How can you use your social media’s for the sake of the kingdom? Perhaps in more ways than you thought.
Encouraging others is a great way to build up the Body of Christ, and what you do for the Body, you do for Christ Himself (Matt 25:40), and the word encourage is a very meaningful word. It means “to make strong, hearten” and comes from a compound word; “en,” which means to “make,” or “put in,” and “corage” which means “courage or heart,” so you can make someone’s heart stronger by encouraging them, and how much better to encourage them than from the Word of God? I have a Jewish friend who has converted to Christianity, but he still loves his people and desires that they would be saved. It saddens him to know they’re cut off from God, and I can see why because we too have family who are lost, having rejected Jesus Christ and eternal life, so I sent him one of my favorite Bible verses in Isaiah 54 which is about God’s not forgetting and forsaking Israel. There hope is not lost as Isaiah the Prophet writes, as God saying: “For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you,” and “In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer” (Isaiah 55:7-8). These verses have special meaning to the Jews because it refers to a time when God will draw His people back to Himself and they will be restored to the land, and God will again be their God, so one thing that social media can be used for is to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Share the Gospel
If there is a better reason to use social media that to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, please tell me. I can’t think of one. Sharing the gospel on social media (like Rom 10:9-13) connects people to the only message of hope that they have in this world, and that hope is found in Christ alone. Sometimes, posting a Bible verse or summarizing the need for repentance and faith is all that it takes to make people think about their mortality and what happens after they die. Not only can we post Bible verses but we can post links to other biblical articles that have a direct message about the gospel or they might address specific problems in a person’s life and it may draw their attention to the article because they’re struggling with that thing too (whatever that “thing” may be). This leaves the door open for the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to make a child of God, so use your social media, whatever it is, can be used to publish and proclaim the gospel, and let the Bible speak for itself, because we know the power of God is in the gospel (Rom 1:16; 1st Cor 1:18) and in the Word (Isaiah 55:11). I remember a former Muslim who read some Bible verses I had posted on Facebook, and he simply could not believe that this was the same Jesus of the Quran (and He’s not!). The Bible verses were where Jesu said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26). He felt like he had been lied to about Jesus because Jesus is more than a prophet. He is God. He had power over the grave, and now, the grave has no power over this man’s life because he’s trusted in Christ.
If we want to seek to unity in the Body of Christ, as Jesus Christ Himself desires, we’ll unify on the essentials and agree to disagree on the non-essentials. If we get off on a tangent and quibble over tongues, the rapture, the millennium, or the tribulation, we can get into some very heated arguments, and how tragic for a child of God to argue over things that have nothing to do with a person’s salvation. Worse, it can be a bad witness to lost people because Jesus said His disciples will be known by their love for one another (John 13:34-35). I’ve seen so many arguments on Facebook about things that are not that important, that I’ve left more than one conversation and had to unfriend more than one. When unbelievers see how we can’t even get along with each other, they’ll see that we’re really no different from those in the world, and that hurts the witness of Christ. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers” (2nd Tim 2:14). You might have to remind your friends too. For believers, social media is not entering into a boxing ring, trying to knock out the other opponent by using the Word of God as a weapon.
Heroes of the Faith
One of my favorite heroes of the faith is not listed in the so-called “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews chapter 11, but perhaps there will be another hallway added to the “Hall of Faith,” and in that hall I believe will be Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This man wrote a book on the cost of being a disciple, and then lived it out in a Nazi concentration camp. His faith eventually cost him his life but that was because he was a true disciple of Jesus Christ. He entered into Jesus’ sufferings, and ultimately, entered into His death. The Apostle Paul also desired to “know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Phil 3:10). That’s what Paul and Dietrich Bonhoeffer both had in common, and why Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” That is sometimes literal, but for most of us, it won’t be a matter of life or death, but by professing Christ publically, like on social media, you know it will likely mean, “unfriending,” scorn, ridicule, and all sorts of evil spoken against you (Matt 5:11). Posting about heroes of the faith like Paul and Dietrich Bonhoeffer dying to themselves might inspire others to “kill the will” and seek first the kingdom of God (Matt 6:33). That means having your own funeral and rising to do what Christ commands you to do (Matt 25:34-39; 28:18-20). We cannot take our hand off the plow or we’re not fit for the kingdom, so inspire others to keep the hand to the plow, and not look back, just like the Apostle Paul and Dietrich Bonhoeffer did.
I really believe if we use social media to encourage others, inside and outside of the church; if we use it to share the gospel in easy to understand Bible verses; if we seek unity and agree to disagree over non-essential doctrines; and if we show examples of the past that they can make it too, if they keep persevering and stay faithful to God, then social media has found a useful purpose, and we can be a beacon of hope to a dying and decaying world, full of darkness. We can point them to Jesus Who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life“ (John 8:12).