If you're a Christian. I mean if you believe in Jesus. I mean if you believe Jesus is God, and you trust everything He said is, well, God's honest truth, then ask yourself this question.
Do you think the best way to share the gospel is to not share the gospel?
I wonder if this attitude really exists in the American church and not just in my imagination. It seems like Christians have tried to think of all sorts of ways to exhibit their faith without nutting up and telling people about it.
Lots of people toss out quotes to explain why they avoid talking about Jesus. Quotes like this: "Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."
St Francis? He preached to birds and squirrels. If paintings tell us anything, I think St. Francis felt most comfortable sharing the gospel with harmless, unresponsive animals. Even you might feel alright telling your cat about your Lord and Savior.
But people? Telling other people? Face to face? Does it fill you with a cold sense of dread?
I wonder why we feel like this. And I do say "we". I have this problem just like a lot of other Christians. Lately, asking myself "why" has led me to think about how I view the gospel. Do I really believe it's the hope of the world? Do I really believe it's good news? How good? Good enough to get excited about it? Good enough to tell people? Do I really believe that Jesus changed my life? Do I believe that He has the power to transform other people?
Because if the answer is "no", I think the next logical questions are much, much harder to face.
Listen, I don't want to bum you out. I do want to agitate you, though. Get uncomfortable. Think about what you believe. Think about why you hesitate.
Now, read 1 Peter 3:13-15 as if it were written to you. "Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect."
Maybe it's an Our Daily Bread kind of way to end a post, but I don't think I could say it any better. Thanks, Pete.