There are more and more opportunities for us as believers to share our faith and our hope with others.
Luke 11:37 (NKJV) “And as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. He went in and sat down to eat.”
Jesus ate with a Pharisee (non-believer) in his home. The Pharisee was amazed that Jesus would come into his home and eat with him. This is the case in so many instances today, where people become offended by the church because believers associate with the world. God has told us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. When we do that, we are often criticized by the church. The same thing happened with Jesus, He went wherever there was a need. He said I came for the sick and not for those that are healthy.
The most important part to remember is that the Lord says that we are in the world, but we are not of the world. We need to be so careful that we don’t become as the world in order to win somebody to Christ. I remember myself as an unbeliever, I used to get so angry and so disappointed in ‘so-called Christians’ who would act more disrespectfully at parties and social events than the unbelievers would, and then on Sunday, be in church and act “holier than thou”. This type of hypocrisy kept me out of the church for many years. We need to be able to go into areas where people don’t know Jesus, but not change our standard or our principles in life. I believe that the world is looking to the believer to set the bar when it comes to things like morality, standards and ethics.
I remember reading the story of Peter Marshall many years ago. He told how he was invited to speak at a champagne breakfast in Washington DC, these men were all multi-millionaires. He thought the only reason that he was invited was because they wanted him to say grace. All the glasses were turned upwards and were filled with champagne, but he left his glass facing downwards. He told the waiter to please bring him fruit juice instead. The man sitting next to him said, “I see you are not drinking this fine imported champagne from Paris”. The preacher said, “No I’m not”. The gentleman wanted to know why. And the preacher asked him, “Are you asking me because you are trying to make conversation or because you really want to know?” He answered that he really wanted to know. He said; “Well, sir, I’m the minister at that big church down town in Washington DC and during the week, big limousines come and wealthy ladies get out of them and come and seek my counsel. Nine times out of ten, their tragedies in their lives are underlined by alcohol abuse. How can I counsel them if I am partaking myself?” The rich man went to see him a week later and committed his life to Christ.
It is not always what we say that impresses the world, but it is how we act when we are in the market place. Let us keep preaching the Gospel at all costs and if we really need to, use words (St Augustine).