A popular belief among Christians is that God wants to use us to help people see their sins and give them the choice of whether or not to receive Jesus. If we look more closely at what the Bible really declares as Jesus' message, we will have a plumb line to see just how off track we have veered with this sort of thinking.
Jesus states clearly in John 16:8 that the Holy Spirit will come and convict the world of guilt in regard to sin. God's task is to convict people of sin, and ours is to love people. "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). And when we do love people, and also love one another, they will know that we are true followers of Jesus (John 13:35).
When we use guilt-inducing methods to communicate Jesus' message, people usually respond by erecting walls and closing their minds to what we are saying. On the contrary, if we treat people in a kind and loving way, they generally tend to be very open and their walls recede. It is not for us to bring them to repentance; that's the Holy Spirits domain, and He accomplishes it much better than we ever could!
Counselors are advising people today that guilt is negative, unproductive, and even detrimental to their health, and they need to release these feelings. Thus, guilt is not an effective means of evangelizing and it actually obscures God.
As we learn to display God's love to the unlovable and His acceptance to the outcasts, we will see divine intervention in people's lives. There's incredible power in the simple act of unconditional love and acceptance. Jesus demonstrated this repeatedly by His works among the nonreligious multitude.
John 8:5,10,11 - "Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such women shall be stoned to death. But what do You say? When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She answered, No one, Lord! And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more."
In ministering to non-believers I seek to understand their values and perceived needs, and as much of their background and frame of reference as I can; Then I will know better how to relate to them and lead them to Christ when the time is right.
I realize that every human being not only wants but needs to be loved, accepted, and wants a God who has real power -- one who can identify with their pain while bringing them a higher, more abundant life here and now.
ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY