This week, I had a conversation leading a group of youth high school boys that caught me by surprise. One of the students opened up about being ashamed of the Gospel. It caught me off guard because he is the student who is most faithfully in his Bible. He grew up in a Christian home and had faithful parents. How can this be? Not many people in the United States today can proudly say I am not ashamed of the Gospel. As time goes on, this is only going to get worst. Let me explain…
Not All Who Say They Are Christians Are Prepared For Battle
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Many people will die being sure they will get into heaven, yet they will not. This should humble you right away. It means that you may be hanging around people every day who think they are saved and they are not. They know how to say and do the right things, yet their hearts are from God.
Is this you? Stop and sit in that question for a second. Then, don’t read any further until you are honest with yourself. Scripture says that nothing can separate us from the love of God, but we have first to accept that love first and not just act as we have.
How does one do the will of the Father that is in heaven? No one can do it perfectly, which means that the only way to heaven is for someone to save you. Someone greater must pay the price that none of us can pay on our own. That is who Jesus is. He is a perfect savior who lived a life without a blemish. He had no sin and was slain for the sins of the world so that whoever believes in him will receive the gift of salvation.
Jesus is the one who saves. Not prophecy or casting out demons, not giving to the poor, or racial reconciliation. It does not mean that all of those things are bad. It just means that none of them cover our sins like the blood of Jesus.
The Path is Narrow
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
The way to God is narrow, and few people are willing to walk that road. Looking at our current culture, everything is designed for ease and comfort. You can order anything from the couch: robots clean floors and dishware clean dirty plates. You can access any movie you want in seconds on a smartphone. People are not being raised to face the difficult path of following Jesus.
Proclaiming that “I am not ashamed of the Gospel” takes boldness. What it means is that you are willing to be persecuted. You are eager to be considered weird and to be an outcast. You are eager to lose social status and many other things for the sake of Christ.
Most people will not give those things up, and as a result, they will deny Jesus.
If You Deny Him He Will Deny You
Matthew 10: 33
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
To walk the narrow path, you must be willing to praise his name before ANYONE. In the western world, evangelism is rarely on the minds and hearts of the people. Though we are all called to share the Gospel, few Christians act like it’s essential to do so.
Yet, in scripture, Jesus makes it clear that whoever denies Jesus before men will also be denied before the Father. This is not to be taken lightly. You should not try and explain your way out of this. It does not matter if you are at work or just hanging out; you should not deny Jesus when it’s convenient for you.
Are you willing to go to any area of your life and say, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel?”
What do you love more than you love Jesus if you do not do this? What sin has a foothold in your life that needs to be removed?
What Should You Do? Repent for The Kingdom is At Hand
The first thing you should do is repent. The first declaration was not love, mercy, joy, or peace in the Gospels. We receive all of those things through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But before we can enter into the gifts from Christ, John the Baptist knew that we needed to REPENT first.
He started his ministry preaching that people needed to repent and be baptized. To repent is not just to be sorry about sin. Instead, repentance means recognizing that you miss the mark that God has set forth for us and then turning away from your ways and going in a different direction.
True repentance means that you no longer want to live in the sin of your old ways. You recognize your need for a savior, and out of this, obedience becomes of the utmost importance to you. You begin to follow Jesus, and one of those steps is being baptized.
What is at stake? The Kingdom of God is at stake here. What is of more value than inheriting the kingdom of God? Nothing means that you should be willing to give everything here on earth up for it.
What Should You Do? Live With Urgency
One of the downfalls of wealth is that it removes urgency. When you have money saved up, a 401k, and a few investment properties, you begin to think further and further down the road. But, on the other hand, someone in poverty is living now because they need to meet their basic needs.
The blessing of poverty is a dependence on God that is so high that you move through life with much more urgency. When you feel this urgency, the need to share the Gospel begins to grow. You recognize that nothing can save you, but Jesus and your heart breaks for other people who don’t know him.
Being urgent with the Gospel means normalizing talking about Jesus and having spiritual conversations. Before you may have been ashamed of the Gospel, you are now excited to talk about it. You want to proclaim his name in any way possible.
Here is How You Can Do This:
- Talk about Jesus
- Share your story of how Jesus changed you
- Invite people to church
- Ask people to join your connection group
- Invite people into your Gospel-centered life
- Serve with people
- Serve others
What Should You Do? Know God
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.
When of the best ways to keep fueling your new boldness in Christ is to know more about God through his Word, prayer, and yielding to the Holy Spirit. Your life begins to come in line with God when it’s his words that you spend the most time meditating on. What you think about the most is the direction you tend to go.
People who spend all their time listening to popular music and watching evil on TV will tend to think about those things. But, through Jesus, you have had a change of heart, and you want to meditate on what God says is true. The more you do this, the more you lean into his ways, and you become more comfortable having spiritual conversations with people.
Ultimately, you don’t want to know God to get anything from it. You want to know God because he is your master and the creator of everything you can see and touch. Just knowing him more is enough, and nothing more is needed. But God is so gracious he often provides more anyway.
I Am Not Ashamed of The Gospel So I Will Put My Faith in God Alone
One of the reasons that people can be ashamed of the Gospel is from a fear of man. Proverbs calls us repeatedly to Fear Lord, and it tells us that wisdom begins when we fear the Lord. If you fear man more, you will let a man dictate what you do. But here is the problem, men will come and go, but GOD is forever!
Why would you put your faith in things that can perish? Jesus was slain on a cross, but he was raised from the dead three days later, and he proved that he is God. He beat the worst thing that the devil could throw at him. Through his ministry in the Gospels, he did not reject the Father even once.
The entire time, he was willing to submit to the Father. He never tried to hide who he was, but he often told people he was God and that he had come to heal the broken souls of sinners. He did this knowing that people would hate him and eventually tried to kill him, but it did not matter because it was the truth.
You should follow Jesus and speak the truth if you call yourself a Christian. Don’t hide your light under a basket but instead put it on a hill so that everyone can see and so that everyone can know that the light source is Jesus Christ. Boldly proclaim who Jesus is and what he has done for your life.