I was listening to a question and answer session by the Christian apologist, William Lane Craig that can be found here, and as usual, Craig got me thinking. Specifically, he got me thinking about Christians and how we reach out to non-Christians. We Christians seem to set the bar to become a believer unnecessarily high, and I think this is a large mistake on our part. Humans do not hold the keys to the Kingdom, and we need to remember that important fact. God holds the keys to his kingdom, we are simply his messengers. There are four important verses that Christians keep in mind when communicating the love of Christ to non-believers.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 1:12-13 – “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Romans 10:9 – “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 3:22-24 – “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Notice that nowhere in these statements is there anything about the Bible being the inerrant word of God, that you can’t be homosexual, that you can’t be a drunk, a thief, a prostitute, a gambler of any kind, a drug addict, or anything else that the God says is a sin. Notice also that Romans 3:22-23 states that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, obviously this means very little today, but the concept certainly extends to all groups that exist today. We need to remember that Jesus socialized with the lowest of the low in his day and we need to do the same if we want to be more like him.
Christians need to take these things into consideration because we come across as more likely to judge unbelievers than we are to love unbelievers. My wife and I have both experienced judgment because we didn’t where the right clothes or we liked a different type of worship service. These types of things are clearly more harmful than helpful and will run off potential young Christians from experiencing the love of Christ that they otherwise would have been able experience and cherish.
The main reason why we as Christians need to make the bar as low as possible is because we need to realize that we don’t set the bar, God does. We fall short of the glory of God just like every other person. If we as Christians are as open and accepting as possible and allow God to work in the hearts and minds of people on his time we will be much more successful in reaching the lost and broken aka everyone.