Can a Christian “Love” Someone into the Kingdom of God?

Author of Someplace to Be Somebody
Can a Christian “Love” Someone into the Kingdom of God?

A ministry exists that implies people will come to faith if we Christians simply, “Love them until they ask why.”

4. Who Jesus is (Jesus is God. He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer)

5. How a sinner can be saved (John 6:44; 14:6; Ephesians 2:5, 8)

6. What happens next (serve/obey the Lord and advance the Gospel)

Does loving someone with the actions of giving them gifts, time, service, mercy, grace, hugs, provisions, etc. answer these inevitable questions above? 

Absolutely not. 

We must speak. But we must also show them Christ’s love through acts of service like those mentioned above. We don’t save people, only God does that, but He deigns to use us for His purposes and in His timing.

When we think of humble, godly evangelists, we quickly think of “big name” ministers like Billy Graham and his son, Franklin, Dwight L. Moody, Jonathan Edwards, and F. F. Bruce, among many others. The Apostle Paul says to Timothy, “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). Yes, this is addressed to Timothy, but Scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:11-12 those who are evangelists, shepherds, and teachers are “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (The Apostles and the Prophets teach us through the Bible, because their offices are no longer active.) 

According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, an evangelist is, “A bringer of good tidings (the Good News); the name given to the New Testament heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles.” Guess what, we are not apostles, yet we have a charge to share the Good News with this lost and dying world.

We are still to always be, “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). We’re not all called to the large platform given to such men as listed above, but we have a platform, nonetheless. We are equipped by God and our message is His. The Gospel is given by God, our speech is empowered by God, and all results are brought to fruition by God according to His perfect will and timing.

Think of evangelism. Evangelism is promoting the Gospel. Now ponder loving someone without sharing the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Your impact would be as small as Billy Graham’s was huge. Speaking the Gospel is so important, the Apostle Paul said, “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Preaching is speaking and loving, and it goes hand-in-hand with good works toward obeying God’s call to us to share the Gospel.

When Paul wrote to the Galatian church about the person he once was and has becomes because of Christ, he reported this about the churches of Judea to whom he preached, “And they glorified God because of me" (Galatians 1:24).

If you say nothing about the Lord, who will the recipients of your love glorify? Who will they remember – you, or Christ?

Peter and the Apostles were beaten because they spoke of Jesus to the Jews and the crowds (Acts 5). “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” (Acts 5:41-42). Those men rejoiced they could suffer for Jesus’ name. If they had simply loved the people (as the world understands love), they would not have been beaten. But they knew (as should we) the best way we can love people is by sharing the Gospel, no matter the cost. Peter said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

If Paul had silently perused the tomb of the unknown god in Acts 17:23 and had not proclaimed Christ to them as the God they had yet to know, how would they have come to know Christ?

I loved Jane, and I hope I get to see her in heaven — not to condemn or to rebuke — but to thank her for how her inaction caused me to be active with sharing the Gospel. I don’t know her heart, but I trust the One who does.

We are to serve others, but we are to use our good works as a loving platform for the Gospel. We don’t all evangelize in the same way (e.g., I write. You might serve in a homeless shelter or deliver meals to shut-ins, etc.) A joyful way to consider our calling is to simply, “be who you are” — Christ followers who love Him first and then love our neighbors as ourselves. May what Paul said apply to us, “And they glorified God because of me” (Galatians 1:24).

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Kharoll Mendoza

Lisa Baker 1200x1200Lisa Loraine Baker is the multiple award-winning author of Someplace to be Somebody. She writes fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing for the Salem Web Network, Lisa serves as a Word Weavers’ mentor and is part of a critique group. She also is a member of BRRC. Lisa and her husband, Stephen, a pastor, live in a small Ohio village with their crazy cat, Lewis.