I Never Told Her About Jesus

Sharing Christ, Christianity is not by works, Salvation is a gift- not works
"She was involved in a cult, and I never told her about Jesus," Connie said sadly.

"I knew her for years and loved her. Her death was so unexpected." 

Death is often unexpected.


That's why we must listen to God's promptings and share the Good News with people in our neighborhoods, schools, clubs, and community groups (Ephesians 5:15-16). 


Some are involved in false religions, some think they can earn their place in heaven, and some think there's nothing beyond this earthly life.

We must tell them there's only one way to be saved (1 John 5:1-12). And it doesn't involve working our way to heaven--it involves believing in Jesus and receiving the free gift of salvation he offers (Ephesians 2:1-10). 

When we're saved, we want to do what God commands. But doing what God commands doesn't save us.


So let's pray for wisdom, timing and boldness to naturally, accurately and lovingly share Jesus with those in our path. May we never regret the unexpected.

For some insights and inspiration on lifestyle evangelism, check out these 1-Minute Bible Love Notes: Weird Comments ~ Not All At Once

12 comments:

  1. Great Post! Thanks for such encouraging words :)

    Blessings from - A Victorious Woman of Faith: nontokozomaposa.blogspot.com

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  2. I love reading your posts. I read them almost everyday since last year. However, I am confused by this part of your post, "When we're saved, we want to do what God commands. But doing what God commands doesn't save us." I am a Roman Catholic and I have been to Christian bible studies. However, I stopped going after realizing that they were hypocrites (the Christians I met). They kept teaching the same thing, that believing He will save us and not striving to clean up our act is enough to bring us to Heaven. They would attend bible studies and I could see how much of a contrast their beliefs are to their lifestyle. They do not live a humble life, they go "clubbing", they live in excess -- basically, they reek of the world... Anyway, I have a hard time digesting what you just said. Is this not conflicting with Matthew 7:23, "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' "?

    By the way, I also wanted to ask you about which version of the bible would be best to use. I currently have the NIrV but I am getting rid of it after learning that the NIV and similar versions like the NIrV are corrupt versions of the bible.

    I hope to hear from you soon. God bless!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions.

      Yes, hypocrisy has always been a part of the church throughout history. That's why we should find the best Bible-believing church we can, learn from the godly Christians and pray for the hypocrites.

      About the statement "When we're saved, we want to do what God commands. But doing what God commands doesn't save us.":

      We probably agree more than you realize--what I'm saying is that we come to Jesus as sinners who have done nothing to earn our salvation.

      But, once we are saved, we will naturally become more godly and begin to do good works. We won't be perfect, but we will begin to grow in godliness. 1 John 2:3-6 speaks about this as well as the Matthew passage you quote.

      To say it another way: good works don't lead to salvation, but genuine salvation leads to good works.

      About Bible translations: I use the NIV most often, but there are other good translations as well. The only thing I would be careful about using is paraphrases such as the Message. Since they're not translations, they aren't as accurate and should only supplement our Bible study, not be our main source of study.

      I know there are some people who teach that the only un-corrupted version of the Bible is the KJV, but before making up your mind, I hope you'll read what other Bible authorities teach. For example:
      http://www.gotquestions.org/KJV-only.html

      http://www.equip.org/articles/is-your-modern-translation-corrupt/#christian-books-1

      Thanks and God bless you,
      Gail



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    2. Thank you for the quick response. I finally understand and completely agree with everything you just said. I think I misinterpreted what you wrote on your post. Perhaps, it was the wording? (I'm from the Philippines and I'm sure you can tell by the way I structure my sentences that I'm not American).

      Also, thank you for the links you provided. I will make sure to read them before I purchase a new bible.

      Thank you again, Gail. God bless you!

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    3. Your English is great.
      My devotions are very short, and sometimes it just helps to have a little more explanation.
      I'm glad I was able to make it clearer for you.
      God bless you,
      Gail

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  3. Thank you, Gail, for sharing this. I loved your clear way of sharing what to say to someone who needs Christ. It is so simple. I hope to have an opportunity soon.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading them every morning. I wholeheartedly agree that we should, “… pray for wisdom, timing and boldness to naturally, accurately and lovingly share Jesus with those in our path.” This is beautifully worded.

    I'd like to make some comments on a statement in your blog, and I hope you take this in the loving Christian manner that I intend. I write this in hopes of clarifying, not criticizing.

    The statement I’d like to comment on is the following: "She was involved in a cult that taught 'another Jesus' (2 Corinthians 11:3-4), and she thought she could earn her salvation by clean living, regular tithing, and church loyalty."

    When I read the word “cult” I was expecting something very different from, “earn[ing] her salvation by clean living, regular tithing, and church loyalty." Merriam Webster’s definition of cult is, “a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous”.

    There have been many cults over the years, but I believe your example is not a cult. This is not just semantics. I believe it sets the tone for the entire blog, suggesting that the friend who died was not going to Heaven because of her inaccurate beliefs.

    I’ve often heard comments to this effect made by non-Catholics referring to Catholics. It’s not clear if this was what you were thinking, but your reference to tithing and church loyalty seems to suggest this. More importantly, some of your readers may assume you are referring to Catholics.

    I’ve participated in and led Bible studies, small faith groups and retreats that included people of many Christian denominations. Catholics and Protestants are not that far apart. But it seems that many non-Catholics have been incorrectly taught that Catholicism is a cult. And many Catholics have been incorrectly taught that they have to earn their salvation through good works. Official Catholic doctrine is, as you said, “good works don't lead to salvation, but genuine salvation leads to good works”.

    Protestants and Catholics both agree that salvation is a free gift of God. We also both accept that justification (holiness in this life, a necessary preparation for salvation) is a free gift of God. What this means is that, independent of any merits of our own, God gives to us the grace by which we can become holy in this life, and be counted fit for heaven upon death. The issue of “earning your way into Heaven” was cited as one of Martin Luther’s condemnations of the Catholic Church in his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517A.D. This is also one of the more common items on any list of differences between Catholics and Protestants. He was protesting Church practices at that time that were atrocious. There is no doubt that there have been countless clerical abuses within the Catholic Church. There were many practices of the Church at the time that went directly against the Bible, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. I believe the Protestant Reformation was an important “wake up call” to the Catholic Church, but it took many years to play out. The issue of justification by faith or works was clarified in the Catholic Church’s Council of Trent which took place from 1545 A.D. to 1563 A.D. They stressed that it is by God’s free gift of grace alone that we are saved.

    Since then the Catholic Church has reconfirmed this point many times. The Second Vatican Council, which took place from 1962 to 1965, very clearly reaffirmed this point. Unfortunately, some things have a life of their own. I have met more Catholics that misunderstand this point than those who understand it.

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    1. Sorry, my comment was too long.

      It sounds to me like the friend who died believed in the true Jesus. If she was Catholic, her faith was Biblically based. If she was loyal to her church, she presumably attended Mass where she heard readings, sermons and songs all based on Scripture. She also she said the Apostle’s Creed (at every Mass),

      “I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
      and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
      who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
      suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
      He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
      He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
      From there He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
      I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,
      the resurrection of the body,
      and the life everlasting. Amen”

      If she regularly tithed to a Catholic Church, the money was used to preach the Word of God, to serve the poor and marginalized and to bear witness for Christ to those in need regardless of their faith.

      If her life was described as “clean living”, she seems to have lived a life consistent with God’s will.

      She may have misunderstood the teachings on salvation, believing that she could earn it with good works. But I find it hard to imagine that a loving God would not freely offer her the gift of salvation because of this misunderstanding. I would not presume to judge her, as this is God’s right alone. But it seems to me that she was a woman of faith.

      Your blog is otherwise a wonderful message. All of us should open a dialog about our faith with those around us, and “accurately and lovingly share Jesus with those in our path”. If the other person is not a believer in Jesus we can share the Good News. If the other person is a believer, this is a tremendous opportunity to open a dialogue, understand each other better, learn and grow in our faith journey.

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    2. Dear friend,
      I am so glad you made this comment so I could respond.

      I was not referring to Catholics. I do not believe Catholicism is a cult.

      I probably should have identified the cult but I didn't want to take the time (in this particular devotion) to go into the errors of this cult. From hind sight, I think I could have written it in a way that avoided this confusion. But, now that it's written, let me assure you that I was not referencing Catholics.

      I do address errors in the Body of Christ and I have written a few devotions about cult teachings, but I will not criticize specific denominations or Catholicism on my blog.

      I appreciate my Catholic readers and I have had meaningful Christian fellowship with Catholic believers throughout my life.

      One of my "heroes" of the faith is a Catholic priest in Hungary who lived 10 years in the Gulag and shared Jesus with his fellow prisoners. I know that he and I have some significant doctrinal differences, but I don't doubt his salvation. He knows and loves Jesus. I hope to write a devotion about him soon, but it's hard to condense his life into 160 words or less : )

      There are confused, nominal, and unbelieving people in every denomination--Catholic and Protestant. But I was not addressing these people in this devotion. My reference was to a genuine cult that teaches a Jesus who is not uniquely divine. This cult teaches that the Apostles' Creed is a man-made lie and all Christian churches not in their cult are in error.

      I am so sorry that you misunderstood my meaning.

      Thanks again for taking the time to make this comment so I could respond.
      Gail

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    3. Your comment didn't have an email to send my response. Please let me know if you were able to get back to my site and read my response. Thanks, Gail

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    4. Thanks Gail. I appreciate the clarification. I look forward to reading your blog about the Hungarian Priest some day. Blessings. Mary Beth

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  5. a very lovely post, Gail! we need to tell other people that do not know Christ so they may know him and for them to invite him into their lives.

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