At the beginning of every New Year the primary focus seems to be upon making a New Year’s resolution. Most folks resolve to spend less, save more, lose weight, work out in the gym, or some other worthwhile endeavor, but what should Christians resolve to do? That’s what I want to address in this month’s digital evangelism article.
What do you suppose is the most important goal for Christians on God’s list of priorities? Would it be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, tending the sick, visiting the imprisoned, sheltering the homeless? I think most Christians would expect either of these tasks to be number one, and perhaps they do make it to the top ten, but what do you think God would put in first place?
I suggest that evangelism is the number one priority for God. Why? I believe it is because these other tasks are basically futile if the recipient is not a citizen of the Kingdom of God. After all, what lasting good does feeding, clothing, tending, visiting, and sheltering do for a person if his/her soul is destined for eternity in Hell? They would simply enter Hell with full bellies, clothed and healthy bodies, and somewhat comforted minds. What a tragedy!
So, what can we do about that? Well, perhaps the most important act we can do is offer the Plan of Salvation to them as it is laid out in the Bible. However, the decision of whether to accept that offer is entirely up to each individual person. It’s a little like the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Of course, there is one secret you can use to get a horse to drink every time without forcing or even urging. All you have to do is take the horse by the salt block on the way to the watering trough. A few minutes of licking on that salt block would compel the horse to actually run towards the water and drink deeply without hesitation.
How does that translate into Christian evangelism? Well, if we who call ourselves Christians would behave as the salt that Jesus commanded us to be (Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50; and Luke 14:34), then we would succeed in transforming disinterested people into souls thirsting for the true water of God (John 4:13-14 and John 7:37-39). So, just how do we become like that salt, anyway?
Ah, there lies the problem! It seems that very few Christians even know what it means be salt in the world, let alone how to be salt. I am open to correction, but as I understand it, to be salt in the world means to do what salt does. Salt has at least three very important qualities for us to consider.
First, and perhaps most obviously, salt seasons our food. Have you ever tried eating freshly cooked vegetables or meat without any salt on them? It is quite unpalatable! We Christians can act like salt by seasoning the relationships and conversations we are involved in (whether online or offline) with the principles of God’s Word and the goodness of God’s Spirit.
Second, and probably much lesser known nowadays, salt is a preservative. Prior to refrigeration, people used layers of salt to preserve their meats from the bacteria, maggots, and other factors which cause decomposition and disease. Christians can act like salt in this way by preserving the practice of the principles of God’s Word, which will prevent the decomposition of our society.
Third, and likely just as unknown as the second fact mentioned above, salt is a purifier. This is partly where we get the statement, “It’s like pouring salt into an open wound.” Aside from the severe stinging sensation for which this statement was composed, salt kills the bacteria that cause infection and disease. This is closely connected with the preservation aspect listed above, but it differs insofar as one quality prevents decomposition while the other prevents the spread of infection and disease. Christians can act like salt by purifying whatever threatens the existence of good in this world, i.e., fighting against ideas or practices which oppose God’s principles for living as outlined in the Bible.
When Christians sit quietly by while opposing ideas or practices replace God’s principles or when Christians actively participate in overturning God’s principles, they have become like salt that has lost it saltiness. According to Jesus, when salt has lost its saltiness, it is good for nothing but throwing out into the street to be trampled underfoot.
So, being salt in the world means sharing the truth of God’s Word, but it also means living out the principles of God’s Word to the best of our ability. Therefore, being effective Christian evangelists means not only offering God’s Plan of Salvation as depicted in the Bible but demonstrating how living by the principles of God’s Word is so much better than living any other way.
For a detailed explanation of God’s Plan of Salvation as found in the Bible, I recommend my latest book, The Salvation of the LORD, available in print and eBook formats wherever books are sold. In it I go to great lengths to expound on the character of God, the problem of original sin, how to live with our sin nature after accepting Christ as our Savior, and how to know we’re saved for eternity with Him, among other points.
During this New Year in 2015, let’s resolve to offer not only the Hope of Christ regarding the salvation of one’s soul, but let’s also resolve to support and promote the principles for living according to God’s Word as prescribed in the Bible. Let’s be salty Christian evangelists in both digital venues and elsewhere. Happy New Year!