Lately I have been thinking about the word “whosoever.”
The Bible says “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Whosoever means whoever. It means anyone. It means everybody.
Jesus died for the sins of all people… all 7,000,000,000 of them. He loves all people of the world and is working to draw all people to himself. His death on the cross tore down all racial, national, and cultural barriers. So why do I put limits on whosoever? Why do I think “whosoever… except that guy”?
I think we often put limits on “whosoever” when we witness. I know I’m guilty of this. I easily share my faith with people who actively express an interest in it. But it is more difficult to step out in faith to witness to someone who may or may not be interested. But how do we know?
Too often, we judge people based simply on their appearance, race, socioeconomic status, or cultural background. We put people into categories. We look at someone who is like us and we think “that person is worth witnessing to, they seem like they would be interested,” but then we look at someone who is different from us and we think, “Don’t bother, I know their type, and there’s no way they would be interested in Jesus.”
But the Bible says “whosoever.”
That includes foreigners, rednecks, street thugs, and Wal-Mart employees.
So why do we think “they wouldn’t be interested”? Isn’t that thought really just Satan trying to prevent us from sharing our faith?
The Bible says “man looketh on the outward appearance, but Yahweh looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). We simply cannot, by looking at someone’s appearance, know anything about the condition of their heart. Too often, the people we assume would be interested in hearing the gospel are not at all interested, while the people we assume wouldn’t be interested are actually dying to know.
Instead of only witnessing to people who are like us, we need to step out in faith and reach everyone who the Lord leads us to. We can’t allow barriers of race, class, nationality, or culture hinder the Great Commission. Paul said: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
We also must be careful not to expect the people we share our faith with to adopt our cultural norms. Rather, we must adopt their cultural norms so we can be a more effective witness. Consider these words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:20-23:
Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Questions I ask myself:
- Why do I act like some people aren’t worth witnessing to, when the Bible says “whosoever”?
- Why do I expect the people I share my faith with to adopt my cultural norms, when Paul said, “to the Jew I become a Jew”?
- Why do I assume people who the Lord leads me to don’t want to hear about my faith, when God has already examined their hearts? Do I know better than God the condition of their hearts?
- Why am I so quick to judge people based on their appearance? Why do I think, “I know their type, they wouldn’t be interested in Jesus”? Isn’t this assumption just an excuse to not witness?