QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SESSION WITH PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME.
THE GOSPEL TO PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT BELIEFS.
QUESTION: Good day Pastor, I have two questions to ask. As Christians, what do we do when we preach the gospel to a person, that is, a Muslim or an idol worshipper, and he tries to, or gets violent with you because of the differences in beliefs? Secondly, I wanted to know what to do when I preach to people and they say they are born again, and I know they are saying it so I can get off their face and not disturb them. From: Michael (Nigeria)
Well, a wise approach to evangelical efforts is very very important. I am going to read to you something from the Bible, may be two portions of the Bible to show you how this things are done. The Bible tells us in James Chapter 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed”. He is saying you can ask God for wisdom and he will grant you your heart desire. Wisdom is vital in our approach to evangelism, soul winning. We got to look at the circumstances, recognize the differences people and individuals and know how to deal with them.
The books of Acts 17:22, the Bible talks to us about Paul and how he encountered different kinds of people. Religious people with several different persuasions, he met them at Mars’ hill and here is what happened. Vs 22 “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. Vs 23 “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you”. And then he went on to preach from there. He didn’t accuse them of being stupid, of being foolish, he didn’t call them idol worshippers so on and so forth. Even though they worshipped all kind of things but then he said “I noticed that you have an inscription, FOR THE UNKNOWN GOD because thought to themselves we have many different Gods just in case we didn’t recognize a particular one. This one represent that God that we don’t know and Paul took it from there. From their unknown, he began to bring them the revelation of God. I will show you another situation where he functioned in so much wisdom.
Book of Acts 26:24, here he was making his defense before Festus the Governor and Agrippa the King. From 24 “And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. Vs 25 “But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness”. I like that, even at that situation he presented himself so respectfully to Festus the Governor who said he was mad “He said ,I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness”. Vs 26 “For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. Vs 27 “King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest”. He put the words in the Kings mouth and listen to the Kings response. Vs 28 “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuades me to be a Christian. Now how did Paul respond, Vs 29 “And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, expect these bonds. Vs 30 “And when he had thus spoken, the King rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: Vs 31 “And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, this man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. Vs 32 “Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar”. They found Paul to be of an excellent spirit, they had thought to let him go except that he had appealed to Caesar. Wise communication, so, if you learn to approach those you want to talk to about Jesus with wisdom, you are most likely to communicate excellently the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Remember, our message is good news, our message is intended to win, and our message is not a message to condemn. Even those that are idol worshippers or various religion of the world. So, you are not going to talk to them against their religion, you are only presenting to them that which they have not known. So, when you look at it from that perspective without condemning what they already think they have, they are more likely to accept your message. Than to make their own and become violet, of cause I know that there are unreasonable men and women around the world that may be thoughtlessly wicked but then it will minimize the impact. So, that is the point.
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