Defenders of the Faith
Today is Veteran’s Day in America (known in other countries as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day). It was exactly 100 years ago when World War I ended. Since then on November 11th, military men and women have been honored for defending freedoms we often take for granted. Having spent time in the Army National Guard myself, I get to enjoy perks some businesses offer.
Many of you may have never served in your country’s armed forces. But if you’re a Christian, then you’re 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. A good technique I learned from Frank Turek to avoid wasting time is asking non-believers, “If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian?” If the non-believer replies, “No”, then they are not sincerely seeking the truth.
Whenever possible, I give those opposing the gospel at least two Scriptures to counter what they believe. If that 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 look 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 discourage 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 that was 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 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