Thursday, April 21, 2016

P2 FInding Answers to Life's Toughest Questions in Sunday School

1 Peter 3:15 “But Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who as you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect.”

What a blessing it is to pastor a church where one can find answers to some of life’s toughest questions in Sunday School! I begin today’s post with this affirmation because of the value that is found when Sunday School is operating as it ought in the local church. 

In our church we recently had a combined Sunday School hour. In the largest room of the church, there were several round tables set up for the purpose of hosting 6 discussion groups handling several very difficult questions. Each teacher had been assigned the question the previous week and was instructed to research the answers and then lead whoever would be at their table in a “round-table” discussion. At the end of the prescribed time, each table would pick a representative to give a three-minute summary of the group’s answers to the group at large. The exercise was extremely interesting to watch. The answers given even more rewarding.

Sunday school is the local church’s most effective way to mature and mobilize Christians to share Jesus' love with others. Today’s post and the next couple of blogs will summarize the answers given at the combined Sunday School event described in the opening paragraph. We are calling these series of posts: "Answers to life's difficult questions found in Sunday School." Today's post deals with a question about the appropriateness of sharing the Gospel in questionable locations.

Can I witness to a friend in a questionable location?
This discussion question raised in the Sunday School hour followed on the heels of the first one (which we looked at yesterday on the subject of Christian Liberty). I chose to include this in today’s post, since it is closely related to that broader issue. At stake is the approach one takes in sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. How restricted are Christians in regards to venue? Can the Christian legitimately share Jesus with someone in what could-very-well be a questionable location? 

Luke 5:27-29 records an episode in Jesus’ ministry whereby he chose to eat a meal with the social outcasts of Jewish culture – namely tax-collectors and sinners. The company Jesus kept was the issue with the Pharisees. Whatever Jesus did, He never did anything to compromise His peerless character. Nevertheless, His desire to reach sinners entailed Him rubbing shoulders and meeting them at their point of life.

As the Sunday School teacher further expounded on this issue, he cited Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8-10. These particular chapters give principles for deciding how to handle such issues like going into questionable locations. So, if we find ourselves being led to talk to someone about the Gospel, and the location ends up counter-acting our efforts, then we ought to take that as a red-flag and choose another venue. 

I have found Romans 14 to always be helpful and was glad to hear the Sunday School class referencing it. Discernment must always be exercised when making these difficult choices. As the Sunday School teacher brought his summary to a close, he ended with this very insightful and helpful remark: “The question is not: what’s wrong; rather, what is right about it.

Closing thoughts:

Well that closes out our post for today. We have explored what I have called “Life’s toughest questions answered in Sunday School”. We considered questions regarding Christian Liberty and when and where we ought to go in our attempts to talk to unbelievers about the Gospel. The reader is invited to return tomorrow where I will share further about the answers I heard to life’s toughest questions in Sunday School.

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