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Four Keys to Use When Explaining Your Beliefs

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Let's use the Sabbath as an example. You are on your school baseball team and you have been able to dodge games on the Sabbath the whole season. Suddenly, your team wins in the playoffs and is thrust into the championship game, which happens to fall on Saturday. This is the biggest game you will ever have a chance to play in!

But you know that God's Sabbath is holy and that you just can't do it. You e-mail your coach and tell him you won't be able to make it. The next day at school your coach corners you and asks why you can't play. He says that he really needs your bat in the lineup, and demands an explanation. What do you do?

Be honest. Don't try to hide your reason. You could tell him that it is your personal belief (not just your parents') that the seventh-day Sabbath is holy. Be brief! You don't need to go into a sermon, just use a short, straightforward explanation. In many cases, you won't even need to quote scriptures. If the coach continues to ask questions, then you can get more specific and possibly bring up specific scriptures.

Don't argue Scripture. Your job is not to get into a theological debate. You are merely providing a person with an answer to a question you were asked. That answer should be given in complete humility! Others may not agree with you, but they will respect you for your attitude!

Notice the instruction of the apostle Paul: "Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth" (2 Timothy 2:23-25, New Revised Standard Version).

Challenge them. If the person seems to be very interested in what you have to say, challenge him or her to study it personally! If the conversation is about a worldly holiday, you can encourage the person to look up the origins in an encyclopedia. Most of the time, he or she will walk away and you will never hear about the subject again.

Don't ever try to convert someone. Especially when dealing with relatives or close friends, you may have the temptation to try to persuade another into believing the truth. This is almost always a mistake! The Bible teaches that a person must receive a specific calling from God to become a true Christian



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