Do You Really Need a Relationship with Christ?
Life is full of cliches, and the Christian life is no exception. It is not unusual for Christians to become comfortable with “christianeeze” words and phrases and to use them while giving little or no thought to their meaning. In the process, we fail to honor God with our words, shortchange ourselves by not thinking things through, and do not give a clear message of Christ and His Gospel.
One of the phrases often used when talking with someone about the Gospel and salvation is “a personal relationship with Christ”. People are often told that their greatest need is a personal relationship Christ. And they are also often told that if they will repeat a certain prayer, come forward in a meeting, or perhaps do some other outward religious act, they will have this relationship that is so necessary.
It is not uncommon for those who preach or otherwise promote the Gospel to get the order wrong. The question is not whether a right relationship with God is important. It most certainly is. In evangelism, the question is what is of first importance to the unconverted person.
In a day when people are starved for solid, genuine relationships, social media saturation not withstanding, I want to propose that the person who is not a Christian should not be encouraged to seek a personal relationship with Christ. And I challenge the reader to sight a clear instance of the call of a sinner to such in the New Testament. In the New Testament sinners are called upon to repent or turn from their sins, believe on The Lord Jesus Christ, or call upon The Lord. I am not able to find an instance when an unconverted person is challenged to consider the issue of a personal relationship. A drowning person does not need to get to know the lifeguard in a personal way. He needs to be rescued by him. I realize that human illustrations break down, but the point is still valid. The one who is lost in sin needs to be rescued. That is why the sinner needs Christ, because Christ is forgiveness, pardon, and rescue for the sinner who comes to Him in faith.
The truth of a relationship with Christ is a blessed reality for the follower of Christ. Does the believing sinner come into a personal relationship with Christ? Certainly. But it is the glorious result of looking in faith to Christ and Him alone for salvation. I challenge you (with the help of God’s Spirit) to make sinners aware of their sin and the judgement to come. Point them to Christ as the only Savior. Then watch those who trust Him enter the blessedness of a glorious relationship with our great God.