The Undercover Christian -- By Brother Bob

When I was a new Christian, pastors and other Christian workers were always trying to give us tips about how to witness to Christ. I went to some beach evangelism and campus evangelism outreaches, which often used a cold-turkey and aggressive style of witnessing to a total stranger with a booklet which had the four principles of finding salvation or other similar methods. But I found that these confrontational methods to complete strangers were immeasurably uncomfortable for me and seemingly awkward for the person I was trying to evangelize.

Then, years later, after settling into the work-a-day office or construction environment, I soon concluded that the confrontational method of evangelism when used in the workplace would either get me a punch in the mouth or fired or both, (at least this is what I feared). So I opted for the "007 method " of evangelism, that is, being God's little "secret agent", working undercover and just "being there" with my little personal testimony, my life filled with the presence of Christ.

At least that was the theory, people were some how supposed to see Christ in my life and that would lead them to want to know more about Him. But in fact my life wasn't always filled with Christ, and my lips weren't always ready with an answer to those who derided God or the Gospel. The net result of all this secret service was that in 30 years I cannot think of one person who I personally led to Christ by this approach. I say this to my own embarrassment and incompetence, I chose the coward's way out, and just kept my little candle safely underneath my little bushel basket where nobody would get burned, especially me. And the score at the end of the day of using this approach was Satan 100%, God 0%.

Naturally, what should I have expected?? This method is UN-BIBLICAL !!! "Silent Witnessing" favors everybody staying in their comfort zone, and nothing else. For the sinner, who wants to basically be left alone so he/she can go on enjoying the pleasures of sin for as many seasons as they can, the Silent Method of evangelism is PERFECT. No bothersome "Bible-thumping hypocrites ", (their words), raining on their parade of sin, no Holy Ghost conviction of sin, no reminders of feelings of guilt that they long-ago suppressed... just peace and tranquility, and watching the silly little Christian hypocrite "denying himself the pleasures of this world which he probably enjoys in secret anyway, (their words again).

And for the Secret Agent (non)-Witness Christian, more peace and tranquility. No bothersome studying my Bible to be able to adequately answer someone about why I believe in Jesus; no painful embarrassment from the rejection which we all know will come when we try to "witness" to an acquaintance at work; no possible recriminations from the boss who is bound to object to our taking up precious work-time on the clock for "talking religion"...just the inner knowledge that even though I don't exactly know what is happening, somehow, in some mysterious spiritual way, people are being won to Christ by me just walking around with an enigmatic smile on my face and refusing to go out for a beer with the gang after work.

Well, I am sorry for bursting anyone's little spiritual bubble, especially my own, but the silent approach never won anyone in Bible times, or since, neither can it do the job today. Jesus said ..

"I have not come to send peace, but a sword !" (Matt 10:34)

Why is this? This would seem to be so out of character for "Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild". The problem is, there is no Bible verse which says "Gentle Jesus Meek and
Mild"!! This portrayal of Christ as non-confrontational and politically correct is simply NOT TRUE. This is a LIE made-up by the prince of liars, Satan, to lull Christians into a state of silence, afraid of hurting people's feelings and damaging relationships...

Mat 10:34-39 (KJV) "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.   He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

Apparently Jesus is less worried about whether we risk making a few enemies of our families and friends by telling them the Gospel, than He is the risk that these people that we hold dear will slip away into a Christ less eternity from which there is no turning back.

And Why is this? Because Jesus is the ultimate realist. He has been to Hell. He created Hell, not for men, but for Satan and the fallen angels. But He will cast those people who reject His suffering and death on the Cross into this horrible place. And Jesus has done everything in His power short of violating our free choice to provide a way out of Hell. So for Jesus, the risk of hurting somebody's feelings is irrelevant compared to the risk of that person's eternal death. Consider this verse.... "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:47-48 KJV)

Jesus is telling us that, as horrible as losing an eye would be, even by your own hand, it is not as horrible as having to spend eternity in Hell...Eternity...never to get out...ever...where that which consumes you does not end...ever...

So what are we afraid of? Have we found our lives now, and decided, "Hey ! Life is pretty darn good. Let's not do anything that will upset anybody...and spoil our fun. Life is all kind of warm and fuzzy here...good wages...nice working environment, lots of respect from my co-workers and underlings....shhhhh....don't say a word...Jesus lives in my heart, but let's not weird anyone out by reading my Bible at lunch....shhhhhhh....people are going to hell all around me but.....well that's their decision....if i quote Bible passages to them they will think i am an idiot....they will say "how can you believe in that archaic book with all its awful rules in this new millennium....grow up pal"....shhhh...Jesus loves me this i know...shhhhh...". And so it goes.

But Jesus says "I know you well--you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other!  But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!  You say, 'I am rich, with everything I want; I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." Rev 3:15-17 (TLB) and He goes on to say.... "I continually discipline and punish everyone I love; so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God." Rev 3:19 (TLB)

"And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straightly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:27-29 (KJV)

And if we ought to obey God, what are we supposed to do? You don't have to be an obnoxious collar-grabber " Are you saved.....brother???". On the other hand, if people see your Godly behavior, because you are filled with the fragrance of Christ, let them know in no uncertain terms that it is Christ in You, that makes you that way, and not that YOU are such a good person. Don't be afraid to carry your Bible around, read it at lunch, in the lunchroom or wherever you are.

Don't engage in dirty-joke-telling...don't even listen to them. Let them make fun of you for being a "prude" but have an answer from the Bible ready....like, "I used to tell jokes like that before I knew Jesus....but now I would rather use my mouth to give Him Glory"...it might get you a few cat-calls, but so what? Jesus suffered a lot worse than that for you.

I actually used to have a little fun with the non-Christians where I worked, because they knew exactly where i stood for Christ. When I would come into the lunch-room, if they were telling dirty jokes, they would stop, (I never said anything or told them to do that....the Holy Spirit must have just hit them with conviction or something).

I remember one instance when some men I had witnessed to, and who always rejected the Word, were playing cards at the far end of the room, and didn't see me come in. One man had just lost the game, and said in a very loud and angry voice, "Jesus Christ!!!!" He looked up and saw me standing there, and I was just looking at him in a neutral expression. So I said, " He heard you. What did you want to say to Him??"  The man looked at me confusedly and said, "What?? Who??" I said, "Why, the Lord Jesus of course! You were calling out His name. I supposed that you wanted to do some praying and talk to Him about something. Do you want me to come over there and pray with you???"  He said, "You know, You are NUTS !!!" and stormed out of the room. And then I looked around, and everybody else was sitting there with their mouths open staring. And after that, the filthy talk was almost non-existent in that room whenever I came in. I don't know why???

Of course, I eventually paid the price for that encounter. A short time later, somebody drew an obscene picture of me in one of the men's locker room stalls with my name on it, and a few derogatory words about me. I just left them there, to see what would happen. They stayed up for about 4 days, and then somebody took some solvent and cleaned all the filthy writing off all the bathroom stall walls.

Nobody said that coming out from undercover would be easy. It may even cost you your job, as it did mine. But again I say, "So What!!"  God may have something even more blessed for you to do than what you think you are enjoying now. This is how it turned out for me. I am blessed every day doing the Lord's work, something which I never thought I would hear myself say.

"But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile-- now I've thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God's laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith-- counting on Christ alone.  Now I have given up everything else-- I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him. So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead." Phil 3:7-11(TLB)

God Bless you, friends, as you live your lives for Him !!

In Christ.....

Brother Bob..........    

Appearing Sunday, June 16, 2002