Why You Don't Have to Travel Abroad to Share God's Truth
- Moody Bible Institute Distance Learning Sponsored Article
- 2016 12 Feb
Regardless of whether you've ever wanted to be a missionary or go on an international mission trip, all Christians are called to share the gospel exactly where they are. Additionally, sharing the gospel right where we are is just as important as sharing the gospel in another country. First Peter 3:14-16 makes it very clear that no matter where we are, and no matter who asks, we are to be ready to give an answer for the joy that we have—for the God we believe in.
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
If you are uncomfortable with evangelism, the best way to get better at sharing the gospel and to be prepared with an answer is to start by falling in love with the gospel message all over again. The gospel is for everyone—both mature and immature believers, struggling and joyous believers, new believers, and those who do not yet believe. Not only should we remind ourselves of the gospel daily, we should read God’s Word daily. Because the more we read God’s Word, the more comfortable we will be in sharing it and explaining it.
In Luke 14, Jesus is dining in the home of a ruler of the Pharisees (with other Pharisees present); their goal was to trap him into saying something blasphemous, but instead he teaches them about the kingdom of God. Jesus tells them a parable about a great banquet, where there will be many guests and many invited… but not all of the invited will come. In the story, the master’s servant tells the master that because some of the invited will not come, there is still room; so the master tells the servant to, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full" (Luke 14:23).
Jesus also says in Luke 14:12, “Then Jesus said to his host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
“So here you have, first of all, the fact that they can’t repay, and secondly, the reason the master loves to do that is because these are people who least expect an invitation. They don’t expect it, and so the master says, “Not only the blind and the halt and the lame, but also go out to the highways and the hedges and compel people to come in.” Now we’re talking about Gentiles, people that the Jews never dreamed would be part of the kingdom. And so what Jesus was saying is, ‘You go get them too.’”
That’s what we need to tell people—that they have an invitation from the King of Kings to the greatest banquet they can imagine… and it's free, all they have to do is show up! Only Jesus can transform people and bless people, but he has charged those whom he has already transformed and already blessed with the great privilege and honor of inviting others to the feast, as many as we can.
Let’s not let fear, discomfort, embarrassment, rejection, or selfishness keep us from carrying out the task before us. And let’s not only invite people, let’s practice hospitality and discipleship too—let’s build real relationships with depth and genuine sincerity, caring for those whom we would normally pass by or run away from but whom Jesus redeems as beautiful and loved.
“Now Christianity is very exclusive in the sense that we know that there is no way that you can come to God and be accepted by him except through Jesus Christ, but here’s the good news. The invitation to come to Jesus is to everybody, and so we emphasize that.”
Christians need to make sure—through our actions and our words—that those who do not believe know the invitation is for them too; it’s for everyone, even the person who seems the most unlikely or undeserving. But as the servant, it is not for us to judge whom the Master invites. If he says to invite everyone we invite everyone, without exception. Remember that we were once unlikely and undeserving; the only reason we get to serve is because we were invited, and we accepted the invitation.
The call to share the gospel is for here, there, and everywhere… and for everyone. Not only is it a privilege to share God’s truth, but as believers we are also equipped to share that truth. This means we have nothing to fear in sharing God’s Good News. You don’t need a PhD, and you don’t need to be a pastor; any believer can share the gospel message. But if you are fearful of sharing God’s truth, remember the gospel and the price that was paid so that you could have an invitation to the banquet and invite others as well.
Written by Liz Kanoy, editor for Crosswalk.com. Sponsored by Moody Bible Institute Distance Learning. Learn how others are serving God in their communities. Find out more about Moody’s online classes.
Publication date: February 12, 2016