"You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you." -Deuteronomy 4:2
More and more, people are falling away from Christ, and it is a saddening, overwhelming number. At times it can be discouraging to see the numbers of non-christians climb higher and higher, while, naturally, the numbers of even people who merely claim to be Christians, are shrinking. However, we should not let this discourage us. We shouldn't let this discourage us, but instead let this encourage us. The fields may not be ripe for the plucking, but they are empty for planting. But how do we plant the seeds? How do we do that? I mean it's one thing to talk to someone who has been a Christian for years, and who already knows a lot about the Bible, but it's a whole other thing to start fresh and clean with someone who knows little to nothing about the Bible.
Not that there is anything wrong with searching through the details of the Bible, as they are, in fact, part of the Bible, but we don't need to get caught up in the things that are purely opinions. For example, we have topics such as what we should wear to worship, whether or not women should wear makeup, whether or not we should use the internet, etc. Yes, it is important that these things are thought about and discussed appropriately, but we are not going to convert people if we spend hours on end discussing these things and neglecting the things that are more important. Not that one sin is any greater or any less important than another, (James 2:10) but I think that God would rather someone be added into His Kingdom than to know whether or not they should wear a dress on Sunday night. Our problem is that we keep getting away from the basic text of the Bible.
Have you ever tried teaching calculus to a toddler? Have you ever seen a tree stand tall without any roots? Of course not! That would be impossible, right? Before we can talk about the things that are opinions, we need to show people the basis of God's Word. We need to be telling others about Jesus and His sacrifice. We need to be sharing the facts of salvation before we talk about whether or not women should wear pants in the worship service. We need to tell others the story of Jesus before we tell them that they need to never be on the internet. The Church is often described in the Bible as a house or building, with Jesus as the foundation, or cornerstone (Matthew 7:24-27; Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:20, etc.). The reason so many are falling away from the church is that instead of giving them a foundation, we give them nails to hold together the wooden beams that were never put there to begin with.
Today I would like to encourage you to reach out to others, but before you talk to them about God, think of things from their perspective. What are we trying to get across to them? We need to instill a love for God in others. If more people loved God, more people would keep His commandments (John 14:15, 23). It's time to stop spending our time trying to find new, revolutionary ways to follow God. It's time to stop finding ways to condemn people for things like using the internet, leaving the house not dressed up, leaving the house dressed up, using a smartphone, or texting instead of making phone calls. It's time to get back to the basics. It's time to get back to the Bible.