A citizen of two worlds

Every Christian is a citizen of two worlds – earth and heaven.

Sometimes it’s tempting to act as if we believers belong only on earth.  But Wayne McDill says we can’t really hide our true home – with Christ in heaven.

McDill, author of Making Friends for Christ, makes a strong case for being open with our faith rather than hiding it.  The key is establishing close relations with those around us.

Of course, the idea of friendship – or relational – evangelism has been around for a long time.  As McDill says, Christ modelled it for us 2,000 years ago.

I like the way he develops his theme.

He notes that God chose to get personal with us earthlings when the Father sent Jesus to Judea as a man.  A man who was born, grew up speaking the language of Jews in Judea, obeyed human parents, learned a trade, took pity on the helpless, lived and laughed with others, and presented God’s truth in the give-and-take of discussion.

In other words, God did not drop the Bible from heaven and tell us in thundering tones to get with the program.  He met us personally in our messy world.

And that, says McDill, is how we should meet people, too.

In his view, it is a mistake to dump the whole gospel story on people and leave them.  We need to begin by seeing where our friends and neighbours are at in their lives.

As Jesus did, we should listen, learn how they feel, help them with their needs.

But, then we must go a step further as our relationships deepen.  We are here on earth with a mission.  That mission is to point people to reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ.

“[The Christian] does not represent God in the world as a mere observer,” writes McDill. “The purpose of God is his calling.”

Jesus “demanded radical loyalty and sacrifice on the part of his followers,” says McDill.

That challenge is a lot easier for people in the Western world than it is in other nations where Christians are persecuted.

But it remains a challenge for me and many other Christians in our comfortable society.

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