Sharing The Gospel
Updated: May 25, 2020
By bro Joel Lee
Matt 28:19-20— Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
A few weeks ago, I happened to be on duty with a colleague whom I did not know was a “church-goer”. We somehow started a casual conversation, from which I learnt that he had recently been exploring other congregations due to the perceived lack of biblical focus in his current church. But before I could enquire more, he started to ask the group of us while having dinner together whether any of us were Christians as well, and started to share his conversion story and the gospel. I was initially taken aback – most people (myself included) believe religion to be a sensitive topic and especially so in the workplace. Then I felt a sense of admiration with a tinge of shame. I felt a sense of admiration because he had the courage to share the gospel in a public and unfamiliar setting (many of us had not worked together before) and shame because he took the initiative to do so but I did not.
This brings me to my first reflection – opportunities are everywhere.
2 Tim 4:2—Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
We are exhorted to be ever-ready to preach the word, to share the good news, but more often than not, we limit our sharing to specific situations – when inviting friends for events (Gospel meeting/Friendship Sunday) or when asked about our faith. We (or at least myself) bemoan the lack of opportunities, the poor soil that is around us, but have we considered that we could be unwilling or unaware reapers like what Jesus says in John 4:35 –
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
Earlier in the chapter (John 4:1-26), Jesus shares the word with a Samaritan woman while drawing water from a well. This embodies perfectly the kind of situation in which we DO NOT share – a foreign land, a foreign person, an unfamiliar situation. Yet, Jesus was able to strike a conversation, preach to the Samaritan woman and if you continue reading the passage, convert many Samaritans. In essence, we need to stop making excuses, open our eyes and start creating opportunities to share the gospel, for the fields are already white for harvest.
Throughout the course of the night, my friend and I eventually came around to discussing the various (and differing) doctrinal beliefs we held. He believed that baptism was not essential for salvation and salvation, once obtained, could not be lost. What took me by surprise was his use of the scriptures to support his beliefs. Thus, this triggered a back-and-forth biblical discussion which eventually concluded with us agreeing to disagree. But this debate led me to my second reflection – one must always be ready to defend the faith. Having a biblical discussion and having to defend my biblical beliefs was the last thing I expected to do on a night call. Yet, I was required to do so, with little or no preparation. To me, this underlined clearly the importance of regular bible study so as to get a clear comprehension of our Christian beliefs. After all, how effective can we be as personal workers if we are consistently unable to answer the queries of denominational Christians or non-believers? The phrase “Always be Ready” in 1 Pet 3:15 resonated as I thought back to the events that day. And indeed, if you examine Jesus’ ministry, he was always ready with an answer – be it for genuine questions (John 3:1-9 – story of Nicodemus) or for ill-intentioned ones (Matthew 22: 15-21 – story of paying tax) Similarly, we need to be prepared for all scenarios. Our lack of or poor response could potentially lead to a missed opportunity or worse still, a lost soul. And what better way to prepare ourselves than studying the scriptures (2 Tim 2:15)?
So the night went by and soon was the next morning. When we gathered for breakfast, my colleague once again attempted to broach the topic of Christianity with the group. His perseverance led me to my third and final reflection – we need to care to share. Fundamentally, why do we preach? Perhaps it is because we are commanded (Matt 28:19-20). Perhaps it is because we are moved by the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16). But at its core, we share because we care. We share the gospel because we are concerned about the salvation of those around us. That is why when it comes to preaching the word, we always try harder for those who are dear to us – our family, our close friends, our spouses. Jesus too possessed that same concern and care for us – Matt 9:36
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Do we have that same compassion and concern when we are talking to prospects? Or are we merely going through the motions and preaching the word in order to fulfill an obligation? Ultimately, compassion is what drives us to go the extra mile, to tailor our approach and to persevere in the face of rejection.
These are my 3 reflections on sharing the gospel. Spreading the good news is one of the primary duties of a Christian and this is even more relevant in Eastside Church of Christ which was set up to expand the church’s evangelism efforts. Let us arm ourselves with the necessary biblical knowledge, look for the abundant opportunities available and sincerely seek the lost with care and concern.