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Sunday: Providing Opportunities for Salvation — 18 Comments

  1. I am glad that this study series has been titled "Making Friends for God" because that cuts to the heart of any witnessing.

    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt 5:16 KJV

    "Works" get a lot of bad press among many Christians, but we need to recognise that is how we communicate to others.

    • Perhaps the bad press over works is due to how they are often presented in a framework of legalism? This can happen if one "preaches" without personal practice. Jesus didn't just preach truth, He lived truth, even refusing to reject the cross.

  2. It is a mystery: divine use of frail humans to testify of His Truth. God's pursuit of other hearts still needing to know Him is accomplished, astonishingly so, most often despite our selves. It makes me love Him more. We all strive to reach that point in which others say of us, "They have been with Jesus." May this study cause our lights to shine every brighter.

  3. Do not be disappointed when someone will not listen to you, it is not our job to convert the person but only to share the good news of the gospel. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to do convict him.

    • Have you ever been to a foreign country where they do not speak your language? I remember the first time I went to a non-English speaking country and the thing that worried me was that someone would try to warn me of danger and I would not understand what was being said. Given that in the country concerned, people drove on the right side of the road, while we drive on the left at home, that was a real issue.

      While it is not our job to convert folk, it is our responsibility to communicate effectively. And in today's secular world much of what we say as Christians is either not understood, or interpreted by our listeners differently to what we intended.

      That is the big issue we face. How do we communicate? Hopefully we will learn some of the answer during the next 3 months.

      • Good question Maurice, Jesus told parables using everyday things in their lives, saying the kingdom of heaven is like .....
        Could we convey eternal principles to others in everyday discussions?
        Like - would you go shopping and risk dying from covid 19 so that a stranger didn't have to expose herself? What if a healthy person allowed himself to be injected with covid 19 so that his antibodies could be used to make a vaccine to save others? What if they had to use all his blood? Would you accept that vaccine? At what cost? Everything? Or would you rather just take the risk that you will survive by taking precautions?

      • Maurice , to your question, “How do we communicate”, I submit an couple of examples for those that think “Real“ witnessing requires formal Bible study with someone. This can be intimidating. There are those that have the personality for this kind of thing, many others do not but by their life, they can witness.

        On a mission trip to Ecuador with our church, we experienced God at work without our knowledge until it became apparent at the end of the week. There were of course the people in the community where we were building the church that benefited from our witness but that is not the group where the biggest impact was made. Miles away in the community where our modest hotel was, in what would have been considered a middle class neighborhood, this is where, without our immediate knowledge, our greatest impact took place. Our nightly worship took place in a covered outdoor patio (bar) where the whole neighborhood could hear us. That was not intentional. It was just the natural gathering spot in that hotel for a large group.

        On the Saturday night before we left in the morning for home, many of the neighbors around the hotel came to ask the same question, why would a group of Americans actually do the work of constructing this church and not just pay for it to be done? This had been on their mind and discussed among themselves all week and they had to ask. We got to tell them our reasons why we came and how we feel the impact was/is always greater on us than those we come to help! After we left, an Adventist church was started in that neighborhood.

        On another note, after over 30 years of interacting via business encounters with a PhD in Bio-mechanical engineering and along the way, becoming his friend, he asked me out of the blue one day what church I attended. I answered SDA. He said he thought that might be the case and proceeded to tell me about several SDA Drs and business associates that he had interacted with over the years. Even though some were not particularly religious outwardly (church attenders and such), he said there was one consistent theme, good hearted people with integrity. A small group of people over many years, had had an impact without even knowing it. At his request I introduced him to an SDA pastor near his home.

        He married and had children late in life, 52, and he was going to a church to give his family (kids) a foundation. He was not satisfied with the experience and was seeking a new church. The Spirit was working on him. I doubt any of us (the SDAs) he encountered, ever actively recruited him. I certainly did not.

    • Rafael - I agree with your statement that "it is not our job to convert the person but only to share the good news of the gospel". This is done in various ways - through the Word of God and through works founded in God's Love. Eph.2:10.

      The Introduction to this quarter's theme 'Making friends for God' features a wonderful article from Mark Finley entitled 'The Joy of Sharing in His Mission'. 'Mark Finley, an internationally known evangelist, was a vice president at the General Conference from 2005-2010'. I encourage all to read his insightful and inspiring contribution to this quarter's theme.

      He shares "There are times when grasping a single thought makes a profound difference in our lives." , and states that "Mission is primarily the work of God. He is employing all of the resources of heaven to save our planet". "Our work is to cooperate joyfully with Him in His work of saving lost people".

      Yes, 'we witness to give them their best chance' to know the God we believe and trust in. Our responsibility is great! Through our expressed character and conduct, we portray to those who do not yet know God personally the God we hope for them to believe in.

      I hope that we will have many chances to share the Love of God as He has shared it with us first.

    • You have raised a very powerful point, sometimes we get discouraged if we share the word and no one takes notice of it. It's not our job but the Holy spirit to convert someone.

  4. Providing opportunities for salvation. I really like that title and the mindset behind it. One of the most effective (I think it’s the most effective) ways to provide an opportunity for salvation is through friendship evangelism. We should be friends first ideally or at least have a relationship with those we want to share with. We also must take care how we communicate. We need to be introspective. What is our attitude toward those we are hoping to share Christ with? Because be assured that our attitude will come through the longer we spend time with them. Your attitude can either help or hurt your communication. It can be “noise” that interferes with effective communication and if you wish to be an effective communicator you need to remove as much “noise” as you can and to do that you have to identify it.

    I tend to share my faith with those I have some type of relationship with. That could be co-workers, friends or family. It could also be someone who has seen me reading my bible or overheard me discussing it with someone else and wanted to know more. Someone who seeks me out with questions and a hunger to learn is my favorite type of person.

    Do you know someone who felt that if they didn’t denounce something you were doing that they shared in your guilt? This often causes them to be very critical and not fun to be around. How likely are you to listen to them? That’s not a good way to be and it can be quite harmful. Instead of providing opportunities you’d be closing doors much as the Pharisees did and Jesus called them on that.

    While we never want to condone sin we should certainly look to Jesus as an example. How did Jesus treat those who were erring? When His disciples saw Him and thought He was a ghost why didn’t He blast them with doctrines on the state of the dead?

    I spoke with a guy who felt he had to call out sin and his pet sin was homosexuality. Any time he saw a homosexual he felt he had to tell them they were sinning against their bodies and against God. He was very zealous about it. I didn’t slam him for this attitude instead I asked him how Jesus behaved. Did Jesus go around pointing out individual’s sins? We spoke for a bit and I encouraged him to simply learn more about God’s character. I don’t know if his behavior changed but by the end of it he was thoughtful.

  5. The real challenge of being a christian is at home (I'm speaking for myself, let me state this). Our witnessing to others can be more effective when we truly live the gospel within our immediate family. As Paul says in Romans 3:5, "But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)"... God's light has to shine brighter than our own darkness! We have to be more directed to love than to indifference! May we practice this, for the glory of Jesus, Who is the Saviour of us all, with no distinction! Then, and perhaps maybe then, our witnessing will start being more effective!

  6. God provides opportunity for us to witness on a daily basis. The question is how often do we take advantage of the opportunity given to us. When God sent Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch he followed the instruction given him and witnessed to him about the death and resurrection of Jesus. The result was a baptism and a soul saved for Christ. When the right time comes for us are we ready to react the way Jesus would want us to?

    • Gary, good question, are we able to answer their questions? The Holy Spirit through Peter tell us to always be ready to share the truth with whoever asks us.

      1Pe 3:15 MKJV  but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope in you, with meekness and fear;

  7. Providing Opportunities for Salvation
    In James 5:19; It clearly shows that this person who has wandered from the truth is a believer who has fallen into sin, and we are being urged to help them return to God.Because these are our fellow sisters and brothers,God depends so much on His people, the church, to fulfill His mission of revealing the plan of salvation to these people and those who are starving for something better in their lives.We, as the body of believers should be an example of heaven on earth drawing people to Christ through love since God hag given to us that opportunity.

  8. Can we make Jesus glad;
    The parables Jesus told in Luke 15 of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son all have very happy endings. It is clear that Jesus is glad and has feelings of joy, along with all of heaven, when people turn to Him and are saved from their condition of being lost in sin.
    Zephaniah 3:17 expressed this joy by showing us that the angels sing praises to God, and God joins in when the singing is about our salvation.And so we can make Jesus glad when a sinner comes back to God.

  9. In Sundays lesson it has been said: "In Romans 1 and 2, both the Gentiles who have seen God’s revelation in nature and the Jews who have received God’s prophetic revelation in Scripture are lost without Christ." How should I understand this. Are all who, that through all the ages past, did not have a chance to hear the gospel lost? What is meant by: "14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.", Rom 2:14-16 NIV ?

    • Thanks Rubinet. In Romans 10 after Paul asks how people will hear without a preacher he goes on to explain that everyone has heard.

      But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have:

      “The message has gone throughout the earth,
      and the words to all the world.”[j]

      19 But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,

      “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.
      I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”[k]

      20 And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying,

      “I was found by people who were not looking for me.
      I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”[l]

      21 But regarding Israel, God said,

      “All day long I opened my arms to them,
      but they were disobedient and rebellious.”[m] Romans 10:18-21 NLT

      To answer your question about Romans 2:14-16 I believe there are those who follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit who have never heard the name of Jesus. There is no other name whereby we must be saved but salvation comes by Jesus finding us not us finding Jesus. I greatly appreciate this passage from Desire of Ages, page 638.

      "Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 638)


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