Today's lesson comes from the pen of Adam Cozort, a gospel preacher and friend. He shared these excellent thoughts recently in a study, and I would like to share them with you at this time. I have only done a small amount of editing in addition to quoting the verses he cited for our mutual benefit.
What makes Christianity attractive? That is an important question to ponder. There is a great desire among disciples to make Christianity attractive to the world and to keep it attractive to those who are already a part of the body of Christ. So, how do we accomplish this two-fold goal? Consider eight things that make Christianity attractive:
1. Good works make Christianity attractive.
- Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
- Galatians 6:9,10 - "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
- I Peter 2:12 - "Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation."
2. Love makes Christianity attractive.
- John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
- John 13:35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
- I John 4:7-11 - "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
3. Our speech makes Christianity attractive.
- Colossians 4:6 - "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
- Ephesians 4:29-32 - "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."
- Titus 2:7,8 - "In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you."
4. Unity makes Christianity attractive.
- Psalm 133:1 - "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
- John 17:20,21 - "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
- Ephesians 4:1-3 - "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
5. The Christian's peace of mind makes Christianity attractive.
- Philippians 4:6,7 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
- II Timothy 1:7 - "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
- II Timothy 4:7,8 - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
6. Consistency makes Christianity attractive.
- Romans 2:21,22 - "You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?"
- Romans 12:9-21 - "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written,'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. Therefore 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
- Philippians 1:27 - "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
7. Devotion makes Christianity attractive.
- Ruth 1:16,17 - "But Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.'"
- Matthew 27:55,56,61 - "And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons...And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb."
- John 6:66-69 - "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, 'Do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'"
8. Doing our best makes Christianity attractive.
- Titus 2:14 - "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."
- Matthew 6:33 - "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
- Colossians 3:23 - "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
Friends, did you n otice what is not on the list? Things like entertainment, "modernizing" worship through "contemporary" services, and acquiescing to man's desires and whims do not make Christianity attractive. They may draw men in for a while, but before long those same people are looking for something else because those things are empty and do nothing to help the soul.
If we want to make Christianity attractive, God has already shown us how, and time after time it is successful. Let us follow the plan that has been proven true for the last two millennia and leave behind the schemes and inventions of men. Let us stay true to God's word for He will always remain true to us (cf. II Tim. 2:10-13).