their lives so “busy” with work, family, fun, church, ministry, etc, etc, etc, that they do not have time to even consider the fact, and feel the conviction, that they are in continual disobedience and sin by never sharing their faith with other people. Most Christians choose to stay in denial about their sin of not sharing their faith. Most Christian’s hearts have become ice-cubes about personal evangelism, especially for those of us who live in the luxury of the United States…we have it too easy as American Christians compared to the rest of the Christian world! So, if your life is so busy that you do not regularly share your faith than obviously your life is too busy and needs to be re-prioritized. Being busy just “being busy,” even if we claim the “busyness” is for God, will not negate the fact that your life is dictated by human flesh if you are not regularly sharing your faith with others. We cannot use the things of “service” to God as a front to not share our faith. Example, just because I am a preacher and preach from the pulpit to crowds of people doesn’t excuse and “immune” me from witnessing in my everyday life. Obedience in most areas of our Christian life doesn’t mean we can then “compensate” and “skip” the most vital area of personal evangelism. The love, grace, and mercy that is the foundation of our Christian walk is not a “scapegoat” that exempts us from telling others of the One we are walking with. If we are to obey the Lord we must, and we will, adjust our lives so that sharing our faith with other people becomes a “normal” part of our lifestyle. We will choose to elevate witnessing to priority status, not just something on the fringe we do once a year or once a decade or once-in-a-lifetime. Sharing Jesus verbally is not something that the “real missionary” Christians do in “over-time” to make up for those Christians who never share their faith—it doesn’t work that way! God is smarter than that and He knows about, and sees, all of it. Many Christians have “retreated” so deep into the “safety zone” of the family of God that they have no contact or relationships with non-Christians. What adjustments need to start today–right now–in order for your life to come into regular contact with non-Christians?

The Bible describes Heaven as being a place of joy, light, singing, and other beautiful characteristics. The Bible describes Hell as being a place of fire, pain, torture, death, and other evil characteristics. Jesus gave a disturbing illustration of Heaven and Hell in Matthew 7:13-14, when He said Heaven is like a very small and narrow road that very few people choose to get on. On the other hand, He said Hell is a large, wide and crowded road that most people choose to remain on their entire lives. In other words, every person is born into this world with our soul in a “guillotine” of sin…the blade is clean and it is falling downward each passing second onto the lives and souls of each of us, eventually sending us into one of two eternal places–Heaven or Hell. This is why Jesus Christ went to the cross and arose from the dead…to give us the opportunity to have our lives and our souls removed from eternal death! The cross was basically an extended and more painful form of a guillotine death, and the ONLY way people can be rescued from the “guillotine” of inevitable spiritual and eternal death is for you and me to verbally share the Good News that Jesus Christ took our cross and our “guillotine” because He loves us and wants to forgive us! You and I have been entrusted with the ONLY message that will allow someone to go to heaven when they die—The Gospel of Jesus Christ! If you know Jesus personally, then what are you doing with this Message that lives inside of you? Where would you be at this moment, where would I be right now, if certain Christians had NEVER told us about Jesus Christ?

Before this letter releases you from the corner, I ask you, “If you are a born-again Christian…are you regularly–as a lifestyle–VERBALLY sharing with people your faith in Jesus Christ?” If you are, that is wonderful…let’s keep on going! If you are not, you have a choice to make, to either: 1) Confess and Repent of your sin of not sharing your faith, which means you are willing to leave behind your sinful life-pattern of breaking His command to, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” And, then, as the Bible says in Acts 26:20, “demonstrate their (your) repentance by their (your) deeds” by beginning to share your faith verbally and by learning how to do it more effectively. There are many great ministries that can equip you to share your faith, such as “Evangelism Explosion”, “The Way of the Master”, the “Billy Graham Evangelistic Association”, and others. If you are looking for a place to get you started in sharing your faith, our website has free materials right here, right now. Or, 2) you can choose to continue in the sin of not verbally sharing your faith. If we are not regularly sharing our faith according to the gifts and the opportunities and the cultural life-context God has given us, than we are sinning against love. You see, us not sharing our faith is not necessarily a “personal evangelism” issue; the lack of personal evangelism in our lives is just the symptom of a deeper issue, which is this…there is something not right in our heart towards the Lord Jesus Christ! If our love for Jesus Christ is not stronger than our fear of sharing our faith, then we will NEVER share our faith! The core of it is we have a love issue with Jesus and we need to dig into it and find out why we are not sharing our faith. Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21). It is simple, if we love Jesus we will obey His command to share our faith, even when we don’t “feel” like it…just like the parent who chooses in their WILL to prepare food for their children even when they don’t “feel” like it. The parent does this because the love they have for their kids is greater than just “feelings” or the lack of feelings. Their love ultimately is built on ACTION because real love WILL express itself in spite of the absence of emotion. My mom always had food for my brother and me, no matter how tired she was…we ate! Conclusion of parent illustration…any parent who doesn’t feed their children has something wrong inside of them. So, there is a reason we don’t share our faith regularly…something is wrong inside of us as a Christian and if we don’t find and fix this issue in this life, we will give an account for it at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the next life (2 Corinthians 5:10). The Bible is as clear on this as the sky is blue…our personal evangelism is one of the primary things we will be held accountable for at the Judgment Seat of Christ. A major ingredient in the “quality” of our “work” on earth that transfers over to heaven is our personal evangelism ministry…what we did, or did not do, during our Christian lifetime with the Gospel message that began living in our hearts the moment we accepted Jesus. We will either be rewarded for sharing our faith or we will suffer temporal and eternal losses for not sharing our faith. The choice is ours! You may have already lost enough time to not sharing your faith; right now is the perfect time, and perhaps the last time, that you will have this opportunity to add more eternal value to your Christian life and start telling people how the love of Jesus has changed your life! Sadly, there will be some Christians who, after reading a letter like this, will choose to continue to not share their faith and they will continue their life-pattern of sin against the love of Christ. If you are a born-again Christian who does not share your faith, and if you have read this far down in this letter, and if you do not sense the Holy Spirit convicting you of the sin of not sharing your faith, it is either because: 1) you have become so lukewarm over the years that your conscience and heart are now desensitized and numb to the Lord. Or, 2) the callous of pride is now so thick around you, that your heart has become concrete towards the things of God. Or, 3) it is a sad, dark fusion of both 1 & 2. Or, 4) you are not yet a born-again Christian and you have never AUTHENTICALLY turned from your sin and received Jesus Christ as your personal God, Lord, and Savior (here is how you can receive Jesus right now).

Outside of a personal disability, there is no excuse for us to not share our faith, BUT…there is a choice TO share our faith! And you can make that choice today and every day! I hope, and have prayed, that you will obey Jesus Christ and that you will realize the following words of Scripture from Jesus were given to us in love. When these Words below are applied they not only change other people’s lives and lead them to heaven, but the following Words, when applied as a lifestyle, will bring deep, unexplainable peace and meaning to our lives and will strengthen our love relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ — “GO…into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

So, what are YOU going to do about this now, and later today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and…….?