How Do We Help the “Not Yets” Know Christ?

I call people who don’t believe the “Not Yets.” They are people who have “not yet” come in contact with a credible Christian who will invest in their life. They have “not yet” submitted to the leading of God’s Spirit. They have “not yet” experienced the kind of sorrow that would make them look at life differently. They have “not yet” experienced a vibrant church which will help direct them to Christ.

How do we help the “not yets?”

The Apostle Paul gave powerful insight to the church at Colossae about how to relate to outsiders (Colossians 4:2-6). What can we learn from Paul and the New Testament church?

First, we can pray. We can pray for the work of God and for the salvation of our neighbors. We can pray for the work of evangelists and missionaries around the world that Christ would be known and the lost saved. We can pray for open doors and effective proclamation of the gospel.

Paul encouraged the Colossians to pray for all of these needs.

Second, we can carefully examine our interactions with those who are “not yet” followers of Christ. Those interactions need to be wise and with purpose. We must make the most of every opportunity we have.

Third, we can seek every opportunity to have gospel conversations. Simon Peter called on believers to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). This means that we must be wise and thoughtful. We may need to think ahead about how we would answer the questions or objections of those who do not believe.

Finally, all that we do must reflect the spirit of Christ. Peter said that we must answer those objections with gentleness and respect while Paul told the church at Colossae to be filled with grace and to let our speech be seasoned with salt, a phrase that describes speech that is alive and filled with meaning and significance.

The Jesus you live and reflect is often the only Jesus the unbeliever ever sees.

Make the most of every opportunity.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. — Philippians 1:21 (NIV)