Each of us has been given an amazingly important gift. It came in the form of a message. The message reveals God’s plan for the salvation of His people. We know that Christ was crucified for our sins, buried, and in accordance with the Scriptures, rose from the dead on the third day. This is a unique gift because it was designed to be given away. When was the last time you preached the Gospel? If you feel unqualified to preach or simply afraid to, you are not alone. Please read more….
As Christians we are commanded to preach the Gospel. In Mark 16:15 we read, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” In Acts 10:42 it says, “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.” In 2 Timothy 4:2 we are told, “proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” And, of course, Jesus gave us the great commissioning in Matthew 28:19-20.
For a variety of reasons, many of us are reluctant to preach. What stops you from preaching the message of Jesus Christ? Fear is what stops most Christians.
Fears of preaching the Gospel:
- Fear of offending people with the truth.
- Fear that I will personally be rejected.
- Fear of failure, people might reject the message.
- Fear of preaching the wrong message; what I do, affects someone’s eternity. Maybe I don’t know the Gospel as well as I should.
- Fear of potential backlash; will there be repercussions for my actions?
- Fear of ridicule; what if my words and actions don’t match up, I might be seen as a hypocrite.
- Fear of Satan; the devil attacks those who preach God’s truth.
There is one fear, however, we should all have; the fear of inaction. How will we answer to God if we don’t preach? Mathew 12:36-37 tells us, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Many who were called by God in the Bible had fears of their own. Thankfully, they overcame those fears. We are the recipients of their preaching. Now it is our turn to pass the message on.
In Isaiah 6:1-8, we read the story about an angel coming to Isaiah proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” As those words were proclaimed, his door frame shook and his house was filled with smoke. Isaiah responded by saying, “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips.” Knowing that you are called to preach, have you been tempted to say, “Woe is me: I am doomed!”
Upon Isaiah saying this, the seraphim flew to him holding an ember from the altar and he touched his mouth with it. The angel said, “See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.” Next Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah responded, “Here I am, send me!” Likewise, Jesus has removed our sins. How will we respond to His call to share His story?
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul is preaching to the people. After sharing the salvation story, he admits that he is unworthy to be an Apostle. He says, “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” Although our reasons may be different than Paul’s, have we used the excuse, “I am not fit to be an Apostle.”
To be clear none of us is either fit or worthy to preach the Gospel, but Romans 8:30 reminds us that God justifies those who are called. We can’t justify ourselves, and clearly, we are unworthy, but through Christ all things are possible, yes, even including, preaching the Gospel.
Paul goes on to say that he preaches through the grace of the Lord. He says that God’s grace to him was not ineffective. In fact, we know that God’s grace was highly effective, and Paul became perhaps the greatest preacher of the Gospel message. What might be possible for us? We too have been given God’s grace! Will we allow His grace to remain ineffective, or for the sake of His Kingdom, will we go forth preaching the message of salvation to everyone we meet?
Finally, there is Peter’s story. When Peter was astonished by the power of Jesus, after catching so many fish that the nets were tearing, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Despite his fear, he and the other disciples brought their boats to the shore, left everything, and followed Jesus.
God’s message of salvation is too important to keep to ourselves. Now as disciples, it is our turn to preach with words and actions. With the words of St. Paul, let us each exclaim, “I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” And, with the words of Isaiah, let’s respond to God’s command to preach by saying, “Here I am Lord, send me!”
Heavenly Father, like Jeremiah, you have given me Your Word, You knew me before I was born, You dedicated me to be a prophet and You commanded me to go forth to preach the good news of your Son. Grant me the strength and courage to do your will. Amen!
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