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  1. Giving the Gospel / Are You Ashamed of Christ? I had intended on writing a SHORT encouraging note to others about sharing the gospel. That truly was my main intent prior to setting about to type some thoughts and copy corresponding scripture down... But as often happens, the Lord put something else on my heart. I recently had a discussion with a fellow believer who admitted that he or she rarely shared the gospel with others. Since the conversation was somewhat recent, it may be why the Lord put it on my heart, BUT I think it may well be that it wasn't this person (in particular) but someone else (unknown to me whom) and perhaps ALL of us that could benefit by serious consideration of the following 2 questions (and why the Lord put it on my heart to bring this forward HERE today, I am not sure, but felt compelled to do so). The 2 questions I am asking each one of us to consider today are these: #1. Do you share the gospel with others? #2. Are you ashamed of Christ? Most of us here (at least those whom I've come to know somewhat) would likely answer the questions with an emphatic "YES, I share the gospel", and "NO, I am not ashamed of the Lord". But I'd like to ask you all to take time to delve deep into those answers and see if we ALL couldn't improve? I'd like to first address any who would be brave enough to admit (even if only to themselves) that they do NOT often share the gospel with others... and ask them Why not? (And I am not asking for anyone here to come forth to admit they do not, nor give a reason, nor am I singling out anyone in particular... just asking them to please read and consider these things I am writing) In another group I heard many (anonymous) responses to that question (of why they do not regularly share the gospel) with the following answers: A. I am shy or uncomfortable sharing the gospel B. I don't know how to start the conversation C. I don't know scripture well enough to show (or tell) another person the gospel D. I could lose my job if I did E. It starts arguments in the family when I've tried before F. I would be ridiculed or mocked G. No-one listens anyways H. It's not socially acceptable, there is a time and place for that kind of thing I. I leave that up to others (for varying reasons) J. I don't have time K. No one has ever asked me L. I'm not a proficient speaker M. I worry about what others might think of me N. I am a coward There are likely hundreds of other answer such as these, but do we recognize they are all EXCUSES??? Yes, if you have never shared the gospel before it can seem daunting and be uncomfortable (at first). But is that really a good excuse? Just like everything, the more you do something, the more proficient you become at it, the less stressful or intimidated you will feel. As for those who answer "I don't know scripture well enough"... there is a remedy for that! Only you can determine to study God's word and remedy your ignorance of it... asking prayerfully for Him to lead and guide. There is another reason which we ALL need to examine ourselves about... We need to question ourselves truthfully and ask: Are we ashamed of Christ? Even for those whom have answered "YES, I share the gospel with others", I would like to ask you also to consider this question as well... Do we find that at times we don't share the gospel because we are worried more about what mankind thinks rather than serving the Lord? Are we worried that it could cause familial rifts? Cost us social standing? Be passed up for promotion? Possibly even lose a job? Either way there is a pattern I have noticed among some believers today. A pattern of shame. I wonder how many recognize that with knowing the gospel comes a responsibility to SHARE the gospel with others? I also wonder if many of us are waiting around for SOMEONE ELSE to share the gospel with our loved ones??? I've seen many a prayer request (on other venues) for an unsaved family member, but when asked it they themselves have shared the gospel with that loved one the response is often some hemming and hawing, and an admission of "NO", they have not. The excuse most often given is "it never seems to be the right time". I'd like to note that it is ALWAYS the right time to share the gospel. No-one is promised tomorrow... if that unsaved loved one were to die today and YOU didn't share the gospel with them... how will answer the Lord? Will you then make more excuses as to why you didn't share the gospel? Do you think HE will accept them? Some serious questions we need to each ask ourselves... and if you are waiting for an opportune time, might I suggest NOW. " Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." " For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" There is more scripture to draw from regarding this topic. But I wonder if we couldn't ALL do better insharing the gospel. I can attest to the fact that both Christians and conservatives are being censored on Facebook and other social media platforms. Over the last year I have felt compelled to share the gospel there where it is needed most. I was recently banned on facebook for 24 hours for quoting (ironically). The very next week I was given a 72 hour ban (which only lasted 24 hours???) with no real reason given. The facebook message from "facebook security" stated that they had "noticed suspicious activity on my account"... but they failed to note exactly WHAT the alleged "suspicious activity" was! I have heard numerous accounts from other Christian and conservative facebook users in regard to this. I have one friend on facebook who ONLY posts scripture, and she also was given a 24 hour ban recently. For far too long, we in the states have become complacent, thinking that we will always have the free speech we enjoyed thus far in our lifetimes. Many of us have become lazy thinking that now that republicans hold the presidency, the house, and the senate that our freedom of speech is secure. Even though the left lost the election, they are still in control of most media. Zuckerberg (facebook) as well as the owners of Google are openly censoring conservative and Christian content. (If you haven't YET noticed a change in your search results there on Google, you soon will). They have gotten together (along with many leftist groups) in order to determine what THEY think is "fake news", which of course means that anything in opposition to their own liberal-left-leaning ideology they will deem to be "fake news". As many missionaries here can attest, they do not have the same freedoms to witness to others as we have here in the US. Yet sadly, so many of us are frittering away time here, taking for granted we will always have such freedom to share the gospel openly. I wanted to bring forth this timely encouragement for believers to share the gospel with as many as you can... in whatever venue you can... WHILE you can. If you are not sure what the gospel IS... it is found in 1 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;" 2 "By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." 3 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;" 4 "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Sadly, this is often overlooked in an attempt to share WHY one must believe on Jesus for salvation, and skip right to the "believe" but not WHAT to believe! (A watered down version of the gospel). How many times growing up did I hear the Billy Graham style mantra of HIS version of the "gospel"? Graham's version was: "Ask Jesus into your heart". Where, I wonder, did he find THAT "gospel"? And how many were deceived by it? Now that we know what the gospel is, we also know that we must BELIEVE the gospel. 16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." 18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." 9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." 10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." We see then that the gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection) must be believed for salvation. We further see that Jesus took OUR sins upon Himself on the cross... He went willingly to, to pay for those sins which we coud NEVER pay for ourselves ("...all our rightousness are as filthy rags..." ). Salvation is a free gift, but one must BELIEVE and accept the gift... it is not 'automatically applied' without belief. In fact, tells us "... he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.". We further see that in His resurrection, Jesus defeated death... rising in a glorified, uncorruptible body! So that we (believers) will ALSO have a body like Jesus' own perfected eternal body (1 John 3:2). When will we receive those uncorruptible/perfected bodies? At the rapture! 51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed," 52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 53 "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 54 "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." 14 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." 15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." 16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" 17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 18 "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." God's word tells us to "comfort one another with these words". Nothing is more comforting to a believer than to know that Jesus has defeated both sin and death... and HE is the reason for the hope that is within us. Won't YOU share the gospel with someone today? Or could it be... and be honest with yourself and with the Lord... that you are ashamed of the gospel? Ashamed of Christ?
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