In church yesterday was discussed a topic that is very close and sometimes controversial for Christians: leading people to Christ. In a world that is extremely liberal, where right is called wrong and wrong is called right, I had said, it is hard to speak about Christianity. We have become less bold and seemingly more ashamed of what it is to be a Christian…we tend to go with anything goes.
The Pastor answered very beautifully to my concern, he said: “You just tell them about Jesus and let Jesus clean them.” In other words, as Christians we are quick to tell those who are not Christian about what is right or wrong according to the Bible, almost as if we expect to change them before they even know Christ. This is simply not possible.
I came to Christ when I was 16 years old. I grew up with my Christian parents who loved God and yet as a teenager I was very rebellious and I was headed down a road that would have been destructive had my parents not decided to move from Michigan. We had lived in a neighborhood that was starting to go bad (more drugs, etc). I had started surrounding myself with people who were into those things and naturally I started gravitating toward that life style. No I didn’t do drugs but I started to smoke here and there and became very selfish and concerned with popularity (so much so that I didn’t care who I walked over). I think my parents saw the beginning of my decline no mater how I tried to hide it from them. Anyway, we moved to Arizona where we began going to a Romanian (since we are from Romania) church. I wore very revealing clothes, short skirts etc. One day a woman walked up to me and tugged on my skirt and said: “What, did this shrink in the wash?” I was very offended, she didn’t even know me. She didn’t know my heart, mind or soul. This might be the reaction other people who are not Christian have to us when we try to condemn them of immoral behavior and tell them something is wrong, evil, before we even know them. We tend to think that a person has to change before they come to Christ in stead of letting Christ do that miraculous transformation. Still, what happened that day was still a tool that made me think. I felt guilty because I had good parents, I felt like my parents didn’t know me…nor did I want them to know me because they would be ashamed of me. I felt stained by my past. Then one Sunday, for reasons unknown to me, I actually LISTENED to the preaching and what my ears (and heart) heard completely shocked me–because until that day I never really understood what Jesus did for me, I never understood why in the world an innocent man had to be crucified for me (in fact it enraged me). I’m sure that others had told me before, including my parents, but it didn’t click until that day. The pastor said that when we come to Jesus and accept Him and His sacrifice, he COMPLETELY erases our past in His eyes, it is FORGIVEN, it DOESN’T EXIST in God’s eyes, we are made into a NEW CREATION, the OLD IS GONE AND THE NEW HAS COME. That is the day I decided I wanted to follow Jesus…but let me make it clear: I DIDN’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT! Jesus worked and molded my stubborn heart little at a time (He is still perfecting me and as the old saying goes: He is not finished with me yet).
I give you a part of my testimony because I want you to understand that it is not YOUR job to change a person. Are you telling an adulterer about Christ? Don’t worry about his/her sin, tell him/her about Christ, lead them to the cross and let that innocent perfect blood of Christ cover them and atone for their sin, let HIM begin the change in them…OR maybe we don’t trust Christ to do what He came into the world to do? In the end, remember, you are a sinner too (I know I am, I struggle with many things that are wrong, like using words that are fowl, anger thoughts etc), remember God is still changing you too, do not interfere with God.
That being said, once a person does become Christian, we do need to walk beside our new family member and show them the way, but not with condemnation and holier than thou attitude, rather with love and patience and endurance and perseverance.