“If you were on trial for being a Christian, would the evidence convict you?”
This was a question I read on an Intervarsity Press poster back in the 1970s. (Good stuff, usually, from IVP. 😉)
The question got me to thinking back then, and now again, about whether people recognize that being a Christ-follower is the most important item in my identity. A man was speaking to a bunch of us working for the census in 2020 and began to explain how we were to perform our jobs, but without introducing himself. One of the attendees wondered about his qualifications and asked, “Who are you?”
He presented his name, and then to all our surprise said, “I am first of all a follower of Jesus Christ; an American citizen by birth; a philosophical conservative; a census bureau supervisor by training . . .” Interestingly, no one challenged his claim to follow Jesus nor commented on it. However, you can bet, he was watched closely to see if he really followed Jesus!
Such should be our identification: “first of all, a follower of Jesus Christ.” If you are one of “us,” how many people that you work with know this? What evidence have you presented, both in words and actions that signifies your priorities? This must be more than “tee shirt or jewelry evangelism.” How many lewd songstresses have you seen with sparkling diamond crosses around their necks as they sing about illicit love affairs or angry lyrics about culture or death? I remember honking at a car in the ’80s that had a “Honk If You Love Jesus” bumper sticker and the driver flipped “a bird” at me with his middle finger! 😒
Wearing jewelry or clothes that signifies one’s devotion to Jesus is fine, but if that is the total of our announcement of who we are, we are far short of what Jesus calls us to be. “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)
So how have you presented your faith in the Resurrected One to those with whom you associate daily or weekly? Do people you have met for a short time know that you believe Jesus is the uniquely born Son of God? Have you warned your friends and colleagues that an eternal destiny separated from Life awaits them if they do not receive Jesus as their savior? Do you care about them enough to warn them as though you consider their houses are on fire?
One does not need to be a theologian or have all the answers. “When someone thinks they have all the answers you have to wonder if they know all the questions.” (Rick Warren) Like the man born blind in John 9, all you need is this truth, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25) If Jesus has opened our eyes to the reality that this life is very short compared to the Life to come, we need to be telling our relatives, colleagues, neighbors, everyone we encounter for more than 30 minutes.
This does not mean everyone will accept our testimony or receive Jesus. To work together and fulfill our responsibilities on jobs or in relationships does not require anyone to agree with us. But they should know that we love them; that Jesus loves them enough to die for them; that He went to the cross and arose from the dead FOR THEM! If we love them as Jesus loves them, very few will put us on trial. But if they do, there should be enough evidence for a conviction!
9 thoughts on “On Trial For Being A Christian”
“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly…” 2 Peter 2:5
I love the phrase “A preacher of righteousness…”
A good exhortation!
A great and blessed share that asks that we take a closer look at ourselves as followers of Christ.
The Christian trial is approaching and we will have to stand faithfully firm as followers. 🙏May God help us.
We are constantly on trial. I would prefer by those around me. When I was a roofing contractor (early days) a man climbed the ladder to talk to us and see how we were doing. He got out of the hospital the day before from a heart attack. In the middle of the conversation he blurted out that he was concerned because we seemed religious and it made him uncomfortable. I reminded him that climbing down the ladder may give him another heart attack and he might want to have some pointers on what to say when he does have the next heart attack and ends up standing before God who will ask him “why should I let you into my heaven?” and so we had a talk…not sure where he is today
LikeLiked by 1 person
We need to always be attentive to those opportunities to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, a worthy question.
I have felt on trial this week as I face the vaccine mandate and go through the process of filing a religious exemption. My statement of faith is a strong one, and I hope it gives pause to whoever has to read it. I could be out of a job by December 1st. “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.””
LikeLiked by 3 people
You are in my prayers, sister of Hananiah! 😉
LikeLiked by 2 people