Defending the Faith
This Tuesday is Veteran’s Day in America (known in other countries as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day). Every year on November 11, military men and women are honored for defending freedoms we often take for granted.
Some of you may never spend time serving your country’s armed forces. But if you are a Christian, then you are a soldier in the army of the Lord and called to defend the faith. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” The New Living Translation of this verse reads, “if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”
The apostle Paul faced many situations where he found himself “…in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:7) While evangelizing, I regularly run into folks who oppose Christianity because they follow an alternative belief system. Whenever possible, I give these people at least two Scriptures to counter what they believe. If a person is still resistant, I usually back off. Titus 3:10-11 commands, “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” Nevertheless, I end such a conversation by saying, “Jesus Loves You.”
We should also be alert for opportunities to initiate discussions about the gospel in the marketplace. One time in Hannover, Germany I encountered three women who set up a table promoting the Green Party. One of them displayed a hamburger and a veggie burger in an effort to persuade people from eating meat. After I ate one of each, this woman commented how we need to be careful of what we eat. I replied, “That’s why we should pray over our meals first.” That sparked a lively conversation where I was able to plant a lot of spiritual seeds.
Another time in Virginia, I was with a friend at a coffee shop where we overheard another customer say, “I’m not good at guessing things” (referring to a taste test being done). Immediately I asked this man, “Can you guess where you will spend eternity when your life ends?” This man didn’t think anyone could know his or her eternal destiny. I referred to 1 John 5:12-13 but this man wasn’t too open to discussing spiritual things. He still took a gospel tract from me.
We are commanded to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11) and “be ready in season and out of season.” (2 Timothy 4:2) God wants His people prepared for evangelism opportunities that will suddenly come up without warning. Will you be ready?
“I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” - Psalm 119:46