2018 – The Year of Christian Influence
Christians are supposed to influence. This fact remains unchanged since Jesus issued this command nearly 2000 years ago to, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Influence so as to make disciples…
Many churches are terrific at sending missionaries around the world to go and make disciples. I commend and encourage them in their efforts. Every soul saved is a celebration in heaven! While we are busy sending missionaries to save other nations let us not forget to make disciples here at home. An increasing majority of Americans have no idea of the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit or the Bible. They need reached just as much as the tribesman in Africa or South America.
For Christians to effectively influence again we must see everyone as a potential convert. In America we face a greater challenge, we have to deal with delusional people who think they are Christian when they are clearly not. Even if someone says they are Christian probe, ask deeper questions. Ask such basic questions such as:
– Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
– Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
– Do absolute moral truths exist?
– Is absolute truth defined by God through the Bible?
– Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
– Is Satan real?
– Is human nature defaulted to sinful behavior?
– Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
– Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
– Will God forgive anybody who truly repents of their sins?
You will quickly discover fewer people are truly Christian than profess. God has the answers and we are his vessels; be intentional about sharing the Good News this year. Exercise Christian influence by increasing the number of people who will share in eternal life with God!
Influence so as to result in public commitment…
Baptizing people in the name of Father, the Son, and the Holy is fundamentally about helping new Christians to publicly demonstrate their commitment to their new status as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A PRIVATE MATTER! Actively following God entails publicly, boldly, and unashamedly living a life that demonstrates and proves your commitment to God above all.
We must embrace this increasingly challenging task. The world tells us we are free to believe but keep it within the church or keep it to yourself. This demand is incompatible with the influential Christian.
Be bold. Live out your faith so all can see. This does not mean one must become over the top, but it does mean we unashamedly let God speak and work through our lives.
Influence through teaching and informing…
Christians are to teach new believers in Jesus Christ as Savior to obey everything he (Jesus Christ) commanded. This is a loaded statement. “Obey” and “command” are two words out of vogue with the world. However, these two words as understood in the face of a gracious and merciful God are life giving and represent ultimate freedom.
Teaching Jesus’ commands includes two vital concepts: 1) recognizing Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives and coming to a place where we want to obey Him because it is a joy and pleasure and 2) knowing all of His commands and committing to obeying them.
This is where Christian influence impacts and becomes apparent in lives, on the culture, and ultimately on the world.
The natural result of our commitment to the Great Commission are changed lives, a changed culture, a changed nation, and ultimately a changed world. This is what being a Christian is all about! This is what the world desperately needs. Make 2018 a year where you resolve to be a Christian Influencer!