by Theodore Wright
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 10:32-33 (KJV)
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. – Acts 8:35 (KJV)
The saying that is attributed to Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” can be misleading. Is it thought by some that the preaching of the gospel should be by some silent witness that will not verbally testify of the person and work of Jesus Christ. No, the gospel is not preached this way. Certainly, though, we are to live up to what we preach and show a good manner of living.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (KJV)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Can this preaching of the word be done in conduct only and without words? Obviously not. The reason why a number of immature Christians do not like to emphasize talking about Jesus is frequently because they are afraid of rejection or persecution. Staying quiet, though, will not prevent this.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
– 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
Fear has kept a number of Christians from sharing the gospel making them weak and ineffective for the Kingdom of God. This fear does not come from God.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
– 2 Timothy 1:7-8 (KJV)
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
– 1 Corinthians 1:21 (KJV)
What is your priority? How you look to others or how you look to God?
Where is your reward? With men or with God?
At times, I have been told by some immature Christians, “I don’t like the way you come out and tell people about Jesus?”. My reply is generally, “Oh? So, what do you do to win souls for God?”. They come back saying something like, “I show them love.”. Then I reply, “Well that’s great! Tell me, please, how many people have you led to receive Jesus this way.” At this point, I usually see a sour expression on their face. One time, I was replied with, “That’s not the point.”. Oh, really now, isn’t it? The point is, they are not really showing them Christ’s love but are only blending in with the world and are ashamed to come forward to testify about Him. Some people believe that preaching Jesus is not an act of love. However, in fact, it is an act of courage and an enduring bold love.
On other occasions, some people have replied, “You’re full of hate to keep talking about Jesus.” As I hear them go on about this, what I see is their hate showing in their faces. Not hate so much for me but toward Jesus and hate over the preaching of the gospel.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
– Romans 1:16 (KJV)
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 5:10 (KJV)
We are to preach the gospel whether people will believe or not.
It is necessary! Use words!
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
– Proverbs 16:24 (KJV)
Our neighbors do not very often come out to us Christians saying, “Those are some great hamburgers you’re cooking there on your grill. How do I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior?”. Right, not very often, therefore, they must be told. Yes, in love, but they must hear it. Our neighbors and everyone else need to know the full gospel of Jesus. About Heaven and Hell. About His grace toward us and His Kingdom rule of us as He is Lord. Speak of His soon second coming. Will you tell them or will they pass into eternity into Hell with your blood on their hands because you would not speak?
1 Peter 3:13-17 (KJV)
13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
If you feel ill-equipped for the task of sharing the good news, then learn to be ready. Share your testimony about how you came to Jesus. Memorize Bible verses about salvation and other matters commonly asked about. Most of all, place confidence in Jesus and through trusting faith in Him share the good news about Him. It really is good news since it is so wonderful to have the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of all sins through faith in God solely through His Son Jesus Christ. We have an interpersonal relationship with Him and He changes our lives to do what is good and pleasing in His sight.
Have endurance for the long run as a Christian. You need to be equipped and mature in Christ to know that persecution is what Christians are expected to endure.
1 Peter 4:12-19 (KJV)
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Will you testify of the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? He died for us so that we could all be partakers of the joys of eternity with Him. Preach the gospel always, and since it is necessary, use words.