Bible Reading: Romans 15:14-21
In all my years of following the news, it has always been the case that news births a response in the viewers. News prompts reactions. When I was growing up, there used to be ‘newspaper analysts’ who would gather around a newspaper vendor’s stand early in the morning and argue ferociously over the news headlines till afternoon.
News prompts response.
News of violence in the community births a feeling of fear or a response of caution and all that. News about the economy can in itself birth depression or rejoicing. News about our loved ones will touch deep. News on WhatsApp about the boy whose ear just blew up in Estonia because he was making a call while charging his phone or the violence that has just broken out in Yaba, where people are being killed and blood is flowing, usually has some of hell’s top demons of fear and panic assigned with it.
But what does good news do to you? What does it prompt?
What would you do with good news about your family if you were the first to hear it? What would you do with good news about your neighbours if you were the first to hear?
What response does the good news of the gospel propel in you?
If anything, I think we must challenge ourselves not to be silent! Good news is not just to be pocketed- it is to be proclaimed!
There is a God-given obligation and expectation on people who have believed the gospel to ensure that they don’t just sit on it, but that they broadcast it.
If I spread the Good News, I have nothing to brag about because I have an obligation to do this. How horrible it will be for me if I don’t spread the Good News! 1 Corinthians 9:16 GW
For you see, even though I proclaim the good news, I can’t take the credit for my labors, for I am compelled to fulfill my duty by completing this work. It would be agony to me if I did not constantly preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16 TPT
I think we must remind ourselves that when we preach the gospel, or are generous with the cause of the gospel, we are not being nice or special people- we are simply choosing to live our lives in the fulfilment of an obligation that we carry.
Maybe your big question is how do I do it? Do I walk down the street barking at everybody that the incarnate and crucified Saviour, Jesus Christ, is the risen Lord and impending judge of the world?
Methods may differ and platforms many times can alter the application of the same truth, but there are two essential places we must be getting to with the people in our world:
First, We Must Constantly Be Reaching Them
We must not be far away from the people who need the gospel. We must not be speaking a language that they don’t understand. We must not be merely walking through life soliloquizing. I believe we must be having conversations, we must be knocking doors (maybe not necessarily literal doors, but doors of hearts); we must be reaching our generation. The cause of the gospel is not a cool side thing- it’s an obligation. Are you just locked up in your church cycles and communities, or in your own selfish spirituality? God expects us to be proclaimers of the gospel, to those who need it the most.
What do you think it’s like when we lock ourselves within the Church singing the gospel, preaching it at ourselves, discussing it and we make that an end in itself? I do not take anything away from the great reminders about the gospel that we enjoy among ourselves in our church community and all, but the conversation has to be wider than that.
Second, We Must Be Engaging Them
We must go beyond reaching people and come to actually engaging a generation with the substance of the gospel. We are not just nice people with good attitudes to be around, we are gospel proclaimers! We are not just generous philanthropists, we have a clear message! The gospel points people to the message of Jesus, not even to ourselves. This is why it is actually easy to be a voice for the cause of the gospel- I am simply saying Jesus is that good! It’s not a message about ourselves, it’s a pointer to Jesus and He is in himself good enough a message.
People ask me ‘what if I get stuck trying to preach?’ I think that would mean you went off your lane. Simply remember Jesus didn’t get stuck in loving people. That’s the lane I’m pointing out. It’s when we start trying to share a gospel of our self-performance and wisdom and all that, that we complicate the substance. For every time I’m inadequate and insufficient, I am simply pointing people to Jesus! Remember the Samaritan woman by the well in John 4? Who was more inadequate? But who was ever more effective in preaching the gospel! Don’t be afraid to say it in your own simple words or with your own testimony, but the substance must always be a pointer to Jesus.
A constant question should be the ‘what will you do with a Jesus who is all of this?’ A Christian must find it so easy to point people to Jesus. Preaching the gospel can include pointing people to a Church service where they can hear it clearly, or pointing people to reading the Bible where they can encounter it, but we must ensure that our effort is a pointer to Jesus.
It’s interesting how a lot of Christian evangelistic effort is built around ‘stop doing bad things’. As much as changing my bad behaviour would be an implication of believing the gospel, the truth is that it is not the substance of the gospel to an unbeliever. The power to defeat sin is actually in the gospel, not in self-will. We are gospel proclaimers, not moral enforcement agents.
What will the good news that you have believed drive you to do today? Don’t wait for some big platform and spotlight moment- light your spot .
Something To Do
Would you draft a list of three people in your world who need to know the good news about Jesus or who need to be pointed towards Jesus. Would you reach and engage them about it? Share your plans and testimonies in your Life group or with your volunteering team.