As a Christian, do your actions serve as a testament to the gospel, or do they hinder others? Christians come to know God through the Bible, while non-Christians often gain insight into the Christian faith by observing the lives of believers. The lifestyle of a Christian can either bear witness to Jesus, naturally sowing the seeds of the gospel, or it can become an obstacle that prevents others from entering the church.
The story of a middle-aged female Christian from Nanjing, Jiangsu province exemplifies the power of sharing the gospel through daily life. A shoemaker from another city had set up a stall near her residence, and she recognized the hardships he faced while working away from home. To express her concern, she would always serve him a portion of her meal during lunchtime. Later, when the believer was about to move, she expressed her regret to the shoemaker, saying that she wouldn't be able to bring him food anymore. To her surprise, the shoemaker was extremely grateful and said that not only did he believe in Jesus, but he also led five of his family members to faith. Hearing this Christian's testimony, some were amazed, realizing that a bowl of noodles could be more impactful than a gospel tract.
Christians can lead their family members to Jesus through their good deeds. Many claim that sharing the gospel with family is the most challenging task, but when family members who have already accepted Jesus exhibit noticeable changes in their lives, it often produces favorable outcomes. Before her conversion, a woman from Shandong had achieved success in her career and would return to her hometown with an air of superiority. Despite frequently bestowing material gifts upon her family members, their relationships remained strained. However, after her conversion, her life underwent a 180-degree turn, and she humbly served her family. As a result, many family members also embraced the faith.
A male Christian who had struggled with drug addiction for two decades successfully overcame his dependency through the power of the Holy Spirit, inspiring numerous family members to follow Christ.
In Jiangsu, a destitute wanderer received help and acceptance from the church during his darkest hour. After becoming a pastor, he led the majority of his family members to renounce idolatry and embrace Jesus. Such stories are countless.
Conversely, if believers fail to live out their faith, they can easily become stumbling blocks for those seeking to believe in Jesus. On one occasion, when I mentioned the gospel to a friend's mother, she promptly declined, displaying a disdainful expression. She stated, "I know some Christians around me who are no different from non-believers, and some are even worse. They engage in dishonest practices and deceitful dealings!" By that point, any attempt to explain further was futile, as she had already closed herself off.
Similarly, some Christians appear zealous in sharing the gospel, but others around them simply shake their heads in disapproval when talking about them. These individuals said, "If your conduct falls short of mine, why should I heed your advice to believe in Jesus?"
The content above only touches on the role of believers, but the same applies to pastors. A pastor who has served in grassroots churches for two or three decades emphasized that preaching comprises only 20% to 30% of a pastor's responsibilities. A pastor's life, therefore, holds greater significance. Even exceptional preaching skills can only captivate a congregation for a maximum of three months without a corresponding testimony in the pastor's life. In addition to preaching, this pastor from Northeast China actively engages in many church matters, including snow removal, building maintenance, visiting believers, and dressing the deceased believers. The pastor firmly believed that some believers, who solely relied on listening to a few online sermons and subsequently abandoned physical church attendance, made an unwise decision.
- Translated by Abigail Wu