Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman
by Todd Dickerson
The Bible clearly tells us as Christians that we are to tell others about Christ and salvation. Ephesians 4:11-12 reads, “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
The word doesn’t tell us this will always be an easy task or that we will have success in folks having interest in what we’re trying to tell them, but we are commanded to still try to do so. There are a lot of excuses that have been made to avoid talking to others about the Bible. Like, that’s the preacher’s job or I don’t really know what to say, or my favorite, I can’t speak well and don’t want to be rejected.
But 2 Corinthians 11:6 says that the apostle Paul had problems with his speaking but still proclaimed the word to many with success. It reads: Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge: indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
If we think we are lacking in how to talk to people about their salvation, the elders or ministers here at Lehman, I’m sure can be helpful in our efforts.
James 1:22 reads: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. We have been put here on earth to love God and keep his commandments.
One of these commandments is found in Mark 16:15-16, which most know by heart. “And He said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
The world needs to hear the good news and we should always be prepared to share it. I often think back to a friend and a brother in Christ who has passed on from this life that loved to tell others about the word of God at a country store where we ate lunch. There were some that referred to him as “preacher”. But that seemed to make him more determined to try to teach them. I have never been called “preacher” before, so maybe I have work to do in telling others the word.
We shouldn’t be afraid to talk to others because we are scared of being made fun of. There are many in the Bible that were beaten and even killed for proclaiming the word. So just being rejected shouldn’t bother us.
The world seems to put their faith in money and material things but it seems that most aren’t ever content. Telling them about Jesus Christ and eternal life in heaven is what they need in their lives.
It has always made me feel good inside when I could help someone in need, and there is nothing you could give anyone that could be any better than the hope of eternal life.
There might be a time that we’re asked a question that we don’t know the answer, but we can always tell them we can get back to them after further study. Telling folks the plan of salvation should be something we all know as well as anything.
The Bible tells us all will not be receptive to the gospel but there will be some that are. Some are eager to be saved right away. But there will be some that it takes some time. Either way we are to plant the seed and God will give the increase.
These words are mainly from my lack of doing what I should be doing in my Christian walk. My personal prayer is that God helps me realize the doors that are open for me and he gives me the courage to do what is commanded.
I had the good fortune of growing up in a Christian family and I guess becoming a Christian came fairly easy for me. There are so many outside the walls of the church building that didn’t have the privilege of being in that environment. It is not as easy for some of these to accept Christ and live the Christian life because it hasn’t been a constant in their lives. We need to share the word with them and not keep it to ourselves.
How much better things would be if all knew God’s word. We probably all have family members or extended family that need to know the true word. We hope that we can find the right way to talk to them and study the word without causing any family tension. We can pray that we can approach these issues in a loving way and they can be reached because we all want to be in heaven together.
There are multiple ways to start conversations with someone that eventually lead to talking about what the Bible has to say or we can simply ask if they would like a Bible study. If you aren’t comfortable with a Bible study, there are members that will help with that.
Derek and Neal’s Sunday morning Bible class is a study on spiritual disciplines. Personal evangelism is a discipline that should be right at the top of the list. This past Sunday in class, Neal made a point on how the scripture should be real aloud in a public gathering. We should do it with enthusiasm and let people know your privileged to be reading God’s word. Talking to our friends and neighbors about Jesus Christ should be done with the same enthusiasm to show them we are happy to be Christians it’s the only way to have true contentment.
Most of us here go to eat at restaurants occasionally, go get haircuts, get our vehicle serviced, go to the bank, and multiple other places that we can strike up conversation. We can get excited pretty quick talking about politics or our favorite sports teams or our kids. Hopefully, we can be excited about talking about Jesus and salvation.
I’ll finish with John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. If we truly love others, we will help them in any way we can to get to heaven.”