The Inseparable Connection Between Preaching and Believing: ConclusionWednesday, June 22, 2005
While we must always be patient with erring Christians, we must also be consistently challenging them with the black and white truth of God’s Word. It just isn’t that hard to understand, yet people seem to make it so hard so often. These texts are plain and speak for themselves. Without the preaching of the gospel there is no way on earth that a person can believe in that gospel. Someone has got to tell them.
And now for my closing challenge. While this is simple enough to understand, it is a wonder that it takes Christians like me so long to get it. While I have preached and taught this before on many occasions, the reality of it only suddenly and seriously dawned on me a couple of years ago. It was during a quiet time in March of 2002 that I wrote this resolution in my journal.
“The truth about Christ comes not by some materialization of the gospel to others, but it must always come by a vocalization of that gospel to
In other words, the gospel you say you want others to receive is not all of the sudden going to materialize before them so that they get saved, regardless of what some Christians may say about their conversion experience. No, the gospel you say you want others to receive is only going to be accepted by them if and when you vocalize it to them in its entirety.
I know we all have troubles talking to people we don’t know. It used to frighten me to just start talking to some stranger about Christ. It just feels plain weird to suddenly strike up a conversation with a total stranger. But that total stranger may be going to hell. They may be in the middle of the most severe trial of their life and may stand in immediate need of the gospel message and may in fact immediately receive it. Then again, that total stranger may also be one of the most hardened cynics you’ll ever meet who could care less about God or anything related to Him.
My point is that regardless of who that total stranger is, they need to hear the gospel and we’ve got to share it with them, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. As Christians, we are ambassadors of Christ, proclaiming God’s message that everyone needs to be reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:20). We’ve got the answer to their chief problem in life, which is sinfulness and enmity with God. Will we just sit and wait for them to happen to go to church one Sunday? Will we wait until they just happen to hear a preacher on the radio or see one on T.V. while channel-surfing? Will we wait and wait and wait until they eventually end up going to hell? This is not meant to be harsh…it’s meant to be reality.
Their belief is inseparably connected with our preaching. Their faith will come only by hearing the Word of God. And they can only hear the word of God if we speak it to them. Mental telepathy doesn’t work. And accidentally leaving tracts laying around works about as well as telepathy, most of the time. Brothers and sisters, it is time to unloose those lips and unlock that tongue. Christ has freed your heart from the power, and guilt and eternal consequences of sin, and He has implanted Himself into your heart so that you know eternal peace, joy, happiness, love and everlasting fulfillment in Him. Let those lips run loose for Christ! Let that tongue run rampant for the gospel! Let what’s inside your heart leak out through your voice! Don’t make God have to raise up rocks to praise Him and witness for Him!