Sharing the Gospel with Hindus

Sharing the Gospel with Hindus

Reaching out to Hindus with the love of Jesus requires some understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities they present. Here is some guidance as to things to consider when sharing the gospel with Hindus.

1. Offer Jesus’ forgiveness:  Bakht Singh, an evangelist and Indian convert from Hinduism, said, “I have never yet failed to get a hearing if I talk to [Hindus] about forgiveness of sins and peace and rest in your heart.” Since the Hindu system is based on karma, forgiveness is not available to Hindus.

2. Keep God’s personhood in mind: A personal God is able to empathize with and respond to our suffering, something an impersonal ultimate essence (Brahman) is unable to do. Hindus need to know that a personal, fulfilling relationship with a holy and loving God is available to them.

3. Ask and listen: Hinduism is a very tolerant religion because of its widely diverse beliefs, so it is important to listen to your Hindu friend’s particular beliefs about God, sin, salvation and so forth. You will probably hear the word “enlightenment”, the Hindu version of salvation—you may want to discuss with your friend the difference between salvation based on human effort versus that based on God’s grace and forgiveness.

4. Be humble: Because of their sacrificial lifestyle, Hindus often consider themselves spiritually superior to Christians. Humbly share your life with them and let them see the peace and love your relationship with God gives you.

5. Focus on Jesus: Even Mahatma Gandhi said, “I shall say to the Hindus that your lives will be incomplete unless you reverently study the teachings of Jesus.” Encourage your Hindu friend to discover Jesus for themselves, and to read the New Testament, particularly Luke or John.

6. Be aware of differing definitions: Be especially careful of the term “born again”. To a Hindu this means reincarnation, something from which they want to be liberated.

(Adapted from
Hinduism: A Religion Profile by International Students, Inc.)

The Rich, OLD Ruler

The Rich, OLD Ruler

You’ve heard the story of the rich young ruler from Mark 10. North India also has a “rich ruler.” He isn’t young, though, which makes  it even harder to “sell everything.” Elders in India have standing. And this man has been a pastor for years! 

Recently a young newlywed couple moved into his area, having little or no social standing. But they didn’t let that stop them. They kept talking to the pastor about being disciples of Jesus, really following Him, and teaching others to do the same. The pastor was fascinated by their excitement. They had personal stories of miracles and of whole families getting baptized together! 

The “rich old ruler” had a choice to make: keep all he had and walk away, or sell all and follow. He chose to “sell all.” He humbled himself and began learning from the younger couple. The three of them are now a disciple-making team, bearing fruit among the lost. Whole households are giving their allegiance to Jesus. This “rich old ruler” was willing to lose his life for Jesus’ sake, and now he has truly found it.

Pray that new disciples quickly learn to love and obey Jesus, surrendering all, so his living water can flow through them to others.

Shanti: A True Person of Peace

Shanti: A True Person of Peace

*Hannah had just moved into a 12 story apartment building when one of the two elevators stopped working. At first, she was annoyed. But soon, the Lord showed her how many people she was meeting right after moving in. 

One was a single mom named *Shanti. They ran into one another about once a week and chatted about Shanti’s kids. One day, Shanti said, “You see my problems, don’t you?” Hannah learned that Shanti wasn’t a single mom. Her husband had all but left the family, and the burden to support their four sons was on her shoulders. 

Through Hannah, Shanti has heard the Good News many times. She is not yet a Jesus follower. She carries hurt from a brother who became a Christian and began treating the family very poorly. How different his family’s lives could have been if he had brought them into the Kingdom as he was first learning! 

Hannah, however, feels the Lord wooing Shanti and sees signs that she’s softening to his call. As a potential person of peace, Shanti has already opened the community in the building to Hannah. Pray God would move mightily and draw Shanti and the entire community to Jesus. 

*pseudonym

Don’t Hoard, Share the Food . . .

Don’t Hoard, Share the Food . . .

 

This is the kind of fasting I want: . . . Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless . . .. Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” –  Isaiah 58:7-8, 10

News about COVID-19 is bleak. The virus is in virtually every country. The numbers of those infected and dead continue to rise. Many of us in the U.S. are entering our sixth week of quarantine. We have exhausted our self-entertaining options and are dealing with personal struggles. Even as we cope with these daily stresses, we should keep in mind the horrific situation multitudes around the world are facing.  As you heard last week, many people around the world are daily wage earners. Each day they don’t work is a day they don’t eat. 

 But . . . 

God’s people in one North India movement are mobilizing to help those hit hardest by shelter-in-place restrictions. Below is a translation of a voice message received from *Sanjay, a national movement leader and Beyond teammate:

. . .We give thanks to Jesus Christ for today’s work!  We left our house this morning at 7:00 because we had set a long journey for ourselves.

. . .We made 133 food parcels to give away. Each pack contained 10kg rice, 10kg wheat flour, 2kg sugar, tea, spices (coriander, turmeric, chili), 1l oil, 2kg lentils, and salt. We were able to take these rations to each place we visited. 

We are very happy because God helped us with all this travel. It’s very hard to travel these days due to the coronavirus lockdown, but even so, we were able to be out all day without getting stopped by the police . . .. We were able to distribute food in four locations. All these people
are so very poor. There are more than 70-80 house churches [families] in these four areas. As we hand out these food parcels, we encourage those receiving them to share with their neighbors . . .

Tomorrow, more such visits are planned closer to town, but *John and I will not go because other house church leaders have volunteered to distribute rations.

We thank the Lord Jesus for all the work that happened today. We also give God great praise for the prayers you pray and the help you give.

Then this dear brother in Christ expressed his concern for all of us! We have seen the news about coronavirus in the US. There are so many cases there. How is everyone with our team and all those associated with you? Are they OK? We are worried for them and feel concern for all who care for us. Please let us know if anyone gets ill. We are praying for all of you.”

The beauty of this story is that these same leaders who are distributing food parcels to the starving don’t have very much themselves but share with others out of their own lack. Join us in praying for the 50,000 house churches in the North India Movement. Pray they will continue to wisely yet boldly apply Isaiah 58 to their lives. Pray that God would protect them as they obey, and that God’s Kingdom would greatly advance in these days.

*pseudonyms used

 

 

The Quiet Guy Disappeared

The Quiet Guy Disappeared

In 2018, Sanjay and John, national partners of BEYOND’s South Asian field leaders, conducted a series of disciple-making trainings in Northern India. One of the participants was a man named Satish. He was a quiet person. He listened intently to the discussions but didn’t say much. He was not the kind of man that many people noticed. 

The trainings occurred monthly. After eight or nine months, Satish disappeared. Sanjay and John didn’t know why, but knew that this happens sometimes. People return to their home state or move to find work.

Then, in early 2019, Satish suddenly reappeared at a training event. And he had a testimony to share. He had indeed been home (he is from one of the poorest states in India), but not for work. He had gone home to share with his people all he had learned in the Bible through Sanjay and John’s trainings. In all his years as a Christian, no one had ever told him that, as a disciple of Jesus, Matthew 28 was his to obey. He had never heard that making disciples of Jesus is not only for paid professionals. 

Satish had been so overjoyed to learn this truth that he’d decided to go home and share the good news with his family and neighbors. He couldn’t believe it, however, when no one seemed interested in listening. He even asked one pastor, “Who will lead your church if you die suddenly? What will happen to your work?” The man had no answer. Did no one care that Jesus’ commands are for all of us — not just a few? 

Then Satish met Krish. He was thrilled when Krish wanted to hear more. Soon, the two men were partnering together. Krish is a truck driver. He and Satish began traveling through their district village by village, proclaiming the Kingdom (Luke 10) as they went. They began to see fruit. Along the way, Satish learned Krish’s story (read Krish’s story here). Read Krish’s miraculous story

To date, Satish and Krish have had the privilege of seeing churches birthed in three different districts in their home state. Those churches are birthing new churches. In one area, they have already reproduced to the fifth generation! 

Disciples are formed through obedience, and we make disciples by teaching them to obey Christ. What is a disciple? Is there a difference between converts and disciples? Join us on March 19th for our free, online Nugget training titled “What are we Reproducing: Converts or Disciples?” 

*pseudonyms used