In the last post we introduced the importance of preparing ourselves to give an answer to our generation. And we began looking at 1 Peter 3:15-16, a passage that gives guidance as to the kinds of preparations we need to make. We noticed first that to be ready to give an answer to our generation we must prepare our hearts. Christ must rule supreme in our lives if we are to be the lights God wants us to be.
Now consider a second point: We must prepare our answer. Verse 15 continues by saying “and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. . ..” Notice Christians are called to be ready or prepared. In fact, believers are supposed to live in a state of readiness, “always” prepared to answer people’s questions about the faith. By the way, the word “answer” is where we get the English word “apologetics.” What is apologetics? It sounds like it has something to do with apologizing or saying you’re sorry for something. But apologetics is actually about giving a defense of what you believe (i.e. your faith). Thus apologetics is the theological discipline that is concerned with defending the faith.
Notice the verse says “always…to every man.” Practically, this means influencing people for the Gospel isn’t something we are supposed to relegate to the area of official church functions, or to pawn off on others. Instead, it should be a mindset or lifestyle for all of us. We can and should be active in influencing people for the kingdom, even though we have busy lives, and even though we can’t always make it to official church outreach events. We need to be ready, willing, and able to use the opportunities we do have.
Nothing will kill your ability and desire to influence others for the kingdom more than a set of hand-me-down beliefs. It isn’t enough to believe things simply because pastor said so. That kind of Christianity isn’t going to fly in the real world (among the unsaved). Get into the Word of God and be convinced of these things for yourself. One of the best places to begin answering our generation is in your own home with your own children or grandchildren.
Here’s one last thought that might seem kind of obvious. The phrase “asketh you” implies that your life is sufficiently different from the world that people would ask you about your “hope” (i.e. faith in Christ). You see, the whole reason these believers of Peter’s day were in danger of persecution (and thus struggling with fear) is because their lives were different. They stuck out like sore thumbs in their culture!