Summary: Part 2 of Series on Evangelism
How Not To Be Ashamed Of Sharing Your Faith
Passing On The Faith, Part 2
Last week we began a series
based on Paul’s second letter to Timothy,
called “Passing On The Faith.”
If you have your bible,
turn to 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 6 (pew bible page 817)
And I said last week,
the Christian faith is really like
an incredible chain made up on thousands of links –
a chain that reaches back 2000 years
to Jesus and the apostles;
a chain that has gone from one side of the world to the other.
a chain that involves millions of faithful people,
who generation after generation
passed on their faith,
parents, and grandparents,
and pastors, and priests
and Sunday school teachers,
all kinds of people,
that wanted to make sure
the chain of faith passed down to them,
was not broken with them,
but that the chain would continue
through them to others.
The reason why any of us are followers of Christ today
is because generation after generation
of faithful Christians
have forged another link in the chain.
2000 years of passing along the faith.
So the ultimate question is really
whether you and I
will add another link to the chain,
Will we pass along the faith
to our children,
or will that chain that stretches back 2000 years,
and that made it all the way to us,
will it simply end with us –
our private faith.
Now, when it comes to
talking to people about our faith,
very few people actually feel confident about it.
Most of the time
people feel a lot of inadequacy or fear or guilt
about sharing their faith,
So if you've ever felt like
you’re just a failure in this area,
I want you to know that
there’s some great Christians
that have done this really, really badly.
How many of you have heard of Eugene Peterson?
Eugene Peterson is a pastor,
He’s also one of the greatest writers and scholars
about Christian faith
He’s written a bunch of great books,
But what he’s best known for, is
he’s the guy who translated The Message Bible
if you've ever seen this.
Eugene Peterson writes about how
he grew up in a very devout, Pentecostal Christian home,
but when he started first grade,
a second-grade bully named Garrison Johns
started picking on him every day.
"By the time I got to first grade, my parents had helped me memorize, 'Bless those who persecute you', and 'turn the other cheek.'
I don't know how Garrison Johns knew that about me, but most afternoons after school, he would catch me and beat me up. He found out I was a Christian and taunted me with “Jesus-sissy.” And I arrived home most days bruised and humiliated.
My mother told me, this had always been the way of Christians in the world,
and that I had better get used to it. She also said I was supposed to pray for him.
One day I was with 7 or 8 friends when Garrison caught up with us in the afternoon and started jabbing me.
That's when it happened. Something snapped.
For a moment, the Bible verses disappeared from my consciousness,