The first and greatest internal motivation for sharing your faith is in a previous article.
The second internal motivation is your desire to live a responsible life honoring God. You want to share your faith because you are overwhelmed with gratitude for what Christ did for you and you realize you have a responsibility to live a life pleasing to God.
Jesus said in John 8:29, “I always do what pleases Him.” Paul wrote to the Colossians “We are asking … that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9a,10).
Paul disciplined himself in the “race” of the Christian life so that after preaching to others he would not be disqualified. He wrote, “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NKJV).
A time will come when you are either qualified or disqualified in your “race.” The apostle Paul again wrote: “… We make it our aim to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11). This judgment is separate from salvation. You and I will account for how we spent our lives in His service.
Paul wasn’t willing to take the easy way out. He knew he had a responsibility to the Lord to relay the gospel. He also knew that this would involve some difficult times because of it. At the end of his life, Paul could say he had lived the one life he had in honor of God.
Jesus used parables to teach we are responsible for how we live our lives. In His parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30, a master returned to settle accounts with his servants. These servants were given a responsibility and knew that, sooner or later, the master would call them to account. Your Lord left you with the most important message in the history of mankind and the greatest gift of all eternity. You will account for how you shared this gift of the gospel for which He shed His blood.
The early church took seriously their responsibility to live every day in light of eternity. They were conscious that every deed––or lack of––would fall under the Lord’s scrutiny. This is the second personal reason why you want to be sharing your faith: responsibility.
A third powerful motivation to relay your faith to others is your concern for the fate of those who do not know God. When you understand the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, you develop a deeper appreciation of not only your past need of salvation but also the current need of people you know and love. You will be motivated to relay your faith to others.
At Zacchaeus’ home, Jesus announced the purpose of His life: “… To seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus also declared His exclusive claim to be the only way to salvation: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:10). By his own words, Jesus effectively eliminated all other ways to becoming right with God and going to heaven.
This claim of Christ may sound intolerant today, but it has nothing to do with tolerance. Tolerance is the ability to be patient and fair, but we are talking about truth. I can be tolerant with you if you think two plus two equals ten, but a teacher worth his pay will try to convince you it’s not the right answer. Is it intolerant to tell you the truth?
The mistake people make in calling Christians intolerant is they assume all faiths are equal. This is not any truer than “two plus two equals ten.” Either Jesus was who He said He was or He was not. There is no middle ground. A person must choose.
Jesus rules out all other ways to salvation. According to Jesus, mankind is divided into two groups: those who accept Him as the way to God and those who do not. The Bible says there is a broad way that leads to destruction and a narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). There is no third option. The people of the human race are described as sheep or goats (Matthew 25:33-46), wheat or weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), wise or foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13); those who came to the wedding banquet and those who chose to remain outside (Matthew 22:1-14). Either you know Him or you don’t.
You might try to create another option. A person might look for a third option, but Jesus has not given it to us. The problem of Christianity today is much as it was in the second century. By choosing Christ, you deny all other gods and rival commitments. He is Plan A; there is no Plan B. He is the only hope for the world.
If all this is true––and Christians certainly believe it is––then we must deal with the implications of the truth. If you actually believe there is no hope for salvation outside of Christ, how could you not be gripped with a compulsion to bring everyone to this only way of salvation? Human beings have a natural concern for a fellow human being in danger. This should be a driving motivation in your witness.
The three personal reasons for sharing your faith center around the depth of your appreciation for what God had done for you, recognizing your responsibility to live a life honoring to Him, and your concern for the fate of those who have not yet received the message of hope and salvation.