Why should a person consider Christianity? Because of Christianity’s central figure, Jesus Christ!

How often have we all heard a variation of “Jesus was a good person with fantastic morals and he was a great teacher, but that’s all he was.”? It’s a very common thought for a lot of people, isn’t it? People realise that Jesus was real, but they are not willing to accept his claims that he is God. They can see that the values he taught are really good values that we should all aspire to, but don’t want to engage in the other truths that he teaches such as “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

 

However, when you look at the life of Jesus and the claims he makes, he could not be a good person if a good person and a great teacher was all he was. So, when someone talks to you and says expresses those doubts about Jesus being God, you could ask if they have heard of the 4 L’s.

Legend – Many people say that Jesus didn’t exist at all but was merely a legend that sprang up. The fact is, historians all agree that Jesus existed. There is actually more proof that Jesus existed than there is proof for Julius Cesar or Homer or any other of ancient history’s famous people. Historians never argue about Jesus’ existence. Because they know he really lived in history.

So we know that Jesus existed, what then?

Lunatic –Some people say that the claims of Jesus are so outlandish and his commitment to them is so total, that he could not be anything but a lunatic. However, ask anyone who works with people living with such delusions and they will tell you that a mental condition like that is marked by emotional instability and huge mood swings. When you look at the historical accounts of Jesus’ life, both those in the Bible and those from non-Christian historical sources, his life shows none of those emotional markers. He is unflappable, always in calm control, the one who is trying to bring reasonable conversation into emotionally charged settings.

No, Jesus was no lunatic. So where does that leave us?

Liar – Some say, “Okay, he wasn’t insane, just a liar who was totally convincing about his claims. He is part of some massive conspiracy that the disciples were totally into as well.” In this view the disciples removed his body after his death and used that to trick everyone into believing Jesus had risen from the dead because they wanted to start a new religion, overthrow the Romans and end their oppression.

I see two problems with this theory. Number one, Jesus’ own life is one that stands for truth and transparency. His life has always impacted people for moral good. That is not the outcome of a life that is a lie. And it is difficult to imagine that Jesus would go through everything that he did knowing it was a lie. Number two, there is no way that his disciples would all be willing to be martyred for the sake of a belief and message they knew was fake. A person lies because it is to their own advantage. Can we see any personal advantage in dying, when they could have been set free by admitting it was a lie?

No, to say Jesus’ whole life was a big lie doesn’t fit anything we know about him.

If Jesus is not just legend that sprang up, if he could not have been a lunatic, if we reject the idea that his life was one big lie, then what option is left?

Lord – Well if all those things are not true, we are only left with one option, aren’t we? Jesus is Lord. If Jesus isn’t a legend, and history shows that he’s not, then he’s either a lunatic, a liar or his claims are true and he is who he claimed to be.

So you see that Jesus did not leave the door open for the idea that Jesus is just a good person and a great teacher. If he is those things, then he is also who he claimed to be. There is no other option.

 

So if you want someone in your life to consider the Christian message, you could ask them what they think about Jesus and his teaching. Challenge them with the 4 L’s and trust God to speak through you in that conversation!

God’s patience and love for the lost

God’s way of communicating his heart to us is through his word. It’s his way of talking to us. When we are finding it tough to connect with non-Christians, what better way to renew our passion for sharing Christ than to go back to the Bible and find out anew God’s heart for the lost? There are so many passages we could talk about, but here are just a few.

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Connecting with non-Christians makes you care about sharing Christ with them

It’s human nature to connect and hang out with like-minded people isn’t it? As a result, all too often in our Christian lives we find ourselves connecting and hanging out only with other Christians. It’s our comfortable place. We can pray together, support each other and talk about things on a personal level. But when you think about it, that’s not only what Jesus did, was it? Jesus was constantly surrounding himself with people who didn’t believe in him. Even when it led to ridicule.

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How to answer: I don’t need to respond to the gospel—I’m not good enough/I’m already good

You might wonder why we put these two objections in the same blog when they seem so opposite to one another. One person thinks they are good enough for God and the other thinks they are so bad that God wouldn’t accept them.

But in reality, both of these objections have the same problem. They both assume that being right with God comes from how good we are. One person assumes that they are already good enough and the other that they could never be good enough, but both people think being good enough is what matters!

The answer for both is God’s grace.

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How to answer: All religions lead to heaven

This claim that all religions lead to heaven is one of the most common objections you will encounter as a witness for Jesus. In our current milieu, it is taboo to exclude anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings or say that they are wrong in their beliefs. That attitude has become so much a part of our culture that it just feels wrong to people to think of God excluding someone from heaven if they are not a follower of Jesus.

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How to answer: My spouse is not a Christian and I’m afraid of what it would do to my marriage if I become one.

This is a more common concern when people are considering putting their faith in Christ than you might think, and you need to be so careful with your answer. The question involves a lot of feelings and clearly the person loves their spouse a lot. You also need to be very aware of where this person is in their journey to Christ. If they have been reading the Bible and/or coming to church you can talk to them using the Bible, but if they don’t have that knowledge, it may be more helpful to simply give them reasons to move forward with Christ.

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Christmas Evangelistic Conversation starter #3: Why is it called Christmas?

As we have been talking about in recent blogs, Christmas is a time of the year where people all around you are more open to talking about spirituality than usual. For most people around us Christmas is all about Santa Claus, Christmas trees and the giving of presents. But for us Christians it’s so much more than that. We have seen over the last few weeks some simple ways to introduce Jesus into a conversation at Christmastime and here’s another one.

You could be chatting to your friends, or even someone you don’t know, and say something like, “Do you know why this holiday is called Christmas?”  Or even something more lighthearted like, “Why do you think it’s called Christmas and not SantaClausmas?” For many people who aren’t exposed to church, they may never have even considered this. Some of the people you know probably have no idea.

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Your unexpected ally in evangelism

Remember the story of Arthur Stace? He was an Australian soldier who came home and wrote the words “Eternity” all over Sydney.  Then on New Year’s Eve at the turn of the millennium, this word was chosen as the centrepiece for the fireworks display on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and was lit up at midnight.

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