Why are you still a Christian?

Jim Ramsay

As we begin a focused year of connecting in 2009, veteran evangelist Jim Ramsay has a series of questions he wants us to ask of ourselves and those we hope to lead to Christ

I am glad that the good old fashioned "Giving your testimony' kind of talk has died out. Not that I am opposed to people recounting how they became a Christian, or even why. It's just that it's, so, 20th century. In my case my personal "testimony' would recount something that happened under God's gracious hand back in the late 1950's!

Much has happened since then. Numerous people I know, having previously expressed faith in Christ back in the 60's and 70's, have fallen by the wayside. They've no longer allowed themselves to be identified with Jesus. They no longer trust him. Perhaps you know someone like this.

People drop Jesus for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they were hurt by another Christian, or they were enveloped by a deep sadness when a family member died a lingering death, or they were betrayed, or perhaps they just gave up and went back to the world.

Maybe disappointments like those in the previous paragraph have also been part of your life or the life of someone close to you. Such experiences are neither trivial nor insignificant.

It's been a long time so how is it, even after all these years, you're still a Christian? Although you have had opportunity to do so you haven't given up! Yet, like me, you have also experienced enough disappointments in your life to have given you a variety of occasions to give up being Christian.

Therefore my question is, "Why are you still a Christian?"

How different is the answer to this question. No longer will it recount the blessed change that took place all those years ago. Now the focus is on perseverance. A decision was certainly made long ago to seek God's forgiveness in Christ, but other decisions have been made since then. These are decisions to stay with Christ.

Why are you still a Christian?

Job's wife urged him to "curse God and die" (Job 2:9). He also could have made a decision to drop God. Like you, he didn't. Neighbours, family members and colleagues are watching us from a distance. They see the trials and sadness we may face. Do they know the security and assurance that trusting Jesus brings?

Why are you still a Christian? Work on your answer. Make it short, eliminate religious language or terms, and then have a practice run with a friend. To the non Christian it may have a more relevant and contemporary feel to it than the story of your conversion. Just tell your story as simply and briefly as possible and don't forget - it's all about Jesus.

Jim Ramsay is the CEO of Evangelism Ministries, the outreach arm of the Sydney Diocese. Click here to visit the Evangelism Ministries web site.