The Mountainside Ministry Training Center, operated by International Messengers, is located in Libby, Montana and trains international workers who have hearts for the lost in other nations. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
“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, “
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!