I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. — 1 Corinthians 9:22–23
The Bible says we should not be conformed to this world. It also tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
So how do we impact our culture today? The apostle Paul sheds some light on this: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people –10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case, you would have to leave this world.” (1 Corinthians 5:9–10).
The idea is that we want to influence the world, not have the world influence us. We start by speaking in a language people can understand. As believers, we can get frustrated because it doesn’t seem like people are listening to us. If we want to engage this biblically illiterate culture, we have to break the terms down. We can’t assume they understand any of it. If you go to another country where they speak another language, you have to speak to people through an interpreter, or you have to learn the language yourself.
The greatest example of this was Jesus himself. We see Him engage the woman at the well, a woman who had been married and divorced five times and was living with a man she wasn’t married to. Jesus built a bridge, appealed to her inner spiritual thirst, and then brought the solution she needed. That is always the objective of evangelism: to build a bridge, not burn one.
What opportunity do you have today to build a bridge to share the gospel?