I have seen God work in a very different way in the lives of the students—differently than I have ever seen or experienced before.
I think the difference that I am seeing results from my understanding and application of what it actually means to be a follower of Christ. Instead of sugarcoating what I say when I am "informing" someone, I think that it is very urgent and necessary to teach them not only the love Jesus showed for them, but also the cost of being a true disciple.
I am "informing" someone, I think that it is very urgent and necessary to teach them not only the love Jesus showed for them, but also the cost of being a true disciple.
The more in-depth study of the Bible I do, the more God reveals to me. One very important thing I have learned is that getting someone to say that they believe in Jesus is not enough. We have to be extremely careful about how we portray Jesus to people. The Jesus I believe in is the Son of God, my Savior whose blood covers my sins, who rose from the dead and defeated death, who healed the sick, made the lame walk, who raised Lazarus from the dead, and who is one of the crucial elements of the Trinity. I also believe Jesus is the Word and that the Word is God. Since I believe that Jesus is the Word, I am required to believe and be obedient to the Word. If someone picks and chooses what they decide to believe about Jesus, ultimately, my Jesus is different from their Jesus and, moreover, different from the God that I believe in—making him a false god.
The word believe is used many times in the New Testament, especially referring to salvation. The original Greek word used is Pisteuo (used over 240 times), which literally translates “to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in the thing believed.” This Greek word is also a verb, which requires action. For example, a better translation of the common verse John 3:16 would say "for God did so love the world, that His Son — the only begotten — He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.”
So, it is extremely important that we do not thwart the gospel into a once-in-a-lifetime decision, but rather portray it as it is — a life-long commitment in a continuous belief in the Jesus who is described in the Bible, but also a life-long commitment in a continuous belief in the Word, which tells us to go, to do and to love.
Wes, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, is serving in East Asia with Go Now Missions. His last name is withheld for security reasons.