Sometimes when a person who makes no claim to follow Jesus is around a Christian, he may feel uncomfortable, thinking that the Christian will talk non-stop to him about the Lord. My brother in the flesh once made this observation about a Bible- believing friend who made him feel uneasy: “He is always trying to cram his religion down other people’s throat.”
I am not certain how valid my brother’s appraisal was. Sometimes how we respond to someone else approaching us about a particular matter depends on our perspective. If we are in agreement with or sympathetic to his cause/plea, we may not feel intimidated at all. On the other hand, if we have no interest in what a person is trying to share with us, we might conclude that he/she is being “pushy,” when, in fact, they are just bubbling over with enthusiasm about some matter.
Here is what I think. One of the reasons that some CHRISTians today are reluctant to talk to others about the Christ, the gospel, and the church is this: they do not want to be perceived as being too pushy, too fanatical, or, as my brother said about his friend, we do not want others to think that we are trying to cram our religion down their throat. If that be the case, then it sounds like we feel uncomfortable talking to people about spiritual matters because we are afraid that such topics will cause them to be uncomfortable. It is as if we decided that someone else’s comfort level is our top priority. It should not be so, my brethren!
Our main desire and concern for a lost person ought to be his eternal salvation through Jesus (Hebrews 5:9). True, we must try to “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16), and we certainly have to “pick our spots” when it comes to when, how, and how frequently we will approach a lost person with the gospel, but let us not forget the bottom line: as long as a sinner does not know about Jesus, or as long as a lost person knows the truth but is unwilling to submit to it to purify his soul (1 Peter 1:22,23), he remains lost — 100% lost.
It horrifies me to think that in order to put a friend, family member, colleague, or classmate at ease, in order to make them feel less apprehensive when I am around them, it horrifies me to think that I would even consider saying to them, “Relax. Yes, I am a CHRISTian, but you do not have to worry about me bringing up the topic of religion, because I never talk to people about the Christ.”
Please consider three different scenarios. In one case, a man is on the board of directors of an automobile manufacturer, but in his private life he never talks to people about the vehicles his company sells (oh, he has mentioned the company name a time or two, but never in a way that he was trying to “talk up” the value of the vehicles his company sells). In a second situation, a woman is a member of a “Fan Club” of either a musical group or a sports team. She pays her annual fees to maintain her membership in the club, yet she never, ever talks to others about her club and how wonderful it is. The third scenario involves a member of Jesus’ blood-bought church. This person puts a check in the box “CHRISTian” when he fills out a written survey about his religious preference, but he would never think about talking to anyone about Jesus. “I am a follower of Jesus, and that is good enough for me. Why would I want to talk to others about Him? I do not want to bother them, and they probably would not be interested, anyway.”
What is amiss in the three pictures that we just described? Can you imagine a man who is in a high position in a company never mentioning that company’s products to prospective buyers?! Can you imagine a devoted member of a sports team’s fan club not sharing her enthusiasm with others when her team wins the championship?! And, finally, can you imagine a self-proclaimed CHRISTian never opening his mouth or never writing a message to tell others the fantastic news of Calvary, the church, and eternal life in heaven?!
Jesus talked about the Christ (John 4:25,26). The apostles talked to lost people about Jesus (Acts 5:41,42). Stephen told lost people about Jesus (Acts 7:52). Disciples who had to leave Jerusalem due to intense persecution talked about Jesus (Acts 8:4). Philip talked to people about Jesus (Acts 8:5,35). Saul of Tarsus told lost people about Jesus (Acts 9:20). Apollos talked to others about Jesus (Acts 18:28).
In speaking about Jesus, one of Paul’s clearly- stated goals was this: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28). In order to reach such a goal, that is, “every man” being complete in the Christ, we will need to talk to people about the Lord Jesus!
If someone has told you that talking to others about the Christ is all that a CHRISTian ever does, you were misinformed. At the same time, if you have been told that being a follower of the Christ does not include talking to others about Him, you were misinformed about that, too. Please think seriously about this matter. Pray earnestly about it. Then, get ready to talk to others about Him and His gospel!
— Roger D. Campbell