From our most recent sermon series out of the book of Acts, “Go, Because He Will.”
by Pastor Hayden Jacobs.
When was the last time you shared the gospel? I want you to really think about this question and answer it honestly. I think most of us at this point are remembering small moments that may have happened to us throughout last week or maybe even several months ago. These moments consisted of a passing comment about God or church to a co-worker or to someone at the grocery store. The moment may have consisted of you even praying for someone limping through a tough season of life and ending the time together with, “I’ll be thinking of you”.
I want to return to my original question though, when was the last time you shared the gospel? When was the last time you explained the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to someone? When was the last time you explained that we deserved the horrific death that Jesus received and he took it on as a substitute for us? Talking to co-workers, friends, neighbors, or relatives about spiritual matters in passing are not bad things and can even lead to deeper gospel conversations. Praying for someone as they need help is certainly not a bad thing, in fact, praying for others is a biblical mandate (1 Timothy 2:1). However, there is something very different about passing through the small talk and the shallow encounters we have with others and presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Why is it that we engage in deep conversations about sports, cultural issues, politics, and our favorite clothing stores while only scratching the surface of conversations about the gospel? I want to present the idea that this hesitation to speak the gospel is not only a fear problem, but a faith problem.
In a survey of the book of Acts, chapters 13 through 15, we as a church have been studying the Apostle’s boldness and courage to share the gospel everywhere they went. Not only were they sharing the gospel, people were also responding to the gospel. It’s a beautiful portrait of the Apostle’s obedience, God’s power, and the planting of new churches! But how did the Apostle’s have such courage? How did they jump the hurdle of small talk and invest themselves into gospel conversations?
The solution was “remembrance”. In Acts 13:17-41, 14:27, and 15:3-4 the Apostles are describing, explaining, or proclaiming all that God had done through them. In other words, they took the time to remember that acts of God. How he opened doors to the gentiles and created opportunities for people to receive salvation from their sin. Their remembrance of what God had done helped supply their faith. When faced with new issues, the Apostles seemed to always remember the works of God and explain it to the churches, encouraging them and giving them great joy.
The Apostles knew that if God had taken them that far, then He could get them through the next situation or conversation. In fact, they knew that even through their pain or death God’s kingdom would still advance and the gospel would still be proclaimed (Acts 14:22). Their faith was strengthened by God’s past workings, and their faith supplied their courage.
So what does this mean for us? This means we need to remember what God has done through us! The feelings of fear when confronted with evangelism are real and valid. However, we still have a command from Jesus to do it in Matthew 28:19-20. Therefore, remember how God has worked through you before. Remember how He has brought you through hard situations. Remember how He has given you the words to say in past conversations. Remember His glorious works and persevere through trials so others can experience salvation in Jesus! There is a reason why Moses told the Israelites to remember their deliverance from Egypt by the hand of the Lord and to teach it to their children (Exodus 13:3-9). It was so they could look back and receive strength to move forward in the hard times ahead.
God has called you to be a witness. He was called you to proclaim the gospel wherever you go. Remember what He was done through you in the past and walk into those gospel conversations with confidence in what He can do through you today! And if you can’t remember what God has done through you recently, remember the cross. Remember what he did for you and how you were once dead and now you are alive. You may have that beautiful story to proclaim to those who do not have life. Go, because He will move.