Do we really have to tell others about the good news of Christ?
|As Christians, we have heard this preached and talked about many times. We are all aware that in Acts 1:8 Jesus gives us a final command to go forth and preach the gospel, and share the good news of Jesus Christ to all nations. For many, that is an over whelming command! Some of us fear talking to groups of people and some are hesitant to speak of what God has done for fear of offending someone, or being laughed at. What if no one believes them? Still worse, what if they do speak up and share and someone asks a question they have no answer to?
In today’s world where people are ever growing more and more hostile to the word of God and towards God’s people. Boldly sharing your testimony and God’s message of salvation can be scary. As I looked in God’s word to find some answers and guidance, I filled pages and pages of scripture on this subject and have decided rather than nutshell everything into one article, I would break it up and do several articles on the subject. Today, we shall focus on why this last command is one we should take very seriously and how we can fulfill this mission to the Glory of God, even in these days of conflict.
I think the greatest of motivations I found was in Ezekiel 3:18-21. Here is given the consequences of NOT sharing the gospel. Not speaking up and telling the goodness of the Lord.
Verse 18: When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Verse 19: Yet, if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness nor his wicked ways, he shall die in his iniquity, but, thou hast delivered thy soul.
Verse 20: Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered, but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Verse 21: Nevertheless, if thou warn the righteous man that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall live, because he is warned, also thou hast delivered they soul.
After reading those verses, I had to stop, re-read and think about those verses for a while before moving on. Those are some strong verses that carry very heavy consequences for Christians who do not speak up. According to those verses, if we are given the chance to witness to someone and fail to share the good news of salvation and point out the wrongness of their ways not only does that soul die and is lost, but the blood of that soul is on our hands and we are held accountable. On the other hand, if we do share with the lost and tell them what they are doing is displeasing to God, they may still die in sin and be lost, but by having spoken up and telling them the truth, we preserve our soul. Don’t know about you, but that was not a very happy pill to swallow. How many times had I over looked the chance to tell someone about Jesus? How many times did I let the cares of this world consume me to the point of being too busy to let someone know how good God is or how much they are loved by God? How many times have I let Satan bind my mouth though fear or lack of courage?
As if that wasn’t enough, we have to read on. Now, we read there is just as hard a consequence if we do not love our brothers and sisters enough to warn them when they are heading off the straight and narrow pathway. How many times have we heard or seen someone we know is a Christian slip and head into temptation? How many times have we said it was not our business? That what the other person does is their choice, and has nothing whatsoever to do with us? Verse 20…makes it clear that GOD says it IS our business. That when we see or know of someone who is heading into sin and we just sit back and do nothing, then we too will be held accountable for not warning them!
After reading those passages, again I had to stop and do some hard thinking. How many of us are guilty of judging our brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than going to them and talking heart to heart with them? It is much easier to gossip about the whole situation they may be facing or to listen to what others is saying about what is going on. But it is hard for us to love them so much, we go and make their trouble our own and warn them that perhaps they should consider their actions.
How on earth are we ever supposed to get up the gumption and nerve to approach sinner or saint with warnings and share the word of God with them? 1 Peter 3:15 tells us a good starting place. “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Additionally, in Acts 1:8, when Jesus gives the great commission to go forth and preach to the nations, He does not say we go and do it alone. No, he assures us that the Holy Spirit goes with us. The Holy Spirit is our comforter. He leads us, guides us, and gives us the words to speak when we speak. In him we are given the courage to be a light to the world and to share our testimonies to the lost and to love our kindred’s with the love and mercy of Jesus so that it is nearly impossible NOT to speak up and help them with their struggles.
Well, why YOU? Why not someone else? Maybe someone who is better with people? Someone who has experience talking to others? Someone with more training or perhaps someone with more patience would be better than you. God does not think so and he tells you this in Isaiah 43:10-11. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, understand that I am he; before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord beside me there is no savior.”
We have been chosen by God to be his witnesses. We are God’s spokesmen! We are his ambassadors and we have the job to go forth and be a light unto the world and share the Good news that Jesus Christ loves them and is their only hope for salvation.
So, now that we know this is not something we can just over look without paying serious consequences for; how do we get started? The next article will focus on how we are called to witness, the tools God gives us for the job and the rewards we reap when we do as God has commanded and we lead souls to salvation.