Saturday, 19 March 2011

You do what?

I was queueing up in a shop after a meeting I was speaking at, and a young woman in the queue behind me looked me up and down and asked me was I a lawyer or something.  I told her I wasn't, but that I spoke to people about the reliability and relevance of the Bible.  She looked at me in astonishment and said, "Why would you ever do something like that?!?"

Well, queueing up in a shop with about 15 seconds to answer her question, what could I say?  What I said was something like this, "If the Bible is true then it is the most important message in the world, and I believe there are good reasons to believe it's true."  We chatted for a little while more about it, then I gave her the address of this site and had to leave it there.  But in case she is reading this, and for others who may be wondering, I want to just pick up where I left off.

Some people do wonder why Christians are so evangelical in their approach to these matters, if they believe the Bible that's fair enough but why do they have to go round preaching it?  The answer is because it would be a moral outrage if someone believed the Bible was true and they didn't tell others!

Think about it negatively first of all.  If the Bible is true then that means there is a real hell to which people are going because of their sins, and the message of the Gospel tells how people can be delivered from that danger and forgiven of their sins.  If someone knew well in advance about the tsunami that hit Japan and they didn't warn the people, what kind of a monster would that person be?  If someone knew of a cure for cancer but refused to tell people, what would you think of such a person?  Whatever awful devastation a tsunami or cancer may cause, the devastating and eternal consequences of sin are worse.  Sin separates us from God now and will do forever (Isaiah 59 v 2; 2 Thessalonians 1 v 8-9).  And if the Bible is true, then the Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who can save us from our danger.  Other religions tell us if we live a decent life we may be ok, but the Gospel tells us we need a Saviour, and Christ is the only one there is (Acts 4 v 12).  If a Christian doesn't tell people about the Lord he is leaving them without a hope.

But think about it positively.  If the Bible is true then it means that there are wonderful blessings available through the Gospel, and it would be selfish and heartless not to tell people.  In 2 Kings chapter 7 we read about famine conditions in the city of Samaria, caused by the siege of the enemy Syrian army.  Four leprous Israelite men decide to surrender to the Syrians - they thought that offered at least a chance of survival.  When they got to the Syrian camp they discovered it was deserted, with all their food and treasure left behind!  As the bulging eyes of the lepers were taking this all in, and they were filling their empty pockets and their empty bellies they thought of those in the city who were poor and starving, and they said, "We are not doing right.  This is a day of good news, and we remain silent...let us go and tell..." (v9).  That's really how the Christian feels.  We were empty, bankrupt, starving and dying, and we have found all that we needed and so much more in Christ.  He not only saves sinners, but He satisfies them, giving them joy, peace, power, freedom, fulfilment, and fellowship with God.  He gives riches that will withstand the collapse of the stock-market and the collapse of the universe; riches that will last not for a lifetime but for eternity.  What the Christian has and enjoys is available for any and for all, and we would not be doing right if we didn't go and tell.

There is forgiveness for the past, there is freedom and fulfilment to be enjoyed in the present, and there is a fortune for the future, all found in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 26 v 18).  That's a message worth telling, and Christ is a Saviour worth trusting.