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Give the Gospel a Chance

Jesus earned the right to be heard

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Society pressures us to conform to its values. Here in Europe, we must avoid any semblance of intolerance; as a result, it can feel like a spiritual straitjacket is imposed on us. Followers of Christ tend to adopt subtle approaches to evangelism, emphasizing the building of relational bridges, waiting for others to express interest in spiritual things. In practice, it leads many Christians—and Christian workers—to dedicate themselves to silent, lifestyle witness without intentionally seeking to articulate the gospel of the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ. There is relatively little fruit to these efforts.

My wife, Claudia, and I want to break out of that straitjacket. We recently read two books that challenged us in this area. Goforths of China: Through Deep Waters to Higher Ground is a biography of Johnathan and Rosalind Goforth, renowned missionaries to China, written by our friend Lois Neely. The other book is Any 3: Anyone, Anywhere, Any Time by Mike Shipman.

What was the main takeaway from these books? They reminded us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Nothing new with that, right? We tell the world to “give the gospel a chance.” But I think God is telling us believers to “give the gospel a chance” in witnessing. What do I mean by that? Instead of waiting for the “right time” to share the gospel (which hardly ever comes), tell people of Jesus and His life, death, and Resurrection as soon as possible. We think we need to wait to see who’s “open.” But by sharing the gospel, you find out who’s open and who is not. We think we need to “earn the right to be heard.” Well, maybe Jesus earned that right 2,000 years ago, and we need to exercise it today—with boldness and without apology.

I am now praying that God will lead me each day to someone with whom to share the gospel. Not just to have a “spiritual conversation,” not just to “build bridges”—but to actually articulate the gospel. And He is answering that prayer! Since I began praying this, it is a rare day that I have not been able to share with someone as clearly as I know how the truth of God’s redeeming love in Christ. Once it was with a drunken man who showed up at a worship service. Sometimes it has been through contacts made at the church. Other times it is with people here in our neighborhood.

What’s different? Each day I’m expecting God to bring me into contact with someone with whom to share Christ. I look intentionally for opportunities. Do I do it perfectly? No. But isn’t that the blessing of the gospel message? Unadorned and without words of wisdom, it is the power of God unto salvation. Give the gospel a chance!

Please pray that every day we will seek to share Christ with others. Pray that God will give us fruit for our labors and that many who have heard our testimony will come to faith in Christ. Pray that we will have boldness, even in a society that seeks to muzzle us, to give the gospel a chance.

Maybe you need to pray that for yourself as well.

3 responses to Give the Gospel a Chance

  1. Praise God …I heard Greg Stier say in response to the believers in soft relational evangelism that say we must earn the right to be heard, “Jesus earned the right to be heard 2000 years ago”. I led a 16 yr old to Christ who was killed in a car accident 6 months later…what if I had waited. We don’t need to be obnoxious. We don’t need to drive folks away. Look for Divine encounters and love them…but share the Truth. Praying for you and Claudia

  2. Right on Steve. That’s the way I learned it with Campus Crusade for Christ now Cru. I’m preaching that very message this weekend from Col.1:5 The word of the truth of the gospel is bringing forth fruit. Why didn’t Paul say people were bringing forth fruit? Instead he says the gospel is bringing forth fruit. The gospel put into the mind and heart is what brings forth fruit. Just like Alka-Seltzer put in water.

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