Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ashamed of the Gospel?

Chuckle: We have a group of preachers in our town who bowl. They call themselves "Holy Rollers!"
Quote: “If he has faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this gospel to people at the risk of life itself.” --Martin Luther

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16 NIV).
Romans was written to the Christians in Rome by the apostle Paul, an intelligent and articulate man totally committed to his calling from Christ Himself. He presents the case for the gospel message clearly and forthrightly in his letter to all believers in Rome – and to us. Even though the persecution of Christians was commonplace during the time of Paul’s ministry, he never wavered in his zeal and commitment to unashamedly spread the gospel wherever he went.
Around the world today, hostility and violence against Christians is rapidly increasing. They are being slaughtered, imprisoned, flogged, and otherwise persecuted simply for pledging their allegiance to Jesus Christ. Sadly, most free-world governments and Christians seem largely indifferent to what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Although, in this country, we do not face the extreme persecutions described above, there is a growing undercurrent of anti-Christian sentiment steadily being revealed. In light of this and the world situation, what should we do as Christians? What we should not do is to be afraid or ashamed to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you are ever tempted to stop proclaiming this gospel when faced with opposition or persecution, please remember what the gospel (Good News) is all about. It is the power of eternal salvation for anyone who believes. It is the most important message Jesus has commanded us to proclaim. What an awesome responsibility our Lord has given us – to make disciples of all people. In sharing the good news, there is no place for timidity or shame in the hearts of believers.
As we faithfully proclaim the gospel message in today’s environment, we must do so with Christ-like love and compassion for all people. The most effective way to demonstrate such love is by our joyful service to others, especially those with extraordinary physical, emotional, or spiritual needs. James says, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do” (James 2:18b NIV). Someone has said something like this: “Preach the gospel everywhere you go; and, when necessary, use words.” Our actions often speak louder and more effectively than our words. We can never earn salvation by doing good things; but good deeds of service show that our commitment to God is real and verify our faith in Jesus Christ.
Finally, Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory . . .” (Luke 9:26 NIV). Let’s commit ourselves to being unashamed of the message of Christ and proclaim Him courageously in the power of the Holy Spirit. Also, let’s unite in prayer for persecuted Christians around the world.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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