MAKING CHRISTIANITY ATTRACTIVE
MAKING CHRISTIANITY ATTRACTIVE
The value of appeal is recognized by all business firms. When businesses advertise a woman’s dress on TV, they do not use unattractive women with flawed features or blemished bodies. They know that such would not appeal to women. Alcohol manufacturers also demonstrate this knowledge of appeal in their commercials. They do not attempt to allure potential partakers by showing a drunk man wallowing in a ditch or the misery of a dysfunctional alcoholic whose life has been ruined by his addiction. No. Instead, they appeal to you by way of presenting a hip young guy casually sipping a beverage in the mist of the centuries greatest party. This of course, demonstrates to the audience that alcohol is one’s ticket to social acceptance and popularity.
This principle of allurement was used in the Bible for both good and evil. Consider Gen.3:5,6 when Satan used this type of enticement to trap Eve in sin. The Lord’s church, started in Acts 2, experienced explosive growth in its infancy by way of making itself attractive to the masses: vs 47: “…and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily…” Here, growth was a result of having found favor with all the people; that is, their conduct was appealing/acceptable to the people around them. In his first epistle, Peter even posits the possibility of a wife winning over her husband by her lifestyle (1Pet. 3:1-4). He notes that through her conduct, she may present enough of an appeal to win a soul to the Lord. That’s making Christianity attractive.
Consider this scenario: You go into a restaurant and order a steak. The waitress returns to the table with the finest steak that you have ever seen. There is just one problem. The waitress is dressed in filthy clothes, she stinks, and her hands are visible unclean with black grime under every fingernail. Thought the meal is of the greatest quality, you would lose your appetite at once because of the unattractiveness of the surroundings involved with its presentation. We have the truth, the finest feast in the world to offer people. Have we learned the importance of making it attractive? More importantly, have we made people lose their appetite for the truth by serving it to them with ‘filthy hands and unclean clothes’? Let us consider some things that will make the gospel attractive to others.
1. GOOD WORKS:
1 Peter 2:12 says, “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by our good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Peter clearly shows that through good works, even the Gentile could be brought to glorify God. Why? Because good works are appealing to men; they are attractive to the ones observing them. We find the same sentiment on the lips of Jesus in the sermon on the mount in Matt. 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” How many good works have you done this past week? Month? Year? Think of the opportunity all about us, especially in light of the current state of affairs. If the coronavirus has done one thing, it has given each one of us an opportunity to let our lights shine by helping those who are in need. Could our neglect be one reason the church is not attractive in the community?
2. LOVE AND UNITY
John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is the love shared between brethren that help people understand who we are as children of God and disciple of Christ. Much the same is said by Jesus in John 17:20-21 in regard to unity. It would be the unity between brethren that would cause the world to believe that God had sent Jesus. Love is the centerpiece of Christianity itself, with unity being the framework therof. Love is the appealing component of the gospel (John 3:16.) Does not hatred and bitterness among brethren make Christianity unattractive to those who are outside looking in? Would you be drawn to a group characterized by backbiting and schisms? Would you desire to join yourself to group of people wherein is an undercurrent of petty division and gossip? If you would not, why would anyone else?
3. PEACE OF MIND
The world is looking everywhere for this kind of Christian today. If a person truly believes that they have been forgiven of sins and knows without a doubt that they are headed to glory when they die, then what do they have to fear? Why should such a person be anxious about temporal affairs? In the wake of this global pandemic we should be showing the world faith and not fear, trust and not turmoil, positivity and not pessimism. This does not mean that we should forego common sense, let our guard down and fail to take proper precautions- all in the name of faith. That would be foolish. Using good judgment and preventative precautions to avoid an illness no more demonstrates a weakened faith than does going to storm cellar during a tornado; it’s common sense. However, a constant worry and anxiety about this virus does demonstrate a lack of faith. Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hears and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil.4:6-7). It is this type of disposition and resolve of character that can make Christianity appealing to those around us. Are we, through faith and prayer drawing people to the truth? Or is our lack faith, manifested in constant concern and fear causing you to blend in with other who have no hope?
Let us recognize the importance of making Christianity attractive. Let us strive to find and take opportunities to do good works. Let us present to the world a united front woven together with love for one another and let us demonstrate a peace of mind that surpasses understanding. We have the truth, let us serve it to the world in clean, dedicated lives that we may entice them to partake of eternal life.