I’ve recently been working through this question:
“Can we truly be disciples of Jesus Christ without sharing Christ with others?”
I forget now how the question came to mind, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts. These thoughts tend to be more questions directed at the main question, but I think they help process through the truth that for someone to actually be a Christian they must share Christ with others.
It’s interesting to note that Penn Jillette, from Penn & Teller, says the same thing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6md638smQd8. It’s a bit lengthy ()5:11), but it’s worth a watch. He says
“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize… If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, or not getting eternal life… and you think, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward… How much do you have to hate somebody to NOT proselytize…to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”
It used to be culturally acceptable to be a Christian, so many people claimed Christian as their “religious affiliation.” But I think many of those same people would be very hard pressed to share the Gospel with someone who was searching. As it becomes less and less culturally acceptable to be a Christian, there will be fewer “culturally” Christian people and the hope and prayer is there will be more “authentic” Christians.
Thought #1: If we don’t share Christ, what else are we doing?
Being a Christian doesn’t end at salvation. That’s really only the beginning of the story. Another question we could ask is: “Can a Christian really be a Christian if he/she is not obedient to the Word of God?” Obedience is essential, because sin is disobeying God. There are multiple times throughout the New Testament of the Bible that the followers of Jesus are sent to go and share Christ with others. The early Church began with the proclamation of the story of Jesus’ life, torture, burial, death, and resurrection. The Church began with the Gospel being shared. And remember, the Church is not a building, but a body of believers. Peter stood up and shared Christ to thousands. Philip shared Christ with one man on the road. The size of the group didn’t matter; the Apostles and disciples were intentional about sharing Christ everywhere they went. How could we do anything different today?
Thought #2: How can we obediently follow Christ if we disobey the Great Commission that He laid out for His followers?
The Bible reveals that Jesus commissions His followers to go and make disciples in Matthew 28:19-20. This commission is really a command that all Christians are called to. If we don’t share Christ are we being disobedient to the Word of God?
Thought #3: If I claim to be a Christian, how could I not share the Good News?
Those words from Penn Jillette stick out – “How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Not only that, but if Jesus Christ really did what He said He did, and if He really did come so that we could not just have life, but life more abundantly, overflowing with joy, how could we not share that? The Good News is that God’s grace is greater than your sin and mine. How could we not share the good news?
What do you think? It’s convicting for me writing this. We are in this journey together. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Leave a comment below.