Let me ask you a tough question up front and you can decide if you want to continue reading. How many times have you shared the gospel with someone? If most Christians were honest, my guess would be a shocking number would say never.
Yes, a Christian who has received salvation through the grace of Jesus Christ not sharing the gospel would seem an anomaly. How could someone not share good news with those they love?
The truth of the matter is they love themselves more than Jesus and those who need to hear the gospel. That may seem harsh, but the only real impediment to sharing the gospel is the fear of ridicule.
I understand the real fear that ridicule can cause, but it is easily overcome by love: love for Jesus and those you know who are perishing in their sins. No witness for Christ faced ridicule greater than John the Baptist, and yet he made it his life mission to “prepare the way.”
“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’” (John 1:15)
Someone who loves Jesus more than his or herself is one who will declare the preeminence of Christ. John’s ministry was “booming” and he could have worked that gig to its fruitful end. All you have to do is look around today to see that happening. Even some of John’s disciples were upset that Jesus was getting more followers than him. However John knew he must bear witness to the true Messiah.
Testifying to the greatness of God is not a New Testament phenomenon. The Old Testament is full of examples of the Lord’s followers willingly and fearlessly declaring the one true God:
“I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” (Psalm 119:46)
After Jesus had healed the demon-possessed man, naturally this man wanted to follow Jesus and become one of his disciples. However, Jesus had a more important mission for this newly saved man:
“However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’” (Mark 5:19)
Jesus had this man do what should have been obvious to him: go share the gospel with others. It is natural after we are first saved to want to spend as much time with Jesus as possible, and you should. However, our Lord wants us to tell our friends about the great things He has done for us. How could you not?
Sometimes our fear can be replaced by resentment towards those who have mistreated us. We almost get to the point in our wicked hearts that we want people to go to hell. Our bitterness towards a certain person does not affect only that person. That emotional poison will bleed out and affect your witness towards others. Imagine the Apostle Paul holding a grudge against those who had mistreated him. We would have never read these blessed words:
“And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.” (Acts 16:30-32)
We hold in contempt those who refuse to testify about a crime they witnessed even though their testimony would help convict the criminal. Should we not be held with the same contempt if we refuse to testify to someone the truth that would help convict them of their sins? We want to see a criminal declared guilty and punished for his or her crime, but we should never want that for a sinner. We certainly don’t want it for ourselves.
Each of us who are born-again by the shed blood of Jesus Christ has a personal testimony to share with our friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Let us be like the psalmist who declared:
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.” (Psalm 66:16)
Everything happening around us has people seeking answers, whether it be the Ebola outbreak, the rise of Islam and its brutality, the decline of America, to the corruption of our government, people are seeking the truth.
We know the truth.
We have the truth.
Will you bear witness to it?
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers