Fresh Spirit-Guided Approach to the Sharing of the Gospel in These Present Dark Days:
We are living in the darkest days of Christianity in Indian history though of course 2008 was the peak of violence. This is the first time in our nation that the Prime Minister and the ruling leaders endorse the venomous hate movement against Christians in a strategic plan.
This movement is aimed at not only establishing the Anti-Conversion Bill but also in obliterating Christianity from India. Open statements such as Christianity is alien to the culture of India, Jesus was a cult leader and He was a myth created by the people of the day have started rumbling. This was unlike the older times when Hindus respected Jesus as another God.
There is a very active deep movement working against Christianity in a very aggressive way, which states that Christians are worse than Jihadis because they say we slyly work in a garb of goodness to convert them all. This movement stems from fear that we are going to swipe out Hinduism and destroy their culture into a brandless waterless Western religion.
They openly say Christians are not welcome in India. They want to get back to the Sanatana dharma, (Hinduism,) which they believe ruled Europe and that world at one time, and are angry with Christianity for forcefully breaking it and converting them all, so they are aiming to get back their Sanatana dharma in a very militant way.
They want to kill for it. In view of this, we have to realign the way we communicate with Hindus. Here are some of the things we would be wise to change. Realize that we are living in a nation that is hostile to Christians and Christ as never before. Understand that we are about to be persecuted in ways we cannot imagine. Our ways of sharing have to be discrete, insightful and creative and not invasive.
1. We strongly suggested that as in a persecuted country, do not stand in street corners, bus stops, etc. waiting to “catch” them. Please do not go door-knocking as it is very invasive. The early church never did this. They were invited by the waiting masses. Do not barge on them as they absolutely not only despise it, but feel humiliated. They will never come to the Lord this way. Instead, hold house meetings, prayer meetings as the early believers did and let friends call friends, if they are willing. No one should feel forced or have one-on-one shares.
2. Pray before you start. Bind the forces of darkness always as remember, this is spiritual warfare. Cast down the strongholds in that area before you share. Never go out without doing that. Pray for angelic protection all the time.
3. Do not debate, do not argue, be respectful, NEVER mock, NEVER yell out “you are sinners going to hell!” This is the big destruction and foolishness of many Christians, which has done untold damage. Jesus, Paul, Peter and early church never stood in street corners, yelling to the people they were sinners going to hell. They all started sharing on a common ground with a common point of reference and then struck up meaningful conversations with them. Listen to the people you share the gospel with. Try to understand what they are saying. Pray silently too as you listen or wait. Never, never attack their god, faith or culture. If you attack their beliefs, these will leave bitter festering wounds to infect other people. Jesus or the early Christians never attacked the Gentiles on their beliefs. They just declared the Gospel, performed signs, wonders and healings. Be empathetic. The hungry and seekers will come. Do not try to convince someone through debate. They will learn the deeper truths as they grow in the Lord, and this takes time, if they accept the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit pierce hearts, pray more and talk less. Show them love! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with Love for them. Let the Holy Spirit lead you what to say, do not use prepared learned pre-statements.
4. Do NOT use the Sinner’s Tract model of sharing. It would be better not to use tracts! (Some might object), but really, did the early church use tracks? And the Salvation Prayer would hold very little credit except for gaining numbers, by using this model. The spiritual work going on in a soul is very deep. We cannot limit it to us asking them to pray a certain prayer and then declare to others that so and so numbers were saved at your outreach. Do not look for head counts on Salvation. This stands before God alone. He knows and He will bring people to the faith. Trust the Holy Spirit to work deeper than anything you can do.
The Sinner’s Tract was written by someone in the West based on the 1700s prayer liturgy and now the whole Christian world uses that model. The Holy Spirit will convict people of sin in His time. Sometimes, it is a gradual change.
There is no verse in the Bible that says that one must say the Sinner’s Prayer to be saved; All Christian churches teach justification by faith alone.
The Sinner’s prayer does not actually grant salvation to the one praying. Sometimes, Satan uses it to dupe people into believing they are saved when they are not. Thus, making people pray this way has caused untold bitterness as it gives the other person a false sense of assurance of salvation, while still dead in sins and not born again. Also, if one takes pictures to again show head counts and ministry work, the enemy has license to attack. We can share by letter the wonderful things God is doing, but our videos, pictures are being used heavily by the enemy. They are circulating everything and we don’t know when they will strike. Be wise. It would be prudent not to show the baptism videos online or talk about the salvation head counts, keep those personal among yourselves, but of course, God will lead and show you according to the Spirit’s discretion.
5. Share as Jesus did. The content of the Gospel of Christ was the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the way Jesus Preached: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. (Luke 4:18-19. Jesus shared parables, talked about the Kingdom of Heaven, His Second Coming, the New Heaven and Earth, the signs of the end-times, and the judgment and told them about hell. Through His Gospel, people delved into a deeper relationship with God. He healed the sick and delivered the tormented. This should be our model. The phrases “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” are found over a hundred times in the New Testament, the majority of them in the four gospels. “The gospel of the Kingdom of God” encompasses grace, faith, redemption, justification, sanctification, salvation, glorification, and all the other doctrines of Christianity, fulfilling His plan for humanity. The Kingdom of God is the goal of God’s great purpose so we partnership with Christ to preach it in its essence and truth.
6. As we know, the word “gospel” derives from an Old English word, gödspel, which literally means “good news” or “good tidings.” Thus, when Christ preached, He proclaimed the good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God.
7. Jesus never started by telling people they were going to hell. He did mention hell to the Pharisees. Hell is taught to the church as they study the Scriptures. As we grow in maturity, we are ready for tougher truths. We feel we have to explain “hell and sin” to get saved, but people even after knowing about it may temporarily believe, and again revert back to sin because they believed in fear. Fear is an emotion and it can change.
8. Be careful not to force people in invitations to events in church. One can keep one-on-one friendship sharing, as Jesus did with many. One can even have a certain “tent” spot where you and a group can pray and sing and share a word, and the crowds could gather, but even this could incite violence in certain parts of our nation.
9. You can also make videos on YouTube, or write blogs or make music videos, which would be creative sharing without being invasive. We have known many people have been saved through the Internet ministry or television ministry. These ministries are like subterranean springs that draw the hungry to its sources. Remember that the spiritually hungry will always find Christ. They may just read the Bible and get saved. It is as simple as that! They will search you out if they are seeking, so do not live under the dread that you are not obeying the Great Commission if you are not sharing as intensely as before. Remember in Iran, Iraq, China, Bhutan, the Holy Spirit worked mightily among the people to reach them even though they could not share the Gospel openly, and these people’s faith is stronger than the people who live in open Gospel countries!
10. As we preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, healing is a big manifestation that happens because Christ is our deliverer. Ask the Lord for the gifts and the fruits to develop in you. The fruits are very important because they lace our testimony with a sweet savor which is more powerful than the gifts. We have to grow in the fruits of the Spirit.
11. Rolled in this package is belief, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of God’s Holy Spirit and walking in new life in Spirit in the power of Christ to do mightier things for the Kingdom. God forgives and justifies them through His grace, and then they become sanctified both by the imputation of Christ’s holiness as well as through the lifelong process of overcoming their sins, growth in righteousness, and bearing fruit of godliness, finally in Heaven glorified as God’s sons and daughters. They, as the Bride of Christ forever (Revelation 19:7-9), will reign as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). This is the Gospel of the Kingdom which has to be preached in creative, innovative ways as God leads you very wisely.
Article by Rita.F.Kurian for Persecution Relief
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