Wednesday, September 12, 2007
1 Pet 3:15
15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Be ready to give an answer for the Hope that is in you (which is your Faith)….
I had an unusual experience today. I had just gotten into my car after leaving a grocery store, when a nicely dressed man approached my car. He was holding a pamphlet of some kind, so I opened my door so he could speak. He said, "This is a religious brochure, I thought you might look over it when you have time." In turn, I replied, "Are you a Jehovah's Witness?" and he answered "yes." Then I said, "Well then, I won't be needing this, I don't believe Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian religion." The man just kind of stammered and said, "Ummm, ok", and he turned around and went back to his car, no doubt, getting ready to ambush the next person who came out of the store.
I said this was an unusual experience. Definitely not the part where a Jehovah's Witness approached me, that happens all the time. The part I found unusual was when he didn't have a quick response to my statement that I didn't believe he belonged to a Christian religion. Jehovah's Witnesses ALWAYS have a quick, appropriate, taken-out-of-context response to any objections raised about their religion! I must have run into the one guy that failed his class on "Quick Responses in the Field – 101." I was all ready to explain to him WHY I didn't believe his religion belonged to those of Christianity, but I didn't have to, because he was not prepared to give an answer for what he believed.
I wonder how many Christians even give their best shot at trying to witness (and most don't even go that far) only to meet slight resistance, and they turn away mumbling, "ummm, ok, sorry to bother you." We are supposed to be READY, prepared, informed, WILLING to give an answer for the Hope that is within us.
If someone were to say they didn't think Baptists were a Christian denomination, could you tell them the basic tenets of Christianity and what we as a denomination believe about them? I am willing to bet the percentage of people who identify themselves as Christians AND who are ready to give an answer for their Faith is alarmingly low. Have you ever thought about what you would say if someone asked about your Faith? Would you direct them to one of the church staff, or would you sit down with them right then and there and explain the process of salvation? I think that is a good question to ask ourselves. And, if you are not prepared to give an answer, to actively start on the road to finding out what you believe and why you believe it. I hope no one ever loses the opportunity to bring someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ just because they don't know anything about what they believe, but unfortunately I am sure it happens all the time.
Please don't be the person God puts in that critical place to share His love with someone, and then have to respond, "ummm, ok, sorry to bother you." Learn what you need to or just share your personal testimony, but GIVE AN ANSWER FOR THE HOPE THAT IS WITHIN YOU.