Ephesians 4:1-6 — A variety of influences have converged in our nation over the past century, fundamentally altering how people perceive truth. We live in a culture that now believes individuals must be allowed to interpret truth against the shifting and unique circumstances of their lives. Today, truth often comes prefixed with possessive pronouns – “my truth,” “your truth,” “their truth,” etc. Against that backdrop, Christianity’s claim that “Jesus rightly demands the allegiance of every human being – regardless of their cultural background or current beliefs – seems offensive and absurd.” Today, many would say, “Yes, it is wrong to try and persuade someone to change their beliefs.”
However, consider some of the claims Jesus made about himself:
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26)
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus fully believed everyone should share his convictions and even commissioned his closest followers to teach/convince people to accept his beliefs.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
So, how do we properly persuade people when our culture considers such efforts immoral?