Christianity is NOT a Private Religion

Posted: July 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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We live in a society where it is not acceptable to openly discuss beliefs to others. Let me rephrase that. We live in a society where it is not acceptable to openly discuss Jesus apart from church or unless one is a certified minister. This mindset has stunted the growth of Christianity, possibly even diminishing its impact.

Does this mindset really go along with what the Bible teaches? My answer has to be a resounding NO!!!

First of all, salvation comes through Christ alone and Romans 10:9-10 tells us a crucial step in accepting this free gift. It says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (emphasis added) Is our confession of Jesus as Lord a simple murmur under our breath? Is it whispered so that it is audible to only ears that belong to the whisperer? Or is it a public proclamation? A loud cry of allegiance that none could mistake? I have to lean toward the latter. We are called to be bold followers of Christ. Timidness in sharing the Gospel is not a Fruit of the Spirit.

Secondly, the evidence of our faith is shown through our public deeds. Though it is often referenced, the following verses remind us to be public with our faith. James 2:18; 26 “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do…As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” We are in a constant missionary state. We are witnessing to others by our words and our actions. If we do not publicly display our faith through our deeds, our words will meet deaf ears. It is true if the roles were reversed. If our deeds are all that is displayed but there is no urgency to publicly share, then the true reason for those deeds, the reason for the new creation that we would be, Jesus Christ, would not be known.

Lastly, as Christians, Christ-like beings, we are to follow Christ’s example and the example of the first disciples. Both proved to have very public ministries. While there were intimate times that each shared with others, the reason for their ministry was to bring others to the Truth. In Matthew 5-7 Jesus preaches his famous Sermon on the Mount. Here he has the attention of many. Because of his public speaking something great occurred. In Matthew 8:1, after finishing his sermon, it says, “When he came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him.” As a result of his public display, people responded. They chose to follow Jesus the Messiah.

Jesus’ disciples held true to this as well. In Acts 5 we find the disciples being arrested for publicly healing people in Jesus’ name and the Sadducees became jealous so they arrested them and put them in jail. After an angel of the Lord came and released them from prison, they were not discouraged from proclaiming Jesus to the masses. In fact, they went to the temple courts and preached. So the Sadducees beat them. In response the disciples still did not go underground. Verses 41-42 of Acts 5 say, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”

The only thing the Sanhedrin wanted was for them to stop proclaiming Jesus. The only thing the world today wants is for us to stop talking about Jesus. Choose to make Jesus known. Do not think of your faith as private, but as something to be shared with the world. For it is the only Truth that can save a soul.

In Christ’s Love,

Josh Williford

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