Sharing the gospel is a difficult exercise. As Christians, we are commissioned to tell people about Jesus…it’s a mandate of the highest order for those of us who follow Christ. Yet, I dare say that you or I have shared the gospel lately.
Sure, we can justify our silence by saying our actions testify about the gospel and, thus, we demonstrate what the gospel is. People should see it in the way we live in our society and feel compelled to proclaim Jesus as Lord. But, I don’t live like that. My best intentions of obedience to the commands of Jesus are littered by actions that could best be labeled as anti-Jesus. After all, I need the gospel as much as the next fellow.
Still, how many people do I meet daily that know that I’m a follower of Christ? Who have I told? What life has been changed by the gospel because I shared – spoke, verbalized, proclaimed – the gospel?
The odd thing is, I’m constantly reading about the gospel and how to share it. I’m learning how to be more persuasive in conversations with unbelievers. I listen to podcasts that feature theologians and Christian leaders unravel doctrine. I’ve even committed to learning the best way get across the “bridge” and share the gospel with Muslims. It’s all there…all of the how, what, and who of sharing the gospel is at my disposal, yet, I just can’t seem to get to the who and where part.
Lord knows, I’ve tried.
My neighbor doesn’t go to church, not that I know of. The problem is, when he moved in, and I walked into his yard to introduce myself and welcome him to the neighborhood, part of our conversation led to our own occupations. He knows I’m a “preacher.” Now, he avoids me like the plague. To be fair, there’s not an urgency on my part, either, to force the issue. You know, the conversation where I get into the spiritual, uncomfortable questions.
R.C. Sproul, pastor, speaker, and theologian, preached a sermon at his church, St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Florida, on the Transfiguration of Jesus, from Luke 9:28-36. I can’t quote specifically from the sermon, but Sproul began by saying that if he made a list of the top things he could have witnessed as a believer in the 1st century, the resurrection of Jesus would obviously be at the top of the list. But, Sproul places the Transfiguration a close 2nd. His observation was that the obvious courage and boldness the 1st century Christians possessed was because they had seen and witnessed first-hand the glory of God in Jesus. It’s no wonder the early believers and apostles shouted the gospel-message of Jesus, despite persecution and ridicule. They had seen the power, the majesty, the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
In this day and age, when our Christian faith is ridiculed, and absolute truth is pushed away, we must yearn for the same passion that those 1st century believers possessed and share the gospel in every opportunity. While we have not witnessed the resurrection, or the Transfiguration, or any of the other events which give us a glimpse of glory, we do have the revelation of God in scripture. That divinely-inspired book should be our passion to fuel the proclamation of the gospel.