Show God You're Thankful By Nathele Graham God gave us everything. Because of Him we…
Share the Gospel
By Nathele Graham
I often hear Christians say they hope there will be a revival soon. It would be great if there was, but if we don’t share the Gospel there’s very little chance for revival. It’s easy to see that there are many people in this world who have no idea that they are in desperate need of salvation and who live in opposition to God. One day they will regret rejecting Christ’s free gift of salvation, but maybe they have never heard the Gospel. There are many Christians who go out on mission trips, but I’ve never heard any missionary who follows the example in the Bible. There are many examples in Scripture of how God’s truth is to be shared, and it might be a good idea to get back to the basics of evangelism. Share the Gospel. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Paul is a good example of how missionary work should be done, but it seems modern missionaries haven’t studied Paul’s example. He shared the Gospel, and so must we.
If you call yourself a missionary but spend your time helping to plant crops or build houses instead of preaching the Gospel, then you’re missing the point of missionary work. It’s good to help people live a more comfortable life, but that’s doing good works and not sharing the Good News with the lost. One Thanksgiving Day, many years ago, my father and grandfather were repairing the roof on my horse’s barn while the turkey cooked. Two young men stopped by and asked if they could help. Of course, their help was accepted and the young men were invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with us. These men were in training for the Peace Corp and the tiny town I lived in was their training ground. Their help was appreciated, but their good works had nothing to do with serving God. Works should be a result of your faith in Jesus. “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit.” James 2:15-16. Notice, James is talking about aiding a “brother or sister”, not non-believers. Mostly when Scripture speaks of doing good works, it speaks of helping fellow believers. As a widow on a very limited income, I can tell you that there are many things in my home that need repair, but I just cannot afford it. This past week, the congregation I attend heard of my need and helped me with some much-needed house repairs and I am so thankful. I am a believer whose salvation is secure, but if I wasn’t a believer, having my handicapped ramp repaired and plumbing fixed would not bring me to salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. Works might open a door to share the Gospel, but works alone are not sharing the Gospel. Only hearing the Gospel truth of salvation through Jesus Christ alone will bring salvation to a lost soul.
Scripture gives many examples of men called to share the Gospel. For instance, Peter was sent to an Italian centurion who was eager to hear the Gospel. It wasn’t easy for a Jewish man to associate with a Gentile, but Peter obeyed the Lord and found that God wanted the Gospel preached to everyone. “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:36-43. Notice how Peter obeyed God and went to someone who he, by nature and tradition, would have avoided. He immediately began explaining who Christ was, gave a short testimony of what he had seen, confirmed Christ was risen from the dead, then told why Cornelius needed to come to Jesus…remission of sins. It was then that the Holy Ghost fell upon all who listened and they gave their lives to Christ. What if Peter hadn’t boldly witnessed to them, but had just started patching the room or hoeing the garden? Would Cornelius and his household ever have heard the Gospel? Maybe, but because Peter shared the Gospel, a group of people found salvation that day.
Another example of sharing the Gospel under unusual circumstances happened with Philip. He was directed by the angel of the Lord to go from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip didn’t question this, but immediately followed directions. There he found an Ethiopian eunuch who had been to Jerusalem to worship. This indicates he was Jewish by faith. This man was sitting in his chariot and studying Scripture. The eunuch was searching for God’s truth, but needed help in understanding what he read. There are many people today who have a bit of knowledge of Scripture, but need help in understanding. “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” Acts 8:29-30. That opened the door for Philip to explain The eunuch was reading prophecy in Isaiah 53. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus” Acts 8:35. Why don’t you turn there now and see if you can explain what it means. Because Philip had answers to this Ethiopian’s questions, a man found salvation that day. “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Acts 8:36-37. The eunuch believed in Jesus and was saved. The evidence of that belief was baptism. Praise God that Philip boldly shared the Gospel.
What is the Gospel? Pretend you’re witnessing to your neighbor. That neighbor is a nice person but very fearful of what they see happening all around. What would you say? You might start by explaining that the events which are happening in the world today have all been prophesied in Scripture. Daniel has a lot to say about the end times, as do Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and the other prophets. Prophecy confirms that God isn’t surprised by any event, such as earthquakes, disease, or famine, war, etc. Explain what sin is and how it separates us from God, but God doesn’t want anyone to die without salvation Prophets of old foretold the Messiah and Jesus Christ fulfilled all of those prophecies. Only faith in His death, burial, and resurrection will bring remission of sin and allow eternal life with God. Your neighbor probably will claim to be “good enough”, but explain that even a little white lie is enough to disqualify a person from going to Heaven after death. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:22-26. Only faith in Jesus will take sin away. Admit you’re a sinner, believe the Gospel truth of Jesus, confess with your mouth, and give your life to Jesus. If you’ve sincerely done that, welcome to the family of God.
If you’re unsure of how to witness, you’re not alone. Very few pastors stress the importance of the Gospel. Sadly, there are some that teach false doctrine saying that all roads lead to Heaven. If this is what you’re being taught, get out of that congregation and find a Christ-centered one that understands that every word of the Bible is God-breathed. Find one that understands that Scripture isn’t “politically correct”, but it is the highest authority we have. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughtly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Your faith should show in your works, but only things done for Christ will last. Before you can share the Gospel with confidence, you need to be sure of what you believe. If your beliefs differ from what Scripture teaches, you need to change your view. Study Scripture in context, study all of it and don’t twist it’s meaning to fit your lifestyle. Then, share your faith. Jesus told His disciples to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20. Teach them what? The Gospel of course…the Good News of salvation through Christ. Teach who He is and what He did. Tell them that His death, burial, and resurrection is the truth and must be believed in order to obtain salvation. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, period. Brothers and sisters, don’t be silent. Share the Gospel.
There are many questions today, and Christians hold the answer. Government regulations are attempting to silence us, but we need to speak boldly with confidence about Jesus and not stop fellowshipping with fellow Christians. All of the Apostles faced prison and death because they shared their faith, but they wouldn’t be silenced. “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, who God hath given to them that obey him.” Acts 5:29-32. This was in response to being told not to preach in Jesus’ name. Obey God, not man, and don’t be silenced. Share the Gospel with everyone you meet. The Holy Spirit gives you power, but you need to allow that power to flow through you.
People need to hear God’s truth before it’s too late. Don’t allow fear to silence you. Do good works in the name of Jesus, but mostly share the Gospel.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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