As Christians, the topic of preaching the gospel has always been a common one in church, according to the Bible, preaching the gospel is a call for all Bible believing folks. The Great Commission which is in Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age” is a very common verse known to all Christians. This verse alone tells us that preaching the gospel is the duty for all Christians not just for the evangelist or missionaries who have been called by God to these specific offices of service.
There are essentially a few ways that the Gospel can be preached. The first way is through evangelising either through a missionary or simply by sharing ones faith with another, another way is through the pulpit ministry (done by our Pastors on our regular church services), sometimes through media and the finally the last one which most Christians are not aware of – preaching the gospel by the testimony of our lives.
There have been varies of reaction to the preaching of the gospel, these different reactions comes from not only the pre-believers but also from within the church among God’s family. There have been cases where pre-believers are being offended by the preaching of the gospel, and there are Christians, who are not willing to preach the gospel because of fear. There are hard core evangelists who push the gospel message with a lot of fire and passion and some pre-believers get offended as a result of it. Sometimes people are offended by the message and a lot of times it is because of the way we do it, although the gospel itself could be offensive.
Different people use different technics and styles to get the gospel across to the pre-believers, some do it gently, some are more forceful and less tactful (and get people offended) but no matter how you do it, the message is the same – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world would be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:16-18.
The Gospel has always known to be offensive and defensive, but offensive as it may sound, (“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18), it still has to be preached as it is the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some Christian are afraid of sharing the gospel for the fear being “rejected”, some lose their friends as a result of preaching the gospel, or sometimes they are just afraid of being laughed at.
However, what we do not realise is this, when people reject the gospel, they are rejecting the God of the gospel and not rejecting the messenger. Jesus has this promise for us however, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the words I said to you, “A slave is not greater than his master, if they persecute me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.“ – John 15:18-20.
We have been promised persecution as Christians whether a not we chose to share the gospel, therefore sharing the gospel should not be an excuse at all, because sharing the gospel has got no co-relation with persecution. Persecution is part and parcel of the Christian living because we chose to follow the ways of Christ which is ultimately very different from the world and we are bound to face a lot of conflicts, and therefore as a result of that, meet with persecution for our faith and our conviction.
In fact, a Christian who is not being persecuted is questionable about whether he/she is a true disciple of the Lord. Some are afraid of sharing the gospel because they don’t know how to do it, in fact sharing the gospel is actually just talking to your friend about Jesus and it could be as simple as sharing your testimony how you got to know Him and how knowing Him has helped transformed you.
We forget that when we share the gospel, we are planting seeds of God’s word into their lives, and we learn in the bible that there are different soils (read the parable of the seed in Mark 4: 3 -25) representing the different condition of the person’s heart. Therefore, we must be not be discouraged if our audiences reject the message, the seed planted in their hearts takes time to take root, but we must be faithful to water it with prayer and constant sharing.
Most of us also forget that for many who do not have access to the bible, they will be “reading” our lives to see the testimony that we carry on Christ’s behalf. Remember we are to be ambassador of Christ and we are to represent Christ to the world. It is therefore, important to reflect on our actions to see if we have been good testimonies to the unbelieving world. We would be to them the “living and walking Bible”, and if we are not careful in the way we conduct ourselves, we may be actually turning them away from Christ instead of drawing and leading them towards Him and are doing a disservice to Christ. Therefore, at the end of the day, the way we conduct ourselves among our pre-believing friends and family members is a form of sharing the gospel as well.
To conclude, sharing the gospel is not just for the evangelist or for the missionaries, but for all Christians, and whether a not we are aware, our lives itself is a living testimony to the world and by our conduct we are “preaching” Christ to the un-believing world. It is therefore important to make sure that we portray the right image in order that we bring honour instead of being a disgrace to Him.
God bless you
Serving with you in His kingdom with love;
Princess Michelle –
Beloved Daughter of the Most High King