The Jesus Issue

It’s not about conversion – it’s about connection

By Kirk Giles

Studies will tell you that the majority of Canadians believe in God. The problem is that too many people believe that all religions serve the same god. You can talk to people about God, but mention Jesus and you will likely have a very different response.

This is not new. Jesus has always been a problem for people. After all, if you claimed to be God and declared exclusivity as the only way to God, you would likely upset a few people too.
So why does it matter if men believe in Jesus? Why can’t men be good men without having to deal with the Jesus question?
To answer this question, we must go back to the beginning of the story. God created us, male and female, in His own image. However, we sinned, and who we were supposed to be was no longer possible. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, came to earth. The Bible teaches us that He was the perfect image of God, and that when we are in Christ, we are going to be conformed to the image of Jesus. (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15) This is not possible through any religion.
Why does the Jesus issue matter? Because it is only through Jesus that men can fully become what they were designed to be in the first place. Everything else we do in life is ultimately futile; there is no person and no activity that can lead us back to the fullness of the image of God other than Jesus. According to Jesus, there is no activity or person who can lead us back into the relationship with God that we were designed to have—but He can. (John 14:6)
The most important question a human being will have to answer is this: “Who do you say that Jesus is?” Jesus is either a liar, or He is God—He cannot be just a good, moral teacher. In this edition of SEVEN, we are focusing on helping you understand how a follower of Jesus can interact and communicate with people who do not share the same faith in Jesus.
There are too many Christian men who are threatened, angry, afraid, or apathetic towards people who have a different faith than we do. We have to remember that Jesus reached out to us while we were also dead in our sins. He was not threatened by you, angry at you, afraid of how you would respond, nor did He just shrug His shoulders and pretend you did not exist. He sacrificially pursued you.
There are only two types of people in the world—those who know Jesus and those who do not. As followers of Jesus, it is our responsibility and opportunity to reflect the image of the Son of God to others. We are not in the business of converting people to a religion, we are in the mission of connecting people to a Saviour who can restore us to who we were supposed to be as people.
As we approach the Christmas season, how will you help people who have a different faith experience the life of the One who came to bring us eternal life?

KIRK GILES is the president of Promise Keepers Canada. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel.