A few days ago, someone sent me this message:
I have a question to ask: how do you share the Good News of Jesus with someone who doesn’t “need religion”? I’ve met many people online who have adopted the mindset of secular humanism: think positive & treasure yourself, be happy. How do you get through to these people? There’s a lot of hype over this new age/ humanistic viewpoint…It’s extremely popular.:(
It is a great question. This “positive” attitude has become a value, especially after Facebook came on the scene. People feel compelled to portray fun, exciting, happy lives. This is what is expected.
In one way, I’m kind of glad that people are wanting to be cheerful, rather than always complaining. But it is often a mask. A way to be socially acceptable. A yearning to be loved and respected.
What is often going on, underneath–in their hearts and minds– is a very different story.
Those of us who became a Christian later in life can relate to this more, but it is true of all people:
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,
– following the course of this world,
– following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived
– [following] in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Titus 3:3
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds…” Col 1:21
“…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated…and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12
Though people might seem positive, happy…God tells us what is really going on. They are without hope and without God in the world.
They are living without all that we experience in knowing God. Being able to learn from God. Know his love. Be guided by him. Able to go to him in prayer. Experience his peace as we rest in him.
They are missing ALL of that. It’s a hard way to go through life. (Personally, this is what motivates me in evangelism.)
Here is more of what God says about them:
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Rev 3:17
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2Corinthians 4:4
However…the good news…God seeks to draw people to himself. The Savior came to find the lost.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? Luke 15:4
“…the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…” Luke 4:18
“and I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ.” Philemon v6, RSV
When you look at people, and you’re tempted to think, “They’re ok. They’re happy. They don’t need God,” remember that in reality, they are lost sheep separated from their Shepherd who loves them.
Can we help them find their Shepherd?