By Matthew Monfore 04/02/2021
I believe God is sovereign in salvation, that He will save whom He will save; at the same time, man bears responsibility for neglect. Often, when preparing to evangelize and looking for motivation, I have thought about myself, all the pain I endured as a result of sin (my sin; others’ sins) for 15+ years before I heard the Biblical gospel. I have often wondered how different/better my life could have been had SOMEONE/ANYONE stepped out of their comfort zone to share the gospel with me…That motivates me to go and find the “Matthews” of the world, people like me who need answers, and will EMRACE the answers as a drowning person grasps a life vest.
Think of all of the WASTED time, money, energy, injury, and tears spent on sin! The sooner someone comes to Christ, the better! The sooner one is pulled out of a burning house and the flames are doused, the less damage that is done. Even though believers have a new life, they still have baggage in their memories or past consequences for sin. Don’t get me wrong, I BELIEVE in redemption, I BELIEVE in beauty for ashes. I believe God can use those who are redeemed later in life: but think of the cost of WAITING to share the gospel, of HIDING the gospel, of NEGLECT! Dear God, inflame our hearts to get the gospel to people before unimaginable damage is done in the lives of people. Save people early in life. Amen
We should not hide the gospel from others. It seems that when it comes to evangelism, the “church” has this idea that we need to be clever, mysterious, have a good metaphor to present, and only present the gospel when convenient. Now, I am not arguing against being polite, or good speaking skills, but I am arguing for being honest and truthful even when our “skills” are still developing…
The Scriptures are pretty blunt/frank/forthright about the message and how it is to be shared.
Consider Isaiah in the Old Testament
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1,underline mine).
Jesus was so open, people tried to throw Him off of a cliff!
Jesus said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor” (Luke 4:17) and then after talking more, “all they in the synagogue…were filled with wrath…led him unto the brow of the hill…that they might cast him down headlong” (Lk. 4:29).
I think the idea that we need to conceal the gospel may come in part from an improper use of the the idea that “Jesus used parables to hide the gospel” (Matthew 13)…Did Jesus try to hide the gospel? More important, how are Christians supposed to share the message? How did the apostles?
Jesus was very open about the gospel.
His first words about the gospel in Matthew are “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Sounds pretty open to me! Word would probably spread fast, “Hey Joe, there is this guy telling everyone to turn from their sins and that he represents the Kingdom of God! Let’s check him out”…
Furthermore, it says in verse 23 it says “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” Would have been pretty hard to hide that…
When it came to parables (stories/metaphors such as in Mathew 13) , they actually made the gospel clearer! (Rabbis/teachers were known to illustrate a teaching, and what person today doesn’t benefit from a good illustration to understand a concept?). It was the people’s/unbelivers’ hearts that became harder, their understanding more warped at the thought of Jesus illustrating spiritual truth. Like any spiritual truth of course, only those who would be open to the Spirit’s leading and God’s truth, REALLY understood FULLY (GOT SAVED)!