5/5/16 Lorenzo about 30
Salesmen can be annoying. Especially when what they are selling is something we didn’t even want in the first place. We got a taste of that at the end of a long Gospel outreach conversation with Lorenzo, whom we had reached out to at a local McDonalds. I really thought Lorenzo was tracking with us, asking questions and sharing some of his doubts about the faith he had grown up in because he felt he couldn’t share them with his church family, and learning that salvation is through Christ alone, not Christ plus good works. Then he pulled out a laptop and asked if he could show a sales video for an alternative energy provider that he works for. We were polite but his sales pitch was unexpected and unwelcome, because his company just seemed like a pyramid scheme that we didn’t trust and that sold a product that we saw no need for in the first place.
So is there a similarity with what I am trying to do when I share the Gospel? There was a time, years ago, when I thought there was. Sharing the Gospel made me feel like a door to door salesman, trying to convince people to buy what they did not want, and to want what they did not need. I tried to convince them that life could be better with Jesus, as if He is just another life-enhancing gimmick. People still try to “sell” a gimmicky Christianity today because too often we are afraid to share the real truth – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…”, but the good news is that God “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph 2) Life can’t just get better with Jesus because there is no life without Him! Our sin cuts us off from true life - a right relationship with God - and that life can only be found when we are born again through repentance and faith in Jesus. “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5) The Gospel, then, must include the bad news of our sin, condemnation, and need for repentance. If we begin there, then we don’t have to feel like a salesman, because the good news will sell itself.