“He died last night,”
These words haunt me.
For years they caused me to be overwhelmed with guilt and shame. A few weeks before I had visited this young man in the hospital, he was a friend, he was like family to me, he wanted to die, I wanted him to know Jesus. Yet as I stood in that room I never got the courage to share the hope I had in Jesus. I rationalized that I would sit down with my friend and talk once he was out of the hospital and in a better frame of mind. He got out, we all got busy and the next time I saw him was at his funeral. His death wasn’t self-inflicted but it was unexpected and I was crushed.
Did my friend die without knowing Jesus? Did he call out to Jesus in his final days, hours, or minutes? I won’t know that answer until the final judgement day. The one thing I do know is that I never want to feel that way again.
What stopped me from sharing the Gospel that day? The answer is I was ashamed. I was more concerned about how I would be viewed by my friend than I was about his eternity. This is a common problem within the church today. We are more concerned with the way people will view us here and now rather than where they will spend eternity. I believe this shame comes from a lack understanding the truth and power of the Gospel. See what Paul says in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” The Gospel, the Good News, is the power of God that brings salvation… apart from the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ none shall be saved.
“for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”…
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Romans 10:13-15, 17
God has chosen and is choosing to use your words, your testimony to bring His gift of salvation to those who are lost and destined to spend eternity in hell. Jesus died for you. He gave His life to restore your relationship with the Holy God so what do we have to be ashamed of? What is holding you back today?
May we pray as the early church prayed, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30