There is truly only one type of Christian, and that is the type who lives by GOD’S Word and obeys Him in everything, no matter the circumstance. However, let’s be honest here: how many of us can say that we live by GOD’S Word in every area of our lives? Let us set aside the ‘mistakes’ that we make every now and then, and focus on our everyday living. To be more specific, let’s focus on how we handle the subject of GOD to non-Believers.
But sanctify the LORD GOD in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.1 Peter 3:15?
Some people will say “If GOD is real, show me a sign!” In 1 Peter 3:15, we are told to have an answer to questions about our faith, but how many of us are, indeed, ready to give that answer?
- GOD is real, but I don’t know why.
Brett is one of those Christians who attends church on a Sunday, gives generously, joins in community programs, and all around looks like a pretty ‘good’ Christian on the surface. However, he is quite lazy when it comes to spending personal time in GOD’S Word or with Him in prayer. One day at work, a colleague approaches him to ask about what he did over the weekend. Brett mentions something about a church mission in his community, to which the colleague frowns. “How do you know that your GOD is even real?”he asks. What does Brett say? He knows that GOD is real, but he has no idea how to explain why. Brett soon realises that he does not know enough about the faith he professes to live. Stumped for words, Brett confesses that he does not know why. The colleague replies: “If you cannot justify it yourself, then why are you even Christian?”
- GOD is real, but don’t ask me about it.
Julia is one of those no-nonsense people who tell it like it is. She prides herself on being straightforward- there are no grey areas for her. She takes care of her family, respects her husband, and is raising her children according to GOD’S Word. Her youngest child, however, is a bit of a rebel and always seems to go against everything that Julia has raised her children to believe in. It is not that the child is necessarily bad, but she is not so ready to accept everything at face value as her siblings are. At odd’s end with the child, Julia says: “You can’t go against GOD’S Word!”Unperturbed, the child responds “You keep telling me to follow Him, but how do I know that He’s real?”Julia is taken aback by the question. She has always just believed, she has never had to question anything! “Listen here,”she says. “GOD is real, I just know it. Don’t ask me how or why, He just is!”
- GOD is real, but I have no answers for you.
Cameron does not like to offend people in any shape, way, or form. He lives his life keeping out of trouble, following the rules correctly, and obeying authorities both in action and thought. After all, isn’t that what the Bible says? Not to quarrel with people? He is currently in his third year of college and has been a Christian ever since he went to Youth Camp seven years ago and gave his life to Christ. Lately, he has felt a deep need to preach GOD’S Word to the Lost on campus, but he is worried about saying the wrong thing. As a result, no one really knows that he is Christian until a girl he has a business class with notices the small compact Bible he carries around with him. “So, you’re Christian?”she accuses. “I think you people are just hypocrites. You judge everyone by some rules that a bunch of old men wrote thousands of years ago, and you try and pass it off as word from ‘your living GOD’. Can you even prove that this GOD of yours is real?”This is precisely the type of confrontation that Cameron hates. What can he say to her? Finally, with much thought to his answer, he says: “GOD is real, Bridgette, but I have no answers for you, okay?”
GOD is real, but talk to someone else.
Brenda is a socially awkward young woman who stutters should anyone try to speak to her. It’s not that she’s stupid, but she hates attention of any sort. She loves Jesus with her whole heart, reads His Word daily with joy, and spends as much time as she can in prayer. Some time ago, the Holy Spirit began to press on her heart that she needs to start spreading the Good News with her friends and family, but she is afraid that she will muddle up her words and fail Him. She knows that it is her fear of being judged that stops her, but she cannot bring herself to go out there and give her testimony about what Jesus has done for her. Brenda is well aware that she is not living GOD’S best, but her own fears seem to drown out his Words whenever presented with an opportunity to pray for someone publically or speak during a weekly woman’s prayer meeting. A teenager who seems mad at the world approaches her as she is coming out of church, and demands to know why she is so confident that GOD is real when He has done nothing to help his sick mother? The answers come flooding into her mind as the Holy Spirit speaks to her, but she looks at the crowd gathering around the boy and chickens out. Instead, she says: “GOD is real, but please talk to someone else who can help you explain why better than I can.”Ashamed, she hurries away, clutching her Bible to her chest.
GOD is REAL! I can show you how.
Abraham knows who he is in Christ. He wakes up every day with joy in his heart because he knows that GOD might use him to further His kingdom. He relishes the opportunity to speak GOD’S Word both to Believers and non-believers, knowing that it is not he who gives the increase, but GOD. It is his responsibility to obey GOD and preach His Word. Yes, he may fall at times, but the GOD he serves is merciful, never holding anything against him once he has repented. Abraham’s life is certainly not a bed of roses, but he is thankful to GOD for everything, knowing that he has life in Jesus. Most people think him an odd sort and tend to stay away from him.
Some have even attacked him for his faith, accusing him of hate speech. As he is active and takes care of himself, he enjoys going to the gym and sometimes speaks to his fellow gym-goers about Christ. The owner of the gym, who quite likes Abraham although he does not agree with his faith, has begun to receive many complaints about him always trying to evangelise people in his building. Forced to proceed with some sort of action, he approaches Abraham and asks him to stop speaking to people in the gym about Jesus. Abraham only smiles and say:“That would be like telling me to stop breathing, Mr Jones. Jesus is my life.”The man shakes his head. “What is up with you and this Jesus? There is no proof of His existence, Abraham. The sooner you realise this, the better. I mean, can you even prove that He is real?”Abraham isn’t rattled by these types of questions, he knows who his GOD is. “Mr Jones, have I got good news for you,” he says.“GOD is so real, and I can show you how!”
Now, these might not apply to many of you because we all have different lives and situations, but I know that many of us can identify in some way with these people. The comforting thing to remember is that you can change (I’m talking scenarios one to four) because of Jesus. GOD is ready to give wisdom to all who would ask (James 1:5), so all you need to do is pray about it and read His Word. We do not have to complicate things when we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, but we do have to learn to listen to His voice. Even after you have prayed, studied GOD’S Word, fasted etc. you might not necessarily feel prepared to give an answer to all who would ask about the hope we have in Christ. However, if you would but open your mouth and begin to speak, you might just be surprised.
(Yes, this is an incredibly long post, but when the Holy Spirit says to do something, you do it.)