Introducing Christians To Jesus

Via:  bob-nelson  •  2 months ago  •  17 comments

Introducing Christians To Jesus

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


pixabayhandshakehands1.jpgI realized the other day that I spend a lot of my time trying to introduce Christians to Jesus. The hard thing is, most of them don’t realize that they’re not following Jesus. They think that because they are “Christians” or because they prayed the sinner’s prayer, that means they’re Christ-followers. Unfortunately, no.

Here’s how I know this: I used to be just like them.

I was actually a licensed and ordained minister of the Gospel who had served as a youth pastor, children’s pastor and compassion ministry pastor at several different churches over a ten year period who did not realize that following Jesus and being a Christian were not the same thing.

Actually, what I didn’t realize was that the Gospel wasn’t about saying a prayer so you could go to heaven when you die. Once I realized that everything changed.

The Gospel, according to Jesus, and as explained in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is simply this: “Repent! [Literally, “Think different!”] “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”

Jesus’s entire ministry was spent proclaiming the Kingdom of God was here – right now – and that anyone and everyone could experience the rule and reign of Christ in their life today.

In other words, the Gospel that Jesus preached was a Gospel for your life, not a Gospel that waited to kick in after you were dead.

What confuses so many Christians today about the Gospel is that they tend to follow Paul rather than Jesus. Because of this, they take Paul’s statement out of context when he says:

“Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I proclaimed to you, which you have also received, in which you also stand, 2 by which you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the message I proclaimed to you, unless you believed to no purpose. 3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised up on the third day according to the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, 6 then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, the majority of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep.” [1 Cor. 15:1-6]

So, is this the Gospel? Well, it’s part of the Gospel. But the Gospel is defined by Jesus, not by Paul. The 4 books of the New Testament that are called “Gospels” are where we find the Gospel. [Can’t believe I just needed to type that].

But, it’s not as if Paul had one Gospel and Jesus had another. Far from it. Paul preached the same Gospel of the Kingdom and he tells us so, many, many times:

“I have gone [among you] preaching the kingdom of God” – Acts 20:25

“We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.” – Acts 14:22
“For the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:17

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – 1 Cor. 4:20

“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 19:8

“He [Paul] witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.” – Acts 28:23

“He [Paul] proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” – Acts 28:31

“Now I [Paul] know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.” – Acts 29:25

There is only one Gospel and it is the Gospel that Jesus came and died to proclaim: We are all invited to experience a connection with the Divine – here and now – through the abiding and indwelling Spirit of Christ.

This is what the New Covenant is all about! This is what God had in mind all along:

“I will be your God and you will be my people…and no one will inquire of his neighbor, or his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for all of them will know me, from their smallest and up to their greatest,” [Jer. 31:31]

This New Covenant is what Jesus established in his own blood and body. We celebrate this everytime we share Communion together and with Him.

God has come near. His name is Emmanuel. We can know Him directly – deeply and intimately – without any mediator between us and Him except for Christ who came to reveal the Father to us.

Dear Christian, let me introduce you to Jesus.

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Bob Nelson
1  Bob Nelson    2 months ago

My goodness! What a shocking idea!

"Christians should be mainly interested in the Gospels, the life and teachings of Christ."

Shocking!

 
 
epistte
1.1  epistte  replied to  Bob Nelson @1    2 months ago

I have stated on more than one occasion that conservative Christians would claim to be victims of religious persecution if they were required to live by the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. 

 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  epistte @1.1    2 months ago

He was... He was... He was... a socialist...

... but don't tell the "Christians"... They'd all have coronaries...   Giggle

 
 
epistte
1.1.2  epistte  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.1    2 months ago
... but don't tell the "Christians"... They'd all have coronaries...

The biblical Jesus was a borderline communist because he taught that we are our brother's keeper and that what we did to them we did to him.  He told his followers to give their money away and to follow him.  The Amish are in some ways the closest to his teachings, but they have problems of their own.

 
 
Dean Moriarty
1.1.3  Dean Moriarty  replied to  epistte @1.1.2    2 months ago

That’s helps to explain why the Catholics picked a commie Pope. 

9EE7CA490062410BBD97FD90BA20DCFF.png

 
 
epistte
1.1.4  epistte  replied to  Dean Moriarty @1.1.3    2 months ago
That’s helps to explain why the Catholics picked a commie Pope.

How is Pope Frankie a commie?  What policies are you referring to? Russia and China weren't friendly to religious belief, despite the fact that Stalin was a Catholic and studied to be a priest.

 
 
Dean Moriarty
1.1.5  Dean Moriarty  replied to  epistte @1.1.4    2 months ago

I thought everyone knew he is referred to as the communist Pope. 

https://spectator.org/the-communist-cardinals-of-pope-francis/

 
 
epistte
1.1.6  epistte  replied to  Dean Moriarty @1.1.5    2 months ago

It would be refreshing if Americans would be able to discuss economic ideas with some level of intelligence and accuracy.  To most Americans using the words communist and socialist are the political equivalent of calling the adversary an a'hole and muthrfuckr.

 
 
arkpdx
1.1.7  arkpdx  replied to  epistte @1.1.6    2 months ago

Nope,  a'holes and mfers are better people 

 
 
epistte
1.1.8  epistte  replied to  arkpdx @1.1.7    2 months ago

You are one of the people who cannot use the terms socialist and communist according to their correct Oxford dictionary defination. 

 
 
arkpdx
1.1.9  arkpdx  replied to  epistte @1.1.8    2 months ago

deleted

 
 
epistte
1.1.10  epistte  replied to  arkpdx @1.1.9    2 months ago
My statement still stands. A'holes and mfers are better people than communists and socialists.

We heard you the first time. 

Your inability to understand either of those terms is also well understood. 

 
 
calbab
2  calbab    2 months ago

This is probably where these discussions go to have a 'break-down,' but here goes: Paul was sent to the Gentiles to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember Gentiles were/are people coming out of many pagan religions or no familiarity with faith or God whatsoever. Of course, they would ask questions! And plenty questions besides. Which led to dialogue. Leading to Epistles and doctrine for day to day living.

That said, true to your point, the Gospel is basic and simple: Love God and Love your neighbor. 

Incidentally, that includes loving Paul who went through the Q/As in his letters so that the same questions would not be popping up and proving unanswerable from a first-century "connect" point of view! Moreover, there were 'false gospels' being carried by some other Jews intending to put the Gentile believers into 'bondage.'

 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @2    2 months ago
This is probably where these discussions go to have a 'break-down,' but here goes

Certainly not. We (you and I) already know that we don't exactly agree about Paul... but that doesn't prevent us from listening to one another, and respecting what we hear.

We agree on the essential, the commandment you cited.

 
 
calbab
2.1.1  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1    2 months ago

What a swell 'comeback.' I mean this: Absolutely swell, Bob!  (Big smile.) Plenty we can discuss, too! Hope we do sometime!

 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @2.1.1    2 months ago

Thumbs Up 2

 
 
calbab
2.1.3  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1.2    2 months ago

Actually, what I didn’t realize was that the Gospel wasn’t about saying a prayer so you could go to heaven when you die. Once I realized that everything changed.

Please elaborate, Bob.  One prominent figure of this "style" of messaging, which is still vogue in a myriad of churches, occurred during the televised ministries of Billy Graham.  Though, Mr. Graham's 'heart' surely was in the right place.

 
 
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