Talking to your friends about Jesus Christ in 2013 can sound ominous if you over-think it. What if they ask about gay rights? What if they believe in evolution? What if they think the Bible was concocted by a pagan emperor and a bunch of sycophantic Catholic priests?
Here’s the key: don’t wade into all those details. For most of the history of the Bible, the finest Christians in the world lived bold lives for the Kingdom without ever thinking about those particular questions. Granted, you and I have to think about them, but that’s not where you should begin in talking to a secular friend or co-worker about Jesus Christ. Instead, keep the main thing the main thing!
1. Talk about the meaning of Creation. The fact is that even mainstream Christians don’t all agree on the details of God’s creation of the universe. Was it six literal days, six long periods of time, or the Eternal God working through evolution? I have very strong convictions about the details of creation, but my unsaved friends need to hear the meaning. God created us because he takes pleasure in men and women and has equipped us with unique talents and potential. We have a reason for being here, and one reason is to be loved by the Creator God. Talk about God’s purpose- not Darwin’s theory. Leave room for the Holy Spirit to instruct them once they become disciples.
2. Talk about the message of the Bible. You and I have very real positions on the inspiration of scripture. We have definite ideas about inerrancy, infallibility, and insinuations by atheists who have written best-selling books. But when you are talking to people who don’t know Christ, don’t even go there. The 66 books of the Bible are interwoven around one message: God loves fallen human beings so much that he has made one effort after another to connect with us, reach out to us, and draw us into his divine life. The Bible has two covenants but one God- the one who loves us so much that he wants to see us as righteous. Talk about that.
3. Talk about the miracle of Christ’s Resurrection. The cross of Jesus Christ is a central element of the Gospel, but don’t forget the resurrection! Read the Book of Acts carefully and you’ll find that’s what riveted the attention of people who first heard the sermons of Peter and Paul. Many men had been crucified, even a few decent ones, but only one ever came back from the grave and launched an historic movement. Don’t be ashamed of the power of the cross, but don’t neglect the miracle of Christ’s return from death. Talk about the opportunity for a fresh start that only Christ can offer us.
You’ll notice that Jesus rarely waded into public controversies like Roman politics or the economics of slavery or the role of men in the synagogue. He talked about the love of God at every turn in the road. So I challenge you to go and do likewise: bring up your faith with friends and co-workers this week. And I leave you with two guidelines:
- WWJD: What would Jesus do?
- KISS: Keep it simple, Saints!
Lift up the Cross!