If you want to experience a harrowing event, try backing out to leave a little league baseball complex with eight teams arriving and eight teams leaving. Little kids that barely top your bumper, much less your hood, or the window of an SUV. Parents are like mother chickens corralling their kids to be certain they are not run over. You would think the same kind of concern would be given to your children’s, parent’s, close friends’, or sibling’s salvation? I was just with a young lady who said she was seeking a job where she could witness. During our conversation she made some comments that made me wonder about her parent’s salvation. I asked her if they were Christians. Her reply was, “I am not sure?” She was wanting an occupation to witness for Christ but had not effectively done it with her own parents. Why would one wanting an occupation to witness not be willing to press into a loved one’s life to know if they are a Christian? We are talking about at worst upsetting the balance of life of a loved one in exchange for knowing where they stand in their eternal destiny of heaven or hell? We fear a disruption in relationship instead of creating an opportunity to share the Gospel message of salvation to give your loved one an opportunity for eternal security and happiness with God instead of continued uncertainty of their eternal destination. We postpone sharing the message of salvation while we do not know if this will be the last time to see them. Is it that hard of a choice?
In this verse Paul was headed to Jerusalem to share the Gospel where he would face almost certain harm, if not death. Paul was not to be deterred. Every day Paul girded himself to preach the Gospel regardless of the risk. Paul was not only ready to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus!” Today Christians quiver at harming a relationship while risking that person’s eternal destiny. This thought should challenge every Christian to consider where they are at and how they can answer the call to witness by saying “I am ready!” I think the reason for today’s hesitancy is that the church has striven in recent years to become so seeker friendly which has caused the message to be watered down. The church treats salvation so lightly that they take little time equipping the congregation on how to engage, witness, and disciple. Christians are not challenged to witness but challenged instead to invite suspected non-Christians to church. What good is this when most church services do not explain how to become a Christian, do not allow the opportunity, while those explaining how to become a Christian have little training on how to do it. If someone did stumble into becoming a Christian, there would be little or no equipping on how to walk in the faith, much less resist satan’s, the world’s, and the flesh’s attacks and temptations.
I encourage you not to walk away from this teaching without taking an inventory of where you stand in being equipped to share the Gospel, making a list of suspects to witness to, and ordering the free support material at www.growinginChrist.net to help you be effective. Develop a strategy and stick to it. Where do you stand on this inventory?
- Are you ready to share the Gospel?
- Do you know how to share the Gospel?
- Do you love people enough to share a message that means heaven or hell (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- Are you willing to learn the Gospel message so that you can not only share how to become a Christian, but also quote from memory the verses leading someone to salvation?
- Are you willing to be a student of conversations and interactions so you can be more effective in sharing?
- Are you willing to suffer for the proclamation of the Gospel in order to save others from eternity apart from God?
- Are you willing to invest the time so that you can answer as Paul did, “I am ready?”
You can receive free instruction in witnessing and engaging others by going to www.growinginChrist.net. Two free resources are offered at the bottom of the landing page.
Listen to Peter on witnessing and engaging:
Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’"
Acts 4:19-20 “But Peter and John replied, ‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’"
Acts 5:29-30 (On being told not to talk about Jesus) “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’”
Romans 10:14-15 “How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Do you know someone who needs this message on being in sharing the Gospel? Click below to forward or read this devotion.