How can we expect non Christians to take Jesus seriously when we don’t even take him seriously ourselves?
I had an interesting conversation with an agnostic recently. He grew up in a very strict Christian home, with four siblings. His older brother, the one whom he is closest to, has recently converted to Islam. This guy changed his whole life. He used to be seriously into the drug and alcohol scene but he put that aside when he converted. He used to sleep around, but now he is faithfully married to a Muslim lady. He even changed his name. This guy has been disowned by his father and written out of his will. This is a big change.
Now his brother, the one whom I was speaking to, has a dilemma. He believes in God, but how can he take Christianity seriously when from his perspective, it requires no sacrifice? His Christian friends still go out to get drunk, sleep around, and even take drugs. “There has got to be more than this,” he said to me. “I’ll be honest, I don’t find this [drugs] fulfilling.” The problem is, his Christian friends genuinely believe that they have the answer to a fallen humanity, however they continue to behave the same way as this broken world, thus making them seem no different to anyone else.
He said to me that he can’t quite believe in what the Christians have to say because they are constantly changing what they believe to try and fit in with their surrounding culture, and yet the Muslim faith has never changed. Could it be possible that in an attempt to become “relevant” to the world, we have in fact turned our backs on the true gospel? Could it be that Christians are in fact turning people away from Jesus, rather than leading them to him?
If the gospel really is life transforming, why have we watered it down? I think it’s because we have started to fear man more than we fear God. Jesus said in Luke 12:4-5, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who can kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” Why do we fear the judgement of people who will not be present when we stand before God?
Jesus goes on to say in Luke 12:8-12, “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Stop being afraid. There is a broken world out there waiting for you to show them the answer.