He Is Risen

As Easter 2024 has come and gone, I want to share something I believe all of us can benefit from. My thoughts this week were prompted by an MSN article I read a few days ago titled, “13 Modern Taboos That Used To Be Perfectly Normal”.

Most of these "taboos" were reminiscent of things many of us used to do as kids. Such as riding a bike without a helmet or riding in the back of a pickup truck (a personal favorite of mine). Another one I remember from the article was hitchhiking – you just don’t see that much anymore.

But here is what really caught my attention. Number one on that list of taboos was “Sharing Your Faith”. To quote the writer of the article, “Personal beliefs are such a hot topic these days, but conversations about them are best saved for houses of worship and personal space. It used not to be such a big deal because the nation wasn’t quite as diverse with religious beliefs. Christianity may be predominant in the United States, but there are so many different faiths out there, and it may be considered disrespectful if you try to convert someone already practicing.”

There is a reality here about how people in our culture may respond to a Christian sharing the faith we have in Jesus. A 2019 study from Barna Group drew this conclusion:
Younger Christians tend to be more personally aware of the cultural temperature around spiritual conversations. Among practicing Christians, Millennials report an average (median) of four close friends or family members who practice a faith other than Christianity; most of their Boomer parents and grandparents, by comparison, have just one. Sharing the gospel today is made harder than at any time in recent memory by an overall cultural resistance to conversations that highlight people’s differences.” Barna Group

When Jesus said, go and spread the gospel to everyone (Matthew 28:18-20) he didn’t add “Only do this if the culture will accept what you have to say”. Jesus’ concern was for all people, in all nations, and all times in history. So, even when our culture might be resistant to the gospel, as Christians we must reinforce our convictions, especially regarding the importance of evangelism. A person’s soul is too important to take our call to be ambassadors of the good news lightly.

As a father and grandfather, I see more clearly than ever the necessity of instilling resilient faith in young Christians, particularly during pivotal stages like high school and college. They will need a strong foundation to withstand the pushback against Christianity they will encounter from teachers and professors. While Barna’s study acknowledges the challenge of persuading younger Christians, particularly Millennials, about the significance of evangelism amidst societal ambivalence, we (and every generation) can’t ignore the mandate to be bold and tell others of the life we have found in Jesus.

When we evangelize others, it goes beyond saving that one; it serves as a reminder to our culture of the significance of faith, the trustworthiness of the Bible, and the transformative power of Jesus in a world that prioritizes individualism and emotional gratification over faith in the One who saves.

As you remember the risen Christ, don’t miss how Easter services provided a great opportunity to invite an unchurched friend or neighbor to attend with you. And our hope is that you did just that, and more importantly, that they came. Surveys prove that inviting someone to church at Easter is an easier ask than at other times of the year. Though many Christians today believe that evangelizing is the role of the church and not the individual, the apostle Paul says, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Cor. 12:27)

So, whether you are young or old, let's be the church. Don’t let culture stand in the way of asking someone to come and hear the Good News.

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words,. (Luke 24:1-8)

"He is Risen"

Credit: Ron Kelley

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