Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. — Acts 8:5
Being an effective communicator of the gospel requires a willingness to reach out to people who are different from you. We tend to want to hang around people who look like us, who talk like us, and who are just like us. But how willing are we to leave our comfort zone and go to a person completely different from us with the message of the gospel?
To put it another way, are we willing to acknowledge that all prejudice is wrong? Everyone needs Jesus, and we need to go without embarrassment and share the gospel with them. We can talk all day about how to do evangelism effectively. We can go to classes on how to share our faith and read books about it. We can memorize a list of conversation-starters that can help turn a conversation toward evangelism. All these things are good. But none of them will matter if we don't care about others. People can tell whether or not we care about them. Even a dog can tell. And a person will know whether you are sharing the gospel out of sincerity or a mere sense of duty.
The Bible gives us the example of Philip, who had a heart for unbelievers. Along with Stephen and others, he was called to be a deacon in the church. And when Stephen was martyred and Saul of Tarsus began to attack Christians, where did Philip go? To Samaria. Philip was a Jew, yet he went to Samaria. This was significant, because Jews hated Samaritans, and Samaritans hated Jews. Yet Philip went to these people, people whom Jews normally would not speak to, much less want to reach.
May God give us compassion for people who do not yet know Him. Philip had that, and we should too.
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