My heart grieves for my friend Mike who thinks he’s right with God, but isn’t. And as I’ve been praying for him, I’m becoming more aware of what I have that he doesn’t. Yet. And the blessing list includes many more items than simply salvation, as fundamental as that is.
Another blessing that I have as a believer doesn’t seem to get much publicity among the people of God. Perhaps we are afraid. Maybe we aren’t sure of this blessing. But I believe we need to recognize and pursue this gift. I don’t believe my unsaved friends —
22. THEY DON’T HAVE THE BLESSING OF A FEARLESS INTELLECTUAL LIFE!
If biblical Christianity is really true, then all other worldviews are wrong. Other religions and philosophies deny the reality of the biblical God, salvation alone through faith in Christ alone, man’s need of redemption, the trustworthiness of the Bible, etc. We are not being arrogant when we take our stand on the absolute truth of the Christian worldview.
Some scholars have said that the early Christians “out thought the world!” I’m not so sure that’s true of our present generation — but it could be. The follower of Jesus should be able to talk to anyone about the gospel without fear. We should not be afraid to vigorously debate worldviews for we are not engaged in comparative mythology, but truth. And when we don’t have an answer to a hard question, we go and do our homework!
However, I feel that many Christians think of their faith as so personal that all they can share is their peace and happiness in Jesus. And that’s it. The late scholar Carl Henry said “your relationship to Christ must be personal. But it dare not be private!”
The Christian worldview is based on facts and evidence. The believers in the first century were not afraid to debate the messiahship of Jesus in the Jewish synagogues or argue the gospel among the intellectual elite of the day (Acts 17).
Followers of Jesus are in a cooperative ministry with God the Holy Spirit. Our job is to present the best case we can for Jesus Christ and biblical Christianity. The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring conviction to the heart of the unsaved. We work together. We are to seek to convince; His job is to convict.
Jesus did not hesitate to declare Himself as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He even dogmatically claimed that “no one can come to the Father except by me.” His claims stand up under the intense scrutiny of this unbelieving world — and the Christian has the privilege of carefully responding to those who don’t believe. We read in I Peter 3 –
This is a powerful text to challenge the believer to get out of his Lazyboy and get in the battle. No fear. And he or she is to be ready to respond to questions that are provoked in their unbelieving friends by the conduct and gentleness of the believer.
So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? I speak the gospel unashamedly and get ready to take questions. I read what I need to read in secular literature and I keep myself soaking in God’s Word and crying out to His Spirit to bring conviction to my friend. And I pray that he or she will open their heart to the truth. (to be continued)