I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel: ConclusionSaturday, November 05, 2005
In conclusion of this series, I'll start off by saying that Paul was essentially telling his readers that he wanted to come to a place of rejection ("So I am eager to come to you in Rome...") in order to preach the gospel. He wanted to come to a place where suffering would inevitably occur. By telling his readers about this gospel and his unashamedness of it, he was also preparing his Roman readers “for bearing the reproach of the cross of Christ, lest they should esteem the gospel of less value by finding it exposed to the scoffs and reproaches of the ungodly.”
If there is any application at all for us in Paul's attitude it is this: there is nothing in the lost person's rejection, their weird looks, their disdain, or their persecution of you and your message that should detain you from sharing that gospel with them. Your Savior laid the groundwork for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His footsteps. In addition, there are no surprises. If we expect rejection, we will not be surprised when we get it. But more than these, for these are all negative features of the matter, there is the positive element.
We must not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because of what it is. Paul says it is the very power of God to save someone. That means the message contains power to actually change someone from rejecting your message to receiving your message. The message has that power because it is the message about Jesus Christ. But if you don’t tell it, they won’t change, indeed they can’t change.
So I close by encouraging you to look at the negative and positive. The negative is that the world’s treatment of the gospel and of Christ will never change. The positive is that the gospel of Christ is the only thing that can actually change the world’s treatment. Balance both views. Don’t live your life only holding the negative, because that will result in a lack of power in your sharing it. If you share it only expecting rejection, then you will be a weak Christian. But if you share it, expecting rejection BUT ALSO repentance, then you can and will share it with boldness and power, because you know your God and you know what kind of work He will do in that message.
You are a debtor to all mankind. You are to be eager to preach to anyone, even if it means suffering. And you are not to be ashamed of the gospel message because it is God’s power to save anyone who believes, regardless of who they are. Amen.
Go back to Part One.