Category Archives: Sharing the Good News

The Great Commission

Welcome

First, I’d like to thank Pastor Joe Roof of Calvary Baptist Church for his series The Words of Agur. I’m sure we’ll hear from him again this year. Today, we beging a new series about sharing the gospel. We’ll explore the motives and methods for personal evangelism.

Scripture Reading

(18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat. 28:18-20)

(15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mar. 16:15-16)

Understand the Command

The two passages above are known as the Great Comission. They are the starting point for our study because they are Christ’s first call for His followers to take His message into the world.

You might think Jesus only meant this command for the apostles, but I hope you’ll reconsider by the time we finish this series. To get started, let’s look a couple simple points from these passages that support the idea that sharing the gospel is your job.

Teach Them What I’ve Taught You

The first thing I’d like you to notice about Christ’s command is that it sets up a self-propagating system. He told His followers to go to all nations and proclaim the good news. When people responded in faith and were baptized, the apostles were to teach those new believers to do what Christ taught them to do. What did He just teach them to do? To tell other! From that day, until today, there has been an unbroken chain of gospel proclamation. Thank God a generation along didn’t break that chain, or you wouldn’t have heard about God’s saving grace.

It’s Natural to Share Good News

Mark called this message were are commanded to share “the gospel.” Gospel means “good message” or “good news.” It’s good news! You don’t need a command to tell others good news. You don’t need permission. Many Bible characters shared the good news as soon as they met Jesus. Here are some examples:

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (Joh 1:40-41)

The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. (Joh 4:28-30)

As you can see, all these folks told others about Jesus. They didn’t share the good news because someone made them feel guilty. They didn’t do it because their church sponsored an outreach program. They did it because they met Jesus and they had to tell someone.

How Are You Doing/

  • Have you met Christ? Is He your Savior?
  • Are you excited enough about Christ to tell others about Him?
  • When did you last share the gospel, plainly, practically and personally, with someone?

What is the Gospel?

Introduction

We introduced the idea yesterday that it is every Christian’s job to share the good news of God’s love. But what is the gospel – what exactly is it that God wants us to proclaim? That’s the subject of today’s study.

Scripture Reading

(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1Co 15:3-4)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)

The Good News of God in Skin

The gospel begins with the idea that God loved us enough to wrap Himself in skin and become a citizen of the world He made. He did this so He could give His life for our sins.

(22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Mat. 1:22-23)

(5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phi 2:5-8)

(14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (“Heb 2:14-15)

The Good News of a Suffering Savior

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into the world, lived a sinless life, and suffered the fate every sinner deserves. He took our punishment and our place when He laid down His life on the Cross.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:21)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (src=Rom 6:23)

The Bad News Behind the Good News

The good news was necessary because of some bad news. (If you think about it, this really makes sense. The goodness of good news is almost always sin in contrast to, and response to, related bad news. Which is better news, someone being cured of their cold, or someone being cured of their cancer?) The bad news in this case is that every man, woman, boy and girl is a sinner. We have done things we know we should not do. We have left undone thing we know we ought to do. Some folks sin in ways that are easier to see than other, but we are all sinners.

(10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:10-12,23)

Our world decides what is good by finding out what is average or normal. If enough people act a certain way, that behavior is normal and, therefore, acceptable. God doesn’t take a poll, though, to determine right and wrong. He doesn’t change His standard of righteousness if enough people fail to measure up to it. God doesn’t grade on the curve. So the fact that we are all sinners doesn’t make sin OK, it makes all of us first class passengers on the Titanic. We may be enjoying ourselves, but we’re headed for disaster.

The Good News of a Risen Savior

Everything we’ve talked about so far would have been useless if it were not for the next part of the good news – the resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is the central theme of the gospel. It shows that His sacrifice was acceptable. It shows that our sins have been paid for. If Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the dead, you might as well stop reading right now.

Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: (2Ti 2:8)

(14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. (16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: (17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1Co 15:14-20)

The Good News of Salvation by Faith

You’ve heard what a mess we’re in – a world full of sinners unders the just condemnation of God. You’ve heard how God stepped in to help up by giving His Son to pay for our sins. You’ve heard about Christ’s amazing victory over the grave. He did all this, and more, to make salvation available to us. If you were God, what price tag would you put on this opportunity?

God makes the rules, so He could have put any price on salvation that He decided was fair. He could have said, “I will saved you if you give a million dollars to your church.” He might have said, “I will save you if you pray an hour a day, go to church three times a week, and donate your organs when you die.” He didn’t demand any of those things, though. Instead, He offers salvation as a free gift to anyone who will recognize they need it, and trust God by faith to receive it.

(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

What About You?

Maybe you’re reading this good news today for the very first time. Maybe you’ve heard it before, but never acted on it. Will you admit to yourself, and to God, that you are a sinner? Will you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, for the forgiveness of you sins? You might express your faith in Christ in a prayer like this:

Lord, I know that I’m a sinner. I’ve done things I shouldn’t have done. I’ve failed to do things I should have done. I deserve Your judgment, but I’m thankful that Jesus Christ, your Son, died to take my punishment. I accept Him as my Savior. Please forgive my sins because of what Jesus did for me. Amen

If you have trusted Christ as your Savior after reading this study, or you have questions about it, please email me.

The Golden Rule of Evangelism

Introduction

Today’s study is going to be very short – not because I’m struggling for something to say. I just want to make one point and let it soak in.

Scripture Reading

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Mat 7:12)

The Golden Rule of Evangelism

Matthew 7:12 is commonly known as the Golden Rule. It says that God wants you treat others the way you want to be treated. If you wanted to sum up all that God said in the Law and the Prophets, this would be it.

What does that have to do with sharing the good news? Well, let me ask you, are you glad someone shared the good news with you? You might not have appreciated it at the time, but after you got saved, weren’t you grateful that someone cared enough to tell you what you needed to hear? The answer is, no doubt, yes.

If you obeyed the Golden Rule, you’d be sharing the good news with the people around you. If you didn’t have any other motivation or command to witness to the world, this one alone should be enough.

How Are You Doing?

  • Are you glad someone shared the good news with you?
  • Are you obeying the Golden Rule by sharing the good news with others?

The Cry from Below

Introduction

As we continue to consider motives for sharing the good news, today we’ll look at the cry from below.

Scripture Reading

(19) There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, (21) And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. (27) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: (28) For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. (29) Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. (30) And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. (31) And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Suffering and Sorrowing

The rich man awoke in Hell. What a terrible situation he was in. He had lost all the wealth, comfort and pleasure of his earthly life. Instead, he suffered in a place of endless torment. This man, who ate and drank like a king, now considered a drop of water a feast. Not on was he suffering, but he was told there was no way out. Suffering is bad – hopelessness is worse.

In his suffering, the rich man’s thoughts turned to his family. He had five brothers who were still alive. What about them? He thought how terrible it would be for them to come to this pace of torment. In his agony he called out for someone to go warn them not to follow his example and share his fate. He thought a messenger from them dead would make them believe, but he was wrong. What they needed was to hear and believe God’s Word.

The Cry Continues

In the very moment you read these words, countless multitudes of other souls cry out from the grave for someone to reach their living loved ones. They, too, have experienced the torments of Hell. Their fate is sealed, but they desparately want to warn their friends and family to flee from the coming judgment.

God isn’t going to send departed saints back to preach the gospel. Yes, those loved ones need to hear God’s Word, but how?


(13)For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom 10:13-14)

As we’ve already talked about, we have been sent by God to proclaim the good news. We must answer the cry from below.

What About You?

  • Is someone crying from the grave for you to be saved, warning you to escape Hell? Will you heed that cry?
  • Are you taking the request of lost souls seriously? Who do you know that has left life without Christ? If you could hear their cries, who would they be asking you to warn about Hell? Will you fulfill their request?

To Be Like Jesus

Introduction

Your Heavenly Father wants you to be like Jesus. How can you be like Jesus without seeking and saving the lost?

Scripture Reading

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29)

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
(1Jo 2:6)

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
(Luk 19:10)

(5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
(Phi 2:5-8)

Paul told the Romans that God had a plan for them – a destination He was moving them toward. He was making them like His Son, Jesus. As a result, Jesus would be the pattern for many believers who would follow. The more you become like Christ, the more likely it is that others will trust in and become like Christ, too.

John made it clear in his first letter that Christians should act like Christ. “If you claim to abide in Him,” he said, “you should walk like He walked.” So, how did Christ walk, what did He come here to do?

His words couldn’t have been clearer, He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” His life, His teaching, His miracles, His suffering, all of it was aimed at saving lost souls.

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he taught them to think like Christ. God commanded them, and us, to have the mind, or attitude, of Christ. He doesn’t leave us to wonder if that was some kind of deep, mysterious way of life, some secret knowledge passed on to super-saints. No, like Christ, we are to forget about ourselves and our reputations. We must be servants. Like Christ, we are to lay down our lives, all at once or a day at a time, in an effort to see souls saved.

What About You?

  • God is working to make you like Christ. Are you actively cooperating with Him?
  • Do you seek the lost like Christ did?
  • Do you serve and sacrifice to reach the lost like Christ did?

The Example of the Early Church

Introduction

As we saw yesterday, Christ gave us an evangelistic example to follow. Today, we’ll see how the early church followed that example.

Scripture Reading

(1) And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. (2) And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. (3) As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. (4) Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (5) Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
(Act 8:1-5)

It wasn’t easy to be a Christian in Bible days. Christ, Himself, was crucified by jealous Jewish leaders (Mat. 27:18). His followers originally started out in hiding for fear of the Jews (Joh. 20:19). As our text shows, believers in the early church were hunted and hounded. They were arrested, jailed and, in some cases, executed. Here is something amazing, though, they shared the gospel anyway!

Read the text carefully. The apostles stayed in Jerusalem. It was the rest of the believers that scattered as a result of Saul’s persecution. You might think that these folks would have kept their mouths shut when the persecution heated up. But it these ordinary Christians who “went every where preaching the word.” Philip, a deacon in the church at Jerusalem, was one believer whose successful ministry was specifically recorded. He wasn’t the only one preaching, though.

Apparently, these folks though there was something more important in life than having a comfortable, pleasant existance. They could not be silenced because they knew that Jesus Christ was risen from the dead, and because every person in the world was dead in sin without Christ. Like Christ, these believers endured hardships so that others could hear the good news.

Nothing has changed. Christ lives. Sinners are lost and hopeless apart from Christ. Christians still have a duty to share the gospel. There is still a price to pay if you’re going to share that good news. (Well, maybe the thing has changed – we may be less willing to pay the price to get the gospel out.)

What About You?

  • Have you experienced opposition because you have shared the gospel?
  • Has the opposition stopped you in your tracks, or are you a persistent witness?

The Purpose of the Power

Introduction

God has promised His Holy Spirit to His people. The presence of the Spirit brings believers power. So what are you doing with the power you’ve been given?

Scripture Reading

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
(Luk 1:15-16)

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
(Luk 4:17-19)

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
(Act 1:4-8)

Power to Persuade

The angel who announced the birth of John to his father, Zacharias, said that he would be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. The result of this would be that he would turn many of the children to the Lord their God. The Spirit’s fullness gave John power to call people back to God.

Power to Preach the Gospel

Christ had been tempted in the wilderness. He returned victorious and Spirit-filled. In His first message after His return, He explained the purpose of the power. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…”

Power to Be Witnesses

Christ talked to the apostles about the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He said that the Spirit’s arrivial would give them power to be witnesses. God wants you to have His power. God wants to fill you with His Spirit. But what’s the point. In each of the passages we’ve looked at, the point was to empower people to proclaim God’s Word. Why should God empower you if you won’t use the power to accomplish His purpose?

What About You?

  • God has commanded you to be Spirit-filled (Eph. 5:18). Are you?
  • Are you fulfilling the purpose of being Spirit-filled – being a witness?

The Value of a Soul

Introduction

A soul is worth all the world’s wealth. Therefore, reaching a soul with the good news of God’s love is a more important accomplishment than being rich and succsseful. This is another motivation for sharing the good news is the value of a soul.

Scripture Reading

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
(Psa 49:7-8)

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mat 16:24-26)

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
(1Pe 1:18-19)

Everyone is Too Poor

The psalmist said that no one is rich enough to redeem his brother’s soul. Bill Gates can’t afford to purchase the salvation of his soul. It costs much more than that. We’ll see what it costs in a minute.

What’s It Worth to You?

Jesus asked a queston everyone needs to consider: “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” What would it be worth to you to escape the eternal torments of Hell? Would you sign over the title to your car, or the deed to your house? Would you empty your bank account to avoid Hell and gain Heaven? Truth is, every one of us would give all we have to save our souls the moment the reality of it hit us. But it’s too late then. The soul of each person you meet is equally valuable. It’s not only precious to them, but to God, too.

The Value God Places on a Soul

What is your soul worth to God? You can figure out the answer to that question by considering what He was willing to pay to buy it back. Peter said that we were redeemed, or purchased, with the blood of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Christ left the glories of Heaven, the worship of angels, and the Father’s fellowship to come to Earth and give His life for you. That’s what your soul was worth to Him.

What About You?

  • Have you trusted in the shed blood of Christ for the redemption of your soul?
  • Do you value the souls of the lost people around you enough to share the gospel with them?

A Day of Good Tidings

Introduction

Today’s Scripture reading contains the story of four lepers with nothing left to lose. On the surface, the passage doesn’t seem to have anything to do with evangelism, but I think there is a valid application here.

Scripture Reading

And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it. Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.
(2Ki 7:3-9)

Men Without Hope

These four lepers were outcasts from their Jewish neighbors. But the Jews were under seige by the Syrians. The Jews hiding behind the walls of Jerusalem were being starved out. The lepers decided they had nothing to lose. If they stayed where they were, they would die. If they went inside the walls, they would starve with the rest of the Jews. Maybe if they surrendered, the Syrians would be merciful to them. If not, they wouldn’t be any worse off than hey were already.

A Surprising Discovery

When these men went to surrender themselves to their enemies, they found that the camp was empty. God had worked a miracle and the Syrians were gone. Obvously, they left in a hurry, because all their food, clothes and riches behind. The lepers’ first reaction was to fill their bellies with food and their pockets with gold. They enjoyed the blessing of God’s deliverance.

A Realization of Wrongdoing

After a while, it dawned on these men tht they were not doing right. “We do not well,” they said, “this is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace.” They realized that it just wasn’t right to keep this kind of a blessing to themselves. There was a multitude, scared and starving, inside the city walls. Those folks needed to hear the good news of God’s deliverance, too. So these men set aside the selfish enjoyment of the spoils and went to tell their needy neighbors the good news.

What About You?

  • Have you received the good news of God’s deliverance?
  • Are you too busy enjoying your own salvation to share the good news with your needy neighbors?
  • Are you holding your peace in a day of glad tidings?

Ready to Give an Answer

Introduction

Last week we considered some of the motivations for sharing the good news of God’s love. This week, we’ll talk about getting ready to get out the gospel.

Scripture Reading

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: 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.
(1Pe 3:15-16)

Background

The context for today’s Scripture reading is suffering. If you read the rest of the chapter, you’ll see that Peter is talking to people who are being persecuted for their faith – for being Christians. But even in this context, he tells them how to share their faith.

Sanctify the Lord

Sometimes I’ve preached this passages as if it began with “be ready always,” but it doesn’t. It begins with “sanctify the Lord.” You and I aren’t ready to tell others about Christ until we sanctify Him in our own hearts. Until we set Him apart in our minds, make Him separate and holy from everyone else, we’re not going to be the witnesses we ought to be. I think this has several implications.

First, we probably won’t share the gospel if we don’t recognize God’s authority. Our King has commanded us to tell the good news. We need to acknowledge His authority, and obey His command.

Next, when you realize that there is no other hope of salvation, no other way to Heaven, but Christ, you’ll be compelled to tell others. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Joh 14:6)

Finally, when we set the Lord apart in our hearts, we’ll get more excited about telling others. In effect, we’re say, “There’s no one like You!” When you feel that way about Him, you’ll have a hard time not telling others about Him.

Be Ready Always

God commands us to be ready to give an answer. I think Peter was talking about mental, emotional, and spiritual preparation.

Spiritually, it makes a lot of sense to be a Christian yourself before you try to share the good news with others. (I have heard, though, of people who got saved by hearing God’s Word from someone who was not saved. Obviously, it was the power of God’s Word that made the difference.) But it is hard to have enthusiasm for telling others about something you’re not sharing in yourself. Also, you need to be right with God to have God’s power. Not “having a good conscience,” makes it hard to share the gospel. “Why would they listen to me,” you ask yourself, “when they see how I live?” It’s a fair question, but may I suggest that you stop doing wrong instead of not sharing the gospel.

Emotionally, we’ve got to be prepared for the potential consequences of sharing the gospel. We’ve got to accept the fact that some folks we tell about Jesus are going to reject Him. In the process, they might reject us, too. (Don’t you think it’s sad they we are more upset about people rejecting us than about them rejecting Christ?) We’ve got to come to grips with the fact that sharing the gospel might lead to persecution. We’ve got to count the cost and be ready to pay the price. That’s easier to do when you remember the price Christ paid for you.

Mentally, we should do our best to be prepared to present the good news clearly and accurately. What is the gospel? (See our study of the same title.) What do people people need to know, believe, and do to be saved? It’s also a good idea to consider some of the common questions that may come up and how you’ll respond to them.

Meekness and Fear

When you do give people an answer, you’re supposed to do it with “meekness and fear.” When you’re right and you know it, it’s easy to be abrasive. Our witness, though, should be gentle. We must speak the truth in love. No one gets bullied into getting saved. The fear we’re supposed to have is not fear of the people we are sharing the gospel with, but fear for them. What will become of them if we don’t share the gospel with them? We are also to fear the Lord and obey His command to share the gospel (2Co 5:11)

What About You?

  • Are you ready to share the good news? If a neighbor knocked on your door right now and asked you to share the gospel with them, could you do it?
  • If you’re not ready to share the gospel, why not? What do you need to do to get ready, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Will you do it?