Acts 2 … “everyone heard the message in their own language” and three thousand people came to Christ that day. They understood the Gospel and with the Holy Spirit bringing conviction and godly sorrow, they repented, were forgiven and confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they became born again.
Today we do not see multitudes being saved and the majority of churches do not see even one new convert a year. Let’s remind ourselves that the Holy Spirit still works today – His task has not changed and He is neither on holidays nor retired. So, the problem we have is that apparently we are either not sharing the Gospel one-on-one and from the pulpit or the way we are sharng it is no longer speaking to the people listening. In other words, they are not hearing it “in their own languge.”
Here is what I believe to be another major truth: There is no stopping the church from reaching people and impacting the world when they communicate God’s powerful truth and life-changing hope in the language of the culture with passion, focus, and faith. In other words, in order for people to genuinely benefit from and apply God’s truth to their lives, they have to hear it in a language they can understand.
Paul writes (the Holt Spirit is communicating to us through his writings): Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. [1 Corinthians 9:19-23]
It is time for the Church and individual believers to take seriously Paul’s comments and learn how to be with and communiate to the people they work with and live beside – family members, friends, fellow workers, and all others. We have become so accustomed to sharing the Gospel with each other (other Christians) that we often no longer know how to communicate it effectively to those who do not know the story (most of the younger geneerations today) and those who do not know the terminology of the Bible.
Add to that “language barrier” a general inability to even express the Gospel in a way that makes sense to anyone. In other words, maybe you are saved or born again but can you explain to another person why they need to be born again and how they would go about becoming born again. Often believers know the message in their heart but honestly are clueless in how to communicate the message in a way that will make sense to non-believers and help them to understand the peril of their spiritual condition.
Let me get personal – are you sharing your faith and the Gospel with others on a regular basis “as you go into all your world doing your daily activities?” Are you being obedient?
Let me get personal – if you are, how well do you know the Gospel?
Not asking here if you know it in your heart or head. I’m asking you – can you talk about it in a way that makes sense even to other believers? Many times we can know something “inside” and not be able to adequately express it in words.
Let me get personal – if you know the Gospel well enough to share it with others, are you doing just that – sharing it with others? Statistics prove most believers do not!
Let me get personal – if you know the Gospel and can communicate it in a decent way so that it can be understood – are you are working at sharing it with others, are you presenting it in words and phrases that a generation which has no Christian consciousness can understand?
In other words – it is one thing to talk with others who understand the need and the terminology but are you able to communicate to those around you do not go to church, many have never been in a church, they have not read the Bible and may, in fact, not own one. They do not base their lives on Christian absolutes or standards and, in fact, don’t even believe in “absolutes.” And, they don’t speak Christianese. How well can you communicate the precious truths that can save a soul from eternity in hell?
I believe it is time for each individual Christian to take a good look at their knowledge of the Gospel, their skill set in presenting the Gospel, their ability to speak in a way that they are being understood so that each can hear the Gospel “in their own language,” and to be serious honest with themselves about their lack of obedience in doing the one thing the Lord commanded His Church to do … “go into all the world and preach the Gospel, making disciples in all nations.”