Here’s an observation: a lot of Christians have no hesitation in undertaking a church ministry, but ask them to share the gospel with someone and you will see them take a long step back. In fact, many Christians don’t even consider sharing the gospel a necessity; that is to say, they can go years without the slightest inclination to share the good news with anyone. And then there are those who believe sharing the gospel is a ministry for those serving as full-time missionaries/Bible teachers.
Perhaps some of you reading this right now fall into one or more of these categories. Before we go further, let’s clarify something. The call to make disciples (also known as the Great Commission) is not just for church leaders or those in ministry, but for every follower of Christ. Jesus’ call to “go make disciples of every nation” (Matthew 28:19) is directed to all who are His followers, that is, all who are committed to having a relationship with Him.
So, why do we struggle to share this message?
Some of us were raised in Christian homes, where we were regularly exposed to the gospel. We know the story very well: how Jesus Christ came to earth to die for the sins of mankind and how everyone who believes in Him has eternal life. In fact, if you were asked to recite John 3:16, you could probably do so in your sleep too.
Someone once told me: “The gospel is just a church message.” He was only partly right. The gospel should definitely be the church’s message but, for him, it was just a message he associated with his church — nothing else. But is that all that the gospel is? I feel many of us struggle to share the gospel because it is a narrative we know in our heads — but not one that has transformed our lives. It should be the message of our lives because it truly offers a new lease on life — we’re talking freedom from sin and death! — to all who believe. Is that how we see the gospel?
Many of us struggle to share the gospel because it is a narrative we know in our heads — but not one that has transformed our lives
I remember the day the Lord opened my eyes to His saving grace as I read through Ephesians 2. And I know, were it not for Christ and His cross, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The message of the Gospel gave me life. It has become my standard for living, not just in church, but in every moment of my life. What makes us followers of Christ shouldn’t be the clothing we wear, the denomination we belong to or the ministry we carry out— only the gospel.
How many of us take a moment in the day to embrace God’s work of redemption? Do we feel delight when we remember that we are part of God’s plan for redemption? Is it something that makes us extremely joyful? Take this week to sit down and behold the beauty of the gospel. Ask yourself if this is just a message you know or if this is the message of your life?
One of the biggest ways Satan hinders us from approaching others with the gospel is by constantly making us think… we can’t. “You are not good enough. What will they think about you? You will lose a friend. They might mock you. They will call you funny Christian names” — the mental commentary is endless. In all of this, there is one problem. We’re thinking too much about ourselves.
Today, many Christians fail to share the gospel due to fear of man. One of the hard lessons I’ve learned is that it’s nothing about me that saves anyone when I preach or share the gospel; not my words, not my status, not my education, not my talent; it is God who saves and God alone. We are only required to ‘be the messenger’.
I once heard David Platt share this in his sermon: “We care so much about the presentation of the gospel message: if there is depth, if our story has any drama… Listen,” he’d said, ”You don’t need to provide drama in the story of the gospel. There is enough drama in itself.” This message is God’s and when He asks us to share it, He will definitely give us the words and wisdom to share it as well. The world will ridicule and despise. We may even lose close friends, but we cannot lose sight of what we will gain, how precious this gift could be to somebody.
It’s been more than 2,000 years since Jesus died for the sins of the world but till today, the world is still talking about it and Christians are being persecuted on account of it. I cannot but think that the only reason is because this message is both powerful and true. If it weren’t powerful, it would’ve faded away like many other movements in the world. More than anything, this message has changed the lives of millions and is still changing people today.
If the gospel message wasn’t powerful, it would’ve faded away like many other movements in the world. But it is still changing people’s lives today
A year ago, I was passing by a public park in Dallas, when God burdened my heart to stop and share the gospel there. Using a portable speaker, I spoke from the Word. Some people passed on by, some paused to listen. After I’d finished, a man came up to me with tears running down his face. He told me he’d walked into the park that day to end his life. His wife was fighting cancer, and he did not have the money to pay for his children’s education or his rent. It was as he’d decided to end it all that he heard my friend sing Amazing Grace and stopped to listen to the gospel.
John gave his life to Jesus that day and is still a faithful member of a local assembly in Texas today. His situation didn’t change much because he believed in Jesus, but he told me, days later, how he now had an inexplicable peace in his heart. More than anything, he said, he had found the purpose of his life in Christ.
John’s story is similar to many other great transformation stories we read of in the Bible. Look at the apostle Paul, arguably the greatest missionary to live on the face of the earth. He hated Christians so much, he persecuted them mercilessly. But once God intervened, his life was devoted to the cause of Christ. If persecutors like Saul can surrender their lives to Jesus, how much more the people we meet every day of our lives?
The more we depend on ourselves and our own abilities, we will fail to see the beauty of the gospel and its power to save. The gospel is powerful on its own and we shouldn’t underestimate it because of our own shortsightedness. God has only asked us to faithfully share the good news that Jesus is alive and able to save sinners from eternal damnation. The rest is up to Him.
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