"And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd." John 10:16 ESV
Outside of family, how many people do you know who don't believe in God or identify as a Christian? How well do you know them? Do you consider them a friend? How many conversations did you have last week with someone of a different faith? What about last month? The last 6 months? The last year?
Unfortunately, for many of us who call ourselves Christians, we have few to no meaningful encounters with people who believe differently than we do, let alone relationships with them. Some studies even show that within a few years of becoming a Christian, our friendships with nonbelievers drops to zero. We essentially form a Christian bubble and rarely, if ever, venture
outside. But is that what God intends for His people?
Yes, Jesus did say His people are set apart and therefore are called to live differently than those of the world. However, He did not say, "Thou shalt live in a Christian bubble."
The fact that you are a Christ-follower proves Jesus' heart for outsiders. He sought the outcasts. He sat with tax collectors and ate with sinners. He commands His people to care for the sick, widowed and marginalized. You were saved because Jesus loves the lost, the less than, the sinful and the Gentile.
He sent the 12—and now us—into all the world to make disciples. So why do we shy away, either unintentionally or intentionally, from those far from Him? We as God's people cannot be known for living in a bubble. We, like Jesus and the early Church, need to lean into a life of balance: one where our identity is rooted in Christ where nothing can separate us from Him AND one where our heart yearns for those distant from the Father to the point nothing can stop us from reaching them.
And to do that, my friends, we have to pop our Christian bubbles. The Enemy has convinced us we're not equipped, people don't care or we'll only meet hostility. Yes, some people's hearts are hard and you will face opposition, but many nonbelievers are open to spiritual conversations.
spiritually and 44% said they're more open to God now than they were pre-pandemic. And these numbers include young people: 73% of Gen Zers and 77% of Millennials say they want to grow spiritually and 52% of all teens want to learn more about Jesus.
We, like Jesus and the early Church, need to lean into a life of balance...And to do that, my friends, we have to pop our Christian bubbles.
Yet despite this spiritual openness, Lifeway's study showed that only 40% of Christians talked about faith with a non-Christian stranger and 53% with a non-Christian friend or family member.
How are we to "proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" if we remain in our Christian bubbles (Mark 16:15)? What if we are neglecting God's abundant harvest? Are we, like Jesus, Paul and the early Church, willing to step outside our Christian bubbles to reach those distant from the Father? Do we see them as worthy?
We're living in a spiritually hungry world, and we're the only ones with life-giving Bread. Jesus is calling us to do more than feed the 5,000. Do you believe Him? Are you willing to join Him?
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.