Some time ago — and I can’t recall where; on what blog or forum — my contention was that we don’t need to judge the eternal predisposition of another person in order to share with them the Story of Jesus.
And it was met with objection. By someone who insisted that we do.
When you sit down and talk to someone that you barely know and the subject of the Dallas Cowboys comes up, don’t you get an impression fairly quickly about whether that person’s for or agin’ ’em — or they don’t give the first care?
Is it any less true if you talk about Jesus?
If the someone you’re talking to responds enthusiastically and positively, has an interest in the subject and enjoys sharing their own faith, don’t you pretty much know that you’ve found a brother or sister in Christ?
And if the someone you’re talking to displays no real knowledge of Jesus or a negative impression of His followers, or no genuine opinion on the subject either way, don’t you kinda deduce that you’ve met someone who doesn’t really know Christ and needs to?
I’m thinking that I don’t have to go into every conversation with a checklist of doctrinal possibilities and interrogate each person I meet before I can love them and share a table with them and have fellowship with them.
Oh, we may not have fellowship in the Lord; that’s up to Him to determine. But we can have fellowship of the Lord in the same way he dined with all kinds of people at all stages of belief.
And it can start so simply.
Just tell the Story.
Ease right into it just as if you knew what you were getting into.
“Would you mind sharing this table with someone who will have to say a prayer of gratitude even over a tray full of McDonald’s?”
“Is it okay if I ride next to you and read my Bible if I promise not to keep it to myself if I find something cool?”
“I am perplexed by this. Do you see here in John 5 where Jesus says we should eat His flesh and drink His blood. What do you make of that?”
“Do they have to put these tables so close together that a person doesn’t even have room to kneel down and say grace?”
“You look like a normal person. If I told you that I believed some guy two thousand years ago is still alive and was the Son of God, would I start looking abnormal to you?”
“This may sound selfish, but when I see a news report like that, I just want to start praying, ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’ You know?”
“You are a really patient person with all us crazy folks at this table, and I’ve just got to tell you that your servant nature reminds me a whole lot of Jesus Christ. Thanks for serving us today.”
Yes, we believers are a little crazy. A little crazy about the One who gave Himself up for us, so we’d be a little crazier not to give ourselves up for Him. Give up a big tip. Give up a little dignity. Give up a bit of our time and love and self-importance.
If we can’t do those things for a chance at telling His Story, what does that say about us?