Jesus’ last instruction to His disciples before His ascension was to spread the Gospel to their families, their neighbors and the world. (Matt. 28:18-20) Jesus’ command today – to all those who have placed their faith in His sacrifice on the cross – is the same. We are to share with all those we connect with that God loves them and that He loved them so much He sent His only Son to die for them that they might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. (John 3:16). Unfortunately, most of us have not done a very good job of following the mandate of Matthew 28.
For example, many of us simply see Muslims as the “enemy” and not as a fertile field for evangelism. Though elements of Islam may indeed be radical and committed to violence, most Muslims are not, and regardless, all are created by God and are in need of the saving grace of Jesus. There are many other groups as well that we need to reach out to on a daily basis.
Our young people are being bombarded by so many elements that can draw them off track – from drugs, to promiscuous sex, to violence, to the general state of apathy that prevails among many of our youth. We need to reach out to them with hope and love at every opportunity. These are just a few examples. The world is full of people with whom we need to share the love of Christ.
As I see it, there are obstacles that many of us have to sharing the Gospel. One is the breakdown in morality in the United States as a whole but also within the church. Our tolerance of sin gives those who do not know Christ tremendous ammunition to use against the cause of Christ as we seek to win the world to the beliefs of Christianity. We must commit ourselves to live lives that are in alignment with God’s Word.
This is most important in our churches in the United States. There are far too many churches that are compromising Christian beliefs and principles on a daily basis in an effort to keep membership and giving up. It’s possible – if not likely – to keep compromising the faith away until our churches are little more than social clubs. The simple fact is that in our churches, Jesus Christ should be exalted as Lord and as the only name by which anyone may be saved. (Acts 4:12) There is no substitute for Jesus – in our churches – or in our own lives. Jesus Christ should be honored and loved, and His Word obeyed. If our churches as a whole would do this and we would do this in our own lives, our credibility in sharing the Gospel would be greatly increased.
We should be looking for those around us that need to hear the hope of the Gospel. Worrying about being politically correct or offending folks who haven’t accepted Jesus simply won’t work. Christians are told to spread the Gospel message to the entire world and that should be our mission. We should do so lovingly and winsomely, but boldly. We should not be intimidated into silence by any person or any group of folks who we think might not be receptive. We must simply share the love of Christ as He commanded and leave the results to Him:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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