The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
- 1 Peter 3:9
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Far too often it seems that Christians don't want to have any contact with unbelievers. Maybe they don't want to talk to them for fear of being polluted spiritually. But the church needs to infiltrate, not isolate. And to reach our culture, Christians must go where people are.
I am not saying that we should spend time around unbelievers and stay silent about our faith. We should speak up for Christ when the moment is right. At the very least, we should live a godly life as an example of what it is to follow Jesus Christ.
We see Jesus demonstrating this as He adapted His approach with the people He spoke to. With Nicodemus, who was powerful and affluent, Jesus told him that he must be born again (see John 3:1–17). With the immoral Samaritan woman, He reached out to her and engaged her in conversation (see John 4:1–26).
Before we can reach people, we first have to care. And I think one of the reasons we don't share our faith more often is because we don't care. We might think another person's eternal destiny is their problem. If an unbeliever argues with us, we tend to think, Forget it then. I am going to heaven. You can go to hell if you want to. It is not my problem.
But actually, it is our problem, because they need someone to engage them. They need someone to share the gospel accurately with them. So we need to pray that God will give us a burden for people who do not yet know Him.
The great commentator Alexander MacLaren said, "You tell me the depth of a Christian's compassion, and I will tell you the measure of his usefulness."
How deep does your compassion go?
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