In studying the call to Christians to be Christ-like, I encountered some potent words from John R. W. Stott in his final book, The Radical Disciple. And while his comments do not tell the whole story of conversion (and the depths of man’s depravity), they should prod believers in the right direction — toward greater Christlikeness!
Why is it that our evangelistic efforts are often fraught with failure? Several reasons may be given, and I must not oversimplify, but one main reason is that we don’t look like the Christ we proclaim. John Poulton has written about this in his perceptive little book, A Today Sort of Evangelism:
“The most effective preaching comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message…. Authenticity … gets across from deep down inside people…. A momentary insincerity can cast doubt on all that has made for communication up to that point….”
Similarly a Hindu professor, identifying one of his students as a Christian, once said, “If you Christians lived like Jesus Christ, India would be at your feet tomorrow.” . . .
Lord, may Your disciples be more like You.