Did you ever hear the phrase “put on your first-century glasses”? This might be your first time unless you have been in a Christian school or preaching school before. Usually, our instructors used that phrase to make us think about how things were at that time, when our Lord and the apostles walked on this earth.
One of the examples given through evangelism is, … imagine a time machine and go back to that time and ask them to which church or denomination they were part of… And, without a doubt, there is only one answer to those who followed Jesus, they belong to His church, the only one church, the true church, the church of Christ. Now, is that enough?
Do not get me wrong. To this writer, that is enough, however, millions in this world do not think that way. Why? There must be something else. They cannot believe the Gospel is so simple, and the plan of salvation of God cannot be limited to some simple steps.
Let us, then, put on our twenty-first-century glasses. That’s it. There is no change from what occurred twenty centuries ago. People are still people. Sin is still sin. Forgiveness is still forgiveness. God is still God (as a matter of fact He has never changed, see Psalm 90:2, Revelation 1:8).
Many people in this world, even Christians, claim that there must be a change in how we evangelize. Some of their claims are “We need new tools”, “We need new hermeneutics”, “We need new Scriptures”, “We need to adapt to the modern world”, etc.
Have you ever consider that, for those in the First Century, their time was the modern time? Indeed it was. It was their time, their culture, their language, their tools. They used everything they had available to proclaim the message of God. The same thing that the prophets, the priests, the patriarchs did at their time. The same thing also occurred during the time after the First Century. This is what this writer is attempting to say, We do not need anything new to proclaim the Gospel, we need to use what we have right now. The Twenty-First Century glasses are as good to do the work as the First-Century glasses. We have the same Master, we have the same Great Commission, we just have different tools to use in our current era. So, let us use them wisely.
What is popular today? Social Media. People cannot keep their eyes away from their cellphones or tablets. They keep watching them and whether they read or not, that is their source of knowledge. Some of them, sadly, use those as their children’s nannies. Even our brethren spent several amounts of hours each day watching them (I am guilty of that too). So, what can we do? These are some suggestions,
- Stop following accounts with material that does not edify us. Memes, cartoons, and jokes might not be considered a sin, but their content or message might be. Let us remember the words of the apostle Paul, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not (1 Corinthians 10:23).
- Start creating and sharing content that helps us to evangelize the world. There is a popular phrase which says, “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain”. How can we expect people to come to Christ if we do not give the diligence to teach them about Christ? It might be the case that whosoever is reading this article does not know how to create a post or design to publishing on his or her social media accounts, but there is that magic trick called “Copy/Paste”, as well as his close cousin the “Share” button, which is just two or three clicks away. This writer knows several brethren who dedicates a lot of time in creating content which is sound in doctrine to be shared, but, sadly, most of the time the only ones who share them to the world are themselves. It is unbelievable how people in the denominational world are the ones who like those posts instead of our own brethren. Some brethren have said, “Oh, I saw what was shared by brother so and so, and I liked it, it is just that I do not like to click the “like” or “share” button because I do not want to get the notifications or comments from others”. Dear brethren, once again the words of Paul come to our minds, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine …” (2 Timothy 4:2-3). Many in this world might be condemned to Hell just because we did not preach or teach as we did not want to hear or read the comments from others. It might sound drastic but, this kind of attitude is selfish and close to denying our Lord, who said, “whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).
- If social media is not your “thing”, there are better ways to use our digital devices that playing video games all day. There is the availability of Bible software that includes almost everything a person might need to do good Bible studies. There are Christian blogs with hundreds of articles to read and study. There are digital books, sound in doctrine, that can be downloaded or purchased instead of those fancy novels or sensationalist news’ sites. The wise Solomon wrote, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). His father wrote, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:10-11). The Christian heart is not the one that pumps blood to our bodies, but our mind. The big question each one of us must answer is, “What is in our hearts?”
Dear brethren and friends, let us clean our 21st Century glasses, and live our lives in the way that please and glorify God (Colossians 3:17). Let us help this world by letting them know that God is not dead and that Christianity is not over. Put on our glasses and let us go to work.
May God bless you today and always.