An often quoted statement from Saint Francis of Assisi is, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” The Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16 states … “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes …” As a disciple-maker consider imparting the following ideas and thoughts to those you are discipling or will disciple in the future. A word of caution! The message can be a convicting narrative.
The wounds inflicted on Jesus were many including lacerations, punctures, abrasions, and contusions. At times debates have risen regarding which of these wounds actually caused his death. In a sense, we could say all of them, or perhaps none of them. But one of the wounds rarely mentioned is the wound of silence. None one spoke up for him. Even his most faithful followers failed to speak in his behalf. One actually denied him.
Though most people who claim to be followers of Jesus have never said, “I don’t know him,” they have still found a way to deny him. They deny Jesus by never opening their mouths regarding who he is and what he has done. They deny him with their silence. What about you?
If you happen to be like many contemporary Christians you stayed silent never verbally witnessing through your personal testimony or sharing the gospel messages with another individual. Why?
If you choose not to share your faith you will stagnate and fossilize. If you have only Christian friends you will be swimming in a Christian aquarium instead of fishing for men. So why are you not hanging around the dead [spiritual], the diseased, and the lost? Jesus did, why not you? Too many Christians talk about the lost-too few talk to the lost.
Every follower of Jesus has the mission of making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). The first step in that process is to make Jesus known to people who don’t know him. That is our assignment – our responsibility. The Apostle Paul makes this clear when he said: “How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15). We are sent by the Lord to bring good news. We are sent as ministers of reconciliation to share the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). For in the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
Are you actively engaged as a minister of reconciliation? If not, what is holding you back? Consider some of the inhibitors that keep people from sharing their faith.
- Fear of being rejected. When people reject your message, it is not you they reject; they are rejecting Jesus and God’s word.
- Fear of what friends or family will think, or the possibility of losing them. Loving your lost friends and family members but staying silent assures them of a hellish fate.
- Fear of not knowing enough. It is not about how much you know, it’s about how much you know that you share with others. Remember it’s not about you. It’s the Holy Spirit and God’s word –“Not by might or power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).
- Fear of not knowing how. Each of us has our own story of salvation. Simply tell your story. It cannot be refuted. It’s an effective means of leading someone to Christ.
Each individual who has experienced genuine saving faith in the Lord Jesus has been empowered by the Spirit to live out as a witness and speak boldly as an ambassador the power of the Gospel. Don’t stay silent!