We are living in the times of unprecedented uncertainties because of COVID-19. Social distancing being the new normal, social media is the alternative if one needs to fellowship with friends and family. For those of us under the Lord’s command to make disciples of all nations, the question becomes how do we effectively share the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ through social media? In this article we will discuss three things to consider in order to effectively share the gospel. Namely, the gospel to share, the response to expect, the emphasis to make.
The Gospel to share
If you ask Christians what is the core message to share, they are quick to tell you it is the gospel. Unfortunately, when you ask most of them what they mean by the Gospel; you get many confusing answers. In this article, I will try to explain two aspects of the truth to believe and two ways to respond to that truth leading to salvation. What is the truth to believe?
We are part of a fallen world
Life as we know it did not just happen as many scientists want us to believe. Rather, it was purposely created by God following a clear design. (Genesis 1 & 2, Isaiah 43:7). As everything else, man and woman were created by God himself and in his image where part of them being in God’s image was the freedom of choice they hold.
With mankind having the freedom of choice, Adam and his wife chose to do what God has forbidden them to do (Genesis 3:6). Unfortunately, the freedom of choice came with the consequences of one’s choices. Therefore, since mankind sinned by doing what God has forbidden , he now lives under the righteous judgement of God as a consequence of his choice. The penalty of sin, as God has stipulated beforehand, is death and separation from Him.
Consequently, in accordance with God’s justice, the whole human race is living under God’s wrath which is his righteous response to disobedience (Genesis 3, Romans 3:23; 6:23). Unfortunately, the Bible in Romans 3:20 explains clearly that there are no works that one could do to be justified in God’s sight.
Jesus Christ is our only hope
Because of his great love he loved us, about 2000 years ago, God became a man in Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin Mary. He lived a perfect life without sin but he died on the cross taking upon himself the due penalty of sin. So that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life as a gift from God (Isaiah 53, John 3:16-18, 2 Corinthians 5:15).
Through the sinless life he lived on earth (1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 2:22), Jesus fulfilled the righteousness that God required of mankind (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:16). Thus, completing what all of us humans have failed to do (Romans 3:23). Whereas through his death on the cross Jesus took upon himself the due penalty of sin (Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 John 2:2). The righteous dying for the unrighteous. Jesus who knew no sin paid the penalty that sinners deserved . Therefore, there is no salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
The response to expect
The whole human race being under judgement and Christ being its only hope are historical facts that no one can change. It does not matter whether you believe it or not, whether you know it or not, the facts remain. The only thing that makes a difference is what one does once he or she knows this truth. There are two things you can do in order to receive the salvation that Christ earned for you: acknowledge your sinfulness and believe in Christ for your salvation.
Embrace our sinfulness and repent
The Bible explains clearly, that the day Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, their eyes were opened, they knew they were naked and once God came to visit them they ran away trying to hide.(Genesis 3:7) Something changed in their nature and death and separation from God entered the world through that transformation. Ever since, every person born of a man is born with such a transformation that makes them a sinner separated from God. Our sinful nature bears fruits that are our bad actions. And everyone knows that if he is truly honest with himself, there are bad things in his or her life that he or she has tried to change but failed on multiple occasions. Sinfulness is in our nature and we are unable to change ourselves (Jeremiah 13:23-24, Romans 7:19).
To repent is the right response when one realizes the amplitude of his sinfulness. The New Testament word for repentance is the Greek word metanoia, which literally means “to change the mind.” To repent fundamentally means to change your mind about something. It has to do with the way you think about something. You’ve been thinking one way, but now you think the opposite way. Before, you thought of sin as something pleasurable. Now, realizing its true nature you change your mind and feel sorrow instead of pleasure. Repentance is a change in the way I think that leads to change in the way I live. When you really change your mind about something, it’s going to change the way you think about it, talk about it, feel about it, and act about it. I’m suggesting that true repentance is more than just a mental game. Repentance is a decisive change in direction. When you repent, you turn from your sins to Christ.
Embrace Jesus Christ’s complete work and believe
The reason one has to turn to Christ is because there is no salvation in no one else, there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). In his letter to the Romans 5:1-2, Paul clarifies about our justification through Christ saying “Therefore, having been justified by faith [faith alone], we have peace with God through Jesus Christ [Christ alone]. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace [grace alone] in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God [the glory of God alone].” It is only by the complete work of Jesus Christ through his perfect life and death on the cross that we can be saved, nothing more nothing less. Acknowledging that you are a sinner who cannot save himself and choosing to trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation is what the Bible means when it says “Repent and Believe” (Mark 1:15).
Unfortunately, many people turn to Christ without a thorough understanding of the amplitude of their sinfulness. They trust in Jesus, without realizing that there is nothing, no matter how good, they can do to add on his completed work to earn their salvation. This is what some Judaizers were teaching to the church at Galatia and leading the people astray. They were teaching that a person must be circumcised according to the Jewish custom in order to inherit the Kingdom of God and Paul calls such teachings a perversion of the gospel and following such teachings is moving away from the true gospel. To such practice Paul gives one of the most stern warnings in all of Scripture. He writes: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).
The emphasis to make
In his letter to Timothy, Paul emphasizes Jesus’ command to share the gospel and charges Timothy to always be sober-minded, endure suffering and do the work of an evangelist (1 Timothy 4:5). In order for you to share the gospel you need to make sure your audience realizes the amplitude of his /her sinfulness and the fact that Jesus Christ is his/her only hope. Once that realization is made, the person in case needs to make his own decision and repent his sins and ask Jesus Christ for the gift of salvation that only He can offer. Your job as an evangelist is to make sure the person has come to a realization of his status and Christ’s complete work. The response is not up to you, whether the person believes and gets saved or not it is not up to you.