When I do any sort of cold-turkey evangalism (this is when Christians go out and talk to random people about the Gospel of Christ), I always get very nervous. A lot of this comes from my own feelings of telemarketers or other random people trying to talk to me. But I began to question what was it specifically about the Gospel that made me nervous. When I talk about anything else like sports or movies, I freely engage in debate and conversation. When I go to the grocery store, I can easily have a conversation with anyone. It’s very easy for me. But I find it difficult to talk about God randomly. Now, if someone brings it up or a topic naturally leads there, it’s a bit easier.
As I thought about this topic, I think the concept of heaven, hell, sin, and eternal damnation are things that are not only difficult to conceptualize but also very judgmental. And I think it’s because of the fact that it is judgemental that makes having Christian conversations difficult. I specifically single-out Christianity because it is the only faith that I have found that makes a distinction of going to hell for unrepentance of sin.
We live in a world that doesn’t want to be judge, but feels free to be willing to judge others. The difference that I’ve seen between Christian judgement and non-Christian judgement is the time horizons of their punishments. For example, very few people would argue that a child-raping murder should be jailed but almost anyone would yell and scream that a ‘good’ person would still be condemned to hell “simply because they don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”
No one enjoys thinking about punishments. Everyone wants to avoid them! Why do people suddenly hit the breaks when they see a police car? To avoid a ticket! But there seems to be a different sentiment when it comes to eternal damnation. Either people are uncomfortable hearing it or insulted by it.
I will not hold back here because I believe that there is such miscommunication concerning eternaty that one must be clear: The only way to heaven is through the free gift of forgiveness that is offered by Jesus Christ alone. It’s not a factor of having enough good things to out-number the bad things.
Most people find Christianity restrictive. Saying that only certain people go to heaven while condemning others to hell seems very exclusive. And I would agree! But what these people don’t realize is that God has given everyone a choice. C.S. Lewis puts it this way: the gates of hell are locked from the inside. God doesn’t send anyone to hell: people choose to go there.
It is God heart and desire for his people to spend eternity with him. He has provided a way to accomplish that. But we must choose it. God’s greatest gift to the world was choice to make the wrong decision. What does that say about God?
Evangalism isn’t about ‘converting’ people. I know many Christians believe this but it’s simply not true. The goal of evangalism is to tell people the hope that is found in Christ alone. No more, no less. Evangalism isn’t about getting people into heaven. It’s about getting people to start a relationship with God.
We all must make this choice. And it will be our actions that determine the results. I’ve chosen God. What about you?