Looking In From The Outside :: by Grant Phillips

Far too many Christians will not witness per se. That is, they will not actually talk to someone about their need for Jesus Christ. There are many reasons, which I lightly touched upon in another article.

On the other hand, many Christians, hopefully, will ask someone if they would like to attend their local church. It isn’t as prominent as years gone by, but it still happens. The invitation may be lessening due to the replies that are becoming more vocal. I know I won’t cover them all, but let’s take a look at a few.

One of the first responses that comes to mind is, “They’re all hypocrites.” Wow! That’s a tough one. How do you respond to that, especially when you know they’re probably right to a degree? Isn’t it sad that so many outside the church scene see Christians in this light? You betcha.

Well, let’s consider a few more. Some will reply, “All they want is your money.” Another that comes to mind is, “They’re too judgmental.” This is really starting to sting, simply because you know it’s true, again, to some degree.

I’m going to spout out a few more, and then consider where we go from there.

·        “They have no fun.”

·        “They’re idiots.”

·        “Nobody could be that stupid.”

·        “Those people are so naïve.”

·        “The Bible is just a bunch of fictional stories anyway.”

·        “They hurt my feelings.”

·        “No one came to see me when I was in the hospital.”

·        “They did my family member real dirty.”

·        “I know some of them, and I’m as good as or better than any of them.”

·        “I’m a good person. God understands.”

·        “All their beliefs are old-fashioned and out-of-sync with science.”

·        “Many of your leaders say that there are many ways to God. Well, I’ve got mine.”

·        “So-and-so in your church was caught cheating.”

·        “I know some of them, and they are dishonest.”

·        “They’re stuck up.”

·        “I went once, and no one even spoke to me.”

·        “I work in the public, and most of them are very rude and selfish.”

·        “All they want to do is point out my sins, but what about theirs?”

·        “I was without a job, and no one in the church would help me and my family.”

Well, let’s stop here. I think we all get the point. We have a problem, in the churches of America.

As we hear these responses, we hang our head because we know they are right. They’re not fools. They see what goes on in the houses of “worship.” Worse of all, we may be one of them who is a hindrance to the lost soul we have just invited to attend our local church.

What do we do?

First of all, we need to take a long look at ourselves. Ask the person’s forgiveness if we have offended them in any way. Tell them that Jesus saved us, but we are a work in progress. We are a sinner saved by God’s grace, but we’ll never be perfect until we are in Heaven with Him.

Secondly, concerning the “bad church responses,” many claim to be Christians, but that is not always true. Only those who have put their faith in Jesus are His. Yet again, Christians are not perfect.

Thirdly, we will all stand before God as individuals, not as a group. We will all answer before God, “What did you do with my Son?” God knows who are His, and true Christians will not be judged, because Jesus was judged for us.

Fourthly, introduce Jesus. He is God. He paid for our sins to free us from the damnation of sin. None of us are good enough to be in His family, unless He puts His cloak of righteousness upon us, by our faith in Jesus Christ. If we stand before Him on judgment day, it will be because we have not accepted Jesus as our Savior. At that time, that person’s righteousness will be judged, and it will fail the test because,

“… we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

Some of you may have different ways to respond to that lost soul you have invited to your local church. For that matter, some of your answers may be better than what I have presented. The bottom line though is that we Christians must realize that we are under the world’s microscope. We are being watched. Everything we do is a reflection on who we say we are. Someone once said, “Pictures speak louder than words.” Another said, “Your life speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” We must remember that.

Grant Phillips