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January 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’”—Romans 10:14–15 (NLT)
How can we expect people who aren’t told about the gospel to live out the gospel? How is it that many Christians get so indignant at nonbelievers when their lifestyles don’t line up with Christian values they know little to nothing about? And even worse, how can we expect people to know Jesus and live like Him when what they often see from so-called Christians is a poor representation of living in Christ? How can they be saved if we, the community of Christ followers who love our Lord, don’t tell them the good news of salvation? Answer: We can’t!
According to Barna research in 2018, only 64% of Christians believe it’s their responsibility to share their faith. A 2019 Lifeway study showed that 55% of Christians surveyed had not shared their faith with anyone in the last six months. Can you imagine going six months without talking about the most important thing in your life? Can parents go six months without telling someone about their kids? Can you go six months without talking about your job? Your favorite show or movie? Politics? Probably not . . . How then can more than half of people who call themselves Christians can go six months without telling someone about their life in Christ?
My friends, if you’re in Christ, if you’re His disciple, you have been sent. It’s not just a call for 45% of Christians or the job of a select group of super Christians or pastors . . . it’s our collective mission. Mark 16:15 (NIV) says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” while Matthew 28:19 (NIV) says, “go and make disciples of all nations.” In 2 Corinthians 5:17–20, we’re called ministers of reconciliation and Christ’s ambassadors, “as though God were making his appeal through us.” This is for all of us!
Bible college training isn’t required to do this. Like the woman at the well, who immediately went into her town to tell people about Jesus, you just need to tell people about what Jesus has done for you. Like the blind man in John 9:25 (NIV), you don’t need to know everything, because he said, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
The gospel of Jesus has the power to change every heart on its own. All you need to do is be a messenger who delivers this good news. And here’s something amazing to remember: You’re not alone in the mission. As I said earlier, it’s a call for all of us. We get to do this together—to tell and show the world who Jesus is, how much He loves them, and how a relationship with Him changes everything!
PAUSE: Have you ever found yourself angry or upset with a nonbeliever for living and believing as they do? Should you be angry at them? Do you have any valid reason? Who should you be upset with?
PRACTICE: Find someone in your life who is a nonbeliever, someone who’s living in such a way that it upsets you, and pray. Ask the Lord to open his or her heart to receive, to open a door for you to boldly share the gospel, and for the words to flow from His Spirit and not from you. Then when He makes a way, when the Spirit leads, be His messenger!
PRAY: Father, I want to be Your hands and feet. I want to be Your messenger to those who need to hear the gospel. Please give me the courage, boldness, and humility to do so. Help me be empathetic and full of grace as I enter into these conversations. Equip me with the words to say and fill me with Your Spirit so I may walk in Your will. Amen.