I have been repeatedly inspired by the grace shown by certain non-believers toward people of other faiths or other worldviews. I want to accept people but love them so much I want them to be saved. I know that a key to evangelism is love and a winsome way. When I embrace that stance I somehow feel like I am not being faithful to Christ.
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Just as the questioner has been struck by the grace shown by non-believers, I would say that a Christian should also make the peace, joy, and forgiveness that Christ has given to them so evident in their words and actions that, even when dealing with other people "where they are", those people will be motivated to ask them (as Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15) about the reason for the hope that is in them, to which the Christian should then respond (as Peter also said) with gentleness and respect. It was Jesus' willingness to meet people where they were (as in Matthew 9:9-13 or Luke 19:1-10, for example) that drew them to Him, and led to the frequent charge that the Pharisees made against him of associating with "tax collectors and sinners".
In Matthew 16 :18 Jesus stated “I will build my church and the Gates of Hell will not stand against it”. The “church “ He here prophesied into existence is not a building or a denomination but a congregation of “called out ones," the Ekklesia. The church, by its very nature is a community of former unsaved people. In Matthew 28 :18-20 we have the Great Commission. The mandate to share this Good News of the Gospel with all who will hear is given to all who are in Christ. It is the born again believer, empowered by the Holy Spirit, who is the light and salt in a dark and soulless world that is entrusted to illuminate the way of the lost to the saving grace of Christ. Therefore the only ones we can ever witness to are those who do not yet know Christ. Romans 5:5 tells us that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit for the express purpose of enabling us to love with the love of Christ. It is this incredible love of God whereby He showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8) that enables us to feel empathy and compassion for those outside the Kingdom of His love. Do not feel guilty when feeling love and acceptance for unbelievers. It is not a betrayal of Jesus but an act of obedience. It is the living Spirit of Christ within you that enables you to do this. By your conduct and presence among unbelievers they will see and hear something new and different which could frequently lead to a discussion and give you an opportunity to give a reason for the hope you have within you. 1 Peter 3:15
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