This weekend studying for my Sunday School lesson, the Lord put it on my heart to write a series on the Stewardship of the Gospel. In Ephesians 3 we see a mystery revealed to the Apostle Paul of which he shares with the Ephesian church initially and eventually the whole world. The mystery of the church, the body of Christ and its membership being open to all peoples, is the greatest news on earth. It is the greatest story ever told. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And with this news we have an expectation of stewardship. It is our duty to share it. And this expectation was of Old Testament saints too:
“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 33:7-9)
Each of us who are blood-bought, born-again Christians have a duty to share the gospel, of which God’s justice is part of that story. And if we neglect that duty, then we shall be held accountable. Too many of us are Jonah’s fleeing from God’s requirement of us to share to the good news to our “undesirables.”
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.’ But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:1-3)
Don’t we try to flee from the presence of the Lord when He has clearly given us a mission to share the gospel with those we deem not worthy? And we, like Jonah, hate the thought that those might actually get saved. Only a rebellious spirit can explain such an unholy disposition. It is simply sin:
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
When you realize that you did not share the gospel when the Holy Spirit presented you with a clear opportunity, do you ask Jesus for another chance or for forgiveness? You need to do both! We too often think, “Oh darn, sorry Lord I just didn’t have the courage to share the gospel this time. Please give me boldness!”
What we should be saying is, “Lord, please forgive me for my sin of disobedience. And if it be your will Lord, please give me another opportunity to share the gospel with that person.”
Beloved, we must change our way of thinking about the gospel. We rightly speak of stewardship of the riches God has bestowed upon us, but is anything more valuable than our salvation? Is there a price tag you can put on that, or is it priceless?
And if it is priceless, should we not not understand that this stewardship of the gospel has been entrusted to us?
Indeed we should!
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers