It is bad enough that Christians aren’t more intentional about sharing the Gospel. But in a twist that Screwtape would be proud of, countless people who profess to follow Christ are actually proud about not sharing the Good News. Michael Moore gave a good example of this when he said:
I have always believed that one’s religious leanings are deeply personal and should be kept private.
I’m not sure where he came up with that belief, but it isn’t in the Bible. Since Moore was claiming to speak for Jesus, perhaps he should tell us how the Bible teaches that we should be private about our religious beliefs. That would make it hard to fulfill the Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
A commenter named Joanne noted that:
Progressive denominations have stopped trying to proselytize with their missionaries YEARS ago. Look at Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples of Christ). They make no efforts to convert people.
She’s right, and it is pathetic that those organizations who willfully withhold the Gospel call themselves churches or “disciples of Christ.”
A regular commenter (“Sunday School Teacher”) noted this:
Our church is currently having a sermon series on Wesley’s “Three Simple Rules”.
The 1st rule is “Do No Harm”. Some people are trying to use this rule to argue that we should not try to change the religious view of others, as this could lead to conflict and thus harm.
I’m glad that SST is trying to lead his church in the right direction, but it is amazing that people learning about John Wesley would ever imagine that he’d discourage people from sharing the Gospel. They couldn’t be more wrong.
As Paul said in Romans 1:16:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
From the Newsboys song, I’m Not Ashamed:
What are we sneaking around for? Who are we trying to please?
Shrugging off sin, apologizing like we’re spreading some kind of disease. I’m saying no way. No way.
I’m not ashamed to let you know I want this light in me to show. I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ.
This one says, “It’s a lost cause. Save your testimonies for church time. ” Other ones say, “You’d better wait until you do a little market research.”
I’m saying no way. No way.
The Gospel can and will offend people. We don’t want to add to the offense with our own style, but that is no excuse not to share it. The bad news is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. The Good News — and it is still good news worth sharing — is that there is a Savior. He is Jesus, and He is the only way to salvation.
Hear the Good News, believe the Good News and share the Good News! But please don’t identify as a Christian if you think it is bad news and refuse to share it with others.
0 thoughts on “Remember, it is called the Good News for a reason”
Help others unconditionally.
Let others know about Jesus fearlessly.
Live in the world but do not be part of the world.
We are not here to avoid making people feel uncomfortable but to express the truth of who Jesus is in deeds and words.
When you do everything to avoid making others feel uncomfortable, you are also avoiding the opportunity to let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts.
About a year or two ago noted atheist Penn Jilette (of the Penn and Teller team, a man who I find often very funny) was approached after a show by a person who gave him a Gideon bible, and who briefly shared the Word with Penn.
He discussed openly how moved he was by this person, and he said something really profound, “How much do you have to hate someone to NOT proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life were possible and to NOT share it with them?”
I think I blogged on that video. Yes, regardless of one’s worldview, everyone who is convinced that their path is correct should be “evangelical” in the sense of wanting to share it. If they think it is true then how could they withhold it? If they don’t think it is true then they should withhold it.
Even pluralists who think all religions are valid should aggressively send that message — that is, if they really believe they are correct.
Sadly, it is sooo true that people are too afraid of “offending” people with God’s truth. Pleasing people is way more important to people than pleasing God thus the lukewarm/cold Christians who support all sorts of sinful acts and lifestyles for fear of offending them with the truth of their wrongdoings.
It is very popular to hear Christians say that their beliefs are personal but if they knew anything about the bible, they would have known that Christ and His disciples were very proactive in sharing the gospel. Heck most of them were killed for their proselytizing!
Thanks Neil for reminding us that we are not to be ashamed of the gospel and if we dare call ourselves Christians we will actively be sharing the gospel because whom do we want to see in hell? (Well, there are some I’d rather see there but hey, everyone has a chance right?)
Judging from what I see on the blogosphere, I think that the disciples of these liberal churches are very evangelical. The problem is, they are tirelessly evangelizing their own “brethren”. I have yet to see them ingage in any intense and drawn out discussions with an unbeliever as to why their perceptions and “opinions” on reality are dangerously in error. My hunch is that these “evangelicals” don’t believe that the unbelievers are in error.
Yes, the only people they try to convert are Christians teaching the truth.
Planting a seed with someone – like the man who gave the Gideon Bible to Penn Jilette and briefly shared the Gospel with him – can often lead a person to eventually find Christ.
I was that kind of person. I was so wrapped up in my Catholic upbringing – and then experienced a period of time where I fell away from the church – that all it took was for a woman in my neighborhood to invite me to a Bible study (we studied the book of John) for me to see the truth about Jesus Christ that I had been missing.
I often give books (like Max Lucado’s “Traveling Light” to people who are going through a tough time in their life. Every person has had a positive response to that book! In follow up, I have given away Bibles to those who want to learn God’s Word. Some have attened church with us. I know of two who have accepted Christ as a result.
The liberal churches all seem to have something in common. They are ashamed of preaching the cross of Christ. That is the falling away that is predicted in Scripture. Calling them out on their errors is essential to help prevent those who are truly seeking the truth to get caught up in a lie.
Great post Neil! Keep speaking boldly – as we all should!
Some think that it’s simply not up to them. It’s as if they’re certain that God won’t or can’t work through them. His Grace is sufficient and will surely work It’s way through the hardened heart of the non-believer, false believer or whomever. Oh, they might offer that they believe if asked, but, when another acts in a manner unChristian, it’s not certain the “non-evangilist” will act to correct. Thus, an opportunity is lost and it could have been the best one for the lost soul to have the way made clear.
Is it fear, laziness, shyness…or what? Admitting to any of those is honest and each are common and understandable, but to presume one shouldn’t be a sign pointing the way? Doesn’t seem proper for a Christian in my opinion.
May I never miss any more opportunities than I already have.
Personal, yes. Private, no. How can a belief that is supposed to change a person not change that person’s attitudes, worldview, and outlook on life? Part of that attitude is wanting to share those personal beliefs with others because we think they ought to have what we have.
For example, my PERSONAL belief is that the Detroit Lions are absolutely, positively atrocious! But I make that known with everybody whenever a conversation comes up to talk sports. Then it’s no longer PRIVATE.
Why do we openly share other personal areas of strong belief, but privatize our personal beliefs when it comes to the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ?
One of your better posts yet, Neil!