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‘In this the Father will be glorified’

What greatly motivates members of the Church Of Christ
to share their faith?

By ROMMEL V. SAN PEDRO

CHURCH OF CHRIST MEMBERS are known for their zeal in sharing their faith with others. At a time when people believe that other faiths should just be tolerated, the brethren continue to invite their loved ones and friends to Bible study centers. Besides love and concern for fellowmen, what greatly motivates them to do so?

Love of God
When Christ was asked which is the most important command, He answered:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself’.” (Matt. 22:37-39 Easy-to-Read Version)

To love God is to obey His commandments (I John 5:3). And what God wants is for “everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth” (I Tim. 2:3-4 ETRV). The truth is the word of God (John 17:17) written in the Holy Scriptures or the Bible (II Tim. 3:15-17) that teaches that man must enter the Church Of Christ to be saved on Judgment Day (John 10:9, 16; Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation). Therefore, by sharing our faith, we prove our true love not only for our neighbors but, above all, for God.

The Father is glorified by bearing abundant fruit
Christ taught the importance of sharing our faith:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains with me and I with him, will bear abundant fruit … In this the Father will be glorified, that you bear abundant fruit, and be my disciples.” (John 15:5, 8 Lamsa)

When true Christians bear abundant fruit, as they actively participate in the propagation of the gospel resulting in increased Church membership, they prove that they are Christ’s true disciples possessing a fervent desire to bring glory to God. God expects glory from His nation:

“Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One’.” (Isa. 24:15-16 New International Version)

This prophecy is fulfilled in the Church Of Christ in these last days, which emerged in the Philippines, a country in the Far East composed of islands. The period “ends of the earth” refers to the time when the Second Advent of Christ is near, one sign of which is the First World War (Matt. 24:3, 33, 6-8) that broke out on July 27, 1914, the same date as the registration of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) with the Philippine government.

Names written in the book of life
Those who share their faith reap enormous benefits:

“And I exhort you too, [my] genuine yokefellow, help these [two women to keep on cooperating], for they have toiled along with me in [the spreading of] the good news (the Gospel), as have Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life.” (Phil. 4:3 Amplified Bible)

To toil is to labor or work hard. Therefore, those who work hard in sharing their faith by helping in the work of spreading the true gospel are ensured of salvation, as only those whose names are found in the Book of Life will be saved (Rev. 21:27). Those who share their faith build a strong foundation to inherit eternal life (I Tim. 6:18-19).

Light and salt of the world
When members of the Church Of Christ share their faith, they fulfill their sacred function as lights of the world (Matt. 5:14-16). Light is necessary in a world covered in darkness because of sin (Phil. 2:15). True members who share their faith also fulfill their function as salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13), that is, by saving people who are slaves of corruption (Rom. 8:21) and decay from being destroyed.

How to be effective in sharing the faith
The Samaritan woman showed the effective way of sharing her faith when she “left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ Then they went out of the city and came to Him” (John 4:28-30 New King James Version). Doubtless enthusiastic over meeting Christ, she went to the city where people congregate so she could invite them to hear Christ’s preaching. Because of her missionary zeal “many more believed because of his message” (John 4:39, 41-42 Good News Bible). Today, many members follow this example by regularly participating in evangelical missions. They also use social media to make people aware of the television and radio programs, and Internet websites (incmedia.org, iglesianicristo.net, pasugo.com.ph) of the Church Of Christ. They regularly give copies of the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, pamphlets, and other publications so that others will know the truth about salvation.

Saving relatives and friends
Of course, among the people we want most to be saved are people close to us like our family and friends. This was also the feeling of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, when in preparation for Apostle Peter’s arrival to teach God’s words had invited those he cared about:

 “The following day he arrived in Caesarea, where Cornelius was waiting for him, together with relatives and close friends that he had invited.” (Acts 10:24 GNB)

Before the great flood, Noah made sure his family would be safe in the ark (I Pet. 3:20). Knowing that Judgment Day is now very near, members also even more intensively share their faith, fulfilling the command to “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” (Jude 1:23 Today’s New International Version). Anyone filled with love would never hesitate to run selflessly into a burning house just to rescue someone from a momentary fire. In like manner, true Christians can’t stand the thought of those they care about ending up eternally punished in the lake of fire.

The Church Of Christ today
Today, the Church Of Christ has spread all over the world, counting people of different races and socio-economic backgrounds as members. The instruments—faithful, courageous members filled with love and the pure purpose of bringing glory to our Lord God. By not giving up easily in the face of persecution, they prove their love, not only for their Creator and His Son, but also for their fellowmen, and countrymen, as commanded:

“So that you will be blameless and pure, children of God without any fault. But you are living with evil people all around you, who have lost their sense of what is right. Among those people you shine like lights in a dark world, and you offer them the teaching that gives life. So I can be proud of you when Christ comes again. You will show that my work was not wasted—that I ran in the race and won.” (Phil. 2:15-16 ETRV)

This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, August 2015 Issue.

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