How Big Is Your World?

In Moscow’s Red Square the remains of Vladimir Lenin lie in a crystal casket. On the casket are these words: “He was the greatest leader of all peoples, of all countries, of all times. He was lord of the new humanity. He was the savior of the world!” Those egotists had the right inscription, but the wrong tomb. 

On a mountain in Galilee Jesus, through His disciples, gave to His followers of every age the Magna Carta of the church saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:18-20)

Know your world and how to share with those in it. A classic example of this is Paul. When preaching/teaching in Jerusalem he knew his audience had a knowledge of the Scripture so he often quoted it.

When he went to Athens he knew his audience had no knowledge of or regard for Scripture so he adjusted and spoke on their terms. He quoted their own pagan poets with whom they were familiar and applied their principles to Christ. He observed the setting and saw among their many statues one “To An Unknown God.” That one he likened to Christ and said of Him “For we are also His offsprings” (Acts 17: 28). How did Paul know that? He was from a Greek community and had been a good student. In his hometown of Tarsus his mentor was Gamaliah, who was known for requiring his students to be students of the Greek philosophers.  Having been a good student, Paul knew at least three Greek poet/philosophers had written “For we are all His offsprings.”

Aratus, born in the Sicilian coast town of Soli around 310 B.C., composed his famous Pha/eno/mena in Athens. Writing of Jupiter he said, “For we are all his offsprings.” That was Paul’s springboard to present Christ.

A few years ago the FCA was having a golf tournament here in Atlanta. A friend told me of a prominent member of the PGA tour who was playing in the fund raiser. He was close to the pro and knew he had a need in his life. He asked if I would meet with him after his round and perhaps get a chance to share Jesus.  

We met and within seconds he said, “I have an emptiness in my life, a real need.”

He didn’t know Scripture, but he knew golf. I adopted an old illustration and applied it by saying, “You are a great golfer. I’m not. Some of my friends who are playing here today have been trying to get me to play with them. They know they could pick me clean.” 

Then I continued, “If it were possible for you to enter my body along with your ability, skill, and power and play your game through me they wouldn’t be any competition.”

He chuckled indicating he could relate to that. Then I followed through, “That is exactly what our Lord wants to do. If you will let Him come into you He will bring in wisdom, ability, and power to enable you to live a new life.”

That he could grasp and did. Within minutes he prayed to receive Christ. 

He has since lived his new faith. Use terms your friends know to share Jesus on their level.