You might have thought before, “It’s okay to be a secret Christian. After all, I’m being a good example, and it’s the ‘walk’, not the ‘talk’ that really matters. Others can do the ‘talking’, I’ll do the ‘walking’.”
Well, I’d like to commend you on one point, you’re interested in MORE than just “talking” about Jesus.
But you’re making a little mistake when you think that that’s ALL there is to it!
It’s like the lady who, when I approached her about her relationship to Jesus Christ on the ferry crossing between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia many years ago, said to me, “I’m a Christian, but my faith is a personal faith.”
Hum … doesn’t that sound like a clever disguise for not having to talk about Jesus to others and doing the very thing that he said we MUST do if we are truly born again by God’s Spirit?
Well, to prove the point, I’d like to point out a few passages that make this abundantly clear to us. The first one is one of my very favorite passages in all of Scripture, which continues to ‘stick’ with me all these years, on account of it being so glorious and radical! It is from the book of Mark, chapter 8:
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
Well, what do you think of that? Doesn’t leave us much choice, does it?
What type of woman was this, then, who said to me, “I’m a Christian, but my faith is a personal faith”? Do you suppose that, based on the passage I have just quoted, that this woman is a candidate, or not a candidate, for heaven? Well, before you answer that she IS a candidate for heaven, I’d like to impress upon you yet a few more verses, if you don’t mind! The first is from Matthew 10:32-33, where Jesus says:
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
You might be inclined to say, “Yes, but this woman did confess Jesus. She said that she was a Christian.”
Yes, but aren’t Christians “followers of Christ”? Was this woman being a “follower of Christ” when she said, “My faith is a personal faith (therefore I don’t want to talk about it with you)”?
If you are a true Christian, I’d like to leave you with the thought and the challenge that you really can’t claim to be a follower of Christ without also doing those things that Jesus did. It is, simply put, not living the truth. If you really want God’s favor, you’ve got to be willing to talk about him, and share him with others, who also need him.
After all, if you are a Christian and are blessed by it, and are convinced that Jesus really is the “way, the truth, and the life” as he says he is in John 14:6, then you would want to share that with others, would you not? Was it not our Lord Jesus himself who commanded his disciples, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”? (Matthew 28:18b-20)
And was it not Jesus who said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”? (John 15:14)
We ought therefore to do those things that he has commanded us to do. We must share Christ with those who are waiting for him to be shared with them. We must do the work that he has called us to do!