I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Part Seven

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

5. Are You NOT Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ?

I'm going to begin this section by asking three questions: the first one today, and the others following later.

A. Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ?

When there is opportunity to tell others of Christ’s work on their behalf, do you tell it? If not, you are ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

When you know in your heart of hearts, and in your gut that a particular person needs to hear the gospel, but you do not share it with them, you are ashamed of the gospel.

When you know that the preaching of the gospel is the most appropriate and needful thing in a conversation you may either be involved in or have perhaps overheard, not to share the gospel is to be ashamed of it.

This is perhaps the bane of Christianity. We say we love this Christ who has died for us, saved us, and sanctifying us. But we are too ashamed to tell others about that work. We feel as if the message may be shunned or laughed at or mocked and rejected. And we feel that perhaps we too may be shunned, laughed at, mocked or rejected. We do not want that to happen to us. So we make a decision which conclusively values us, our reputation, our friendships and relationships more than Jesus Christ and His friendship.

Jesus told us that if you were ashamed of Him in this sinful and adulterous generation then He would be ashamed of you when He comes again. What will the look on the Son’s face be like when He sees your face? Will He smile upon you with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Or will He frown upon you with the words, “I don’t know who you are…depart from me into everlasting fire?”

On this very matter, John MacArthur has commented,

“Although every true believer knows it is a serious sin to be ashamed of his Savior and Lord, he also knows the difficulty of avoiding that sin. When we have an opportunity to speak for Christ, we often do not. We know the gospel is unattractive, intimidating, and repulsive to the natural, unsaved person and to the ungodly spiritual system that now dominates the world. The gospel exposes man’s sin, wickedness, depravity, and lostness, and it declares pride to be despicable and works righteousness to be worthless in God’s sight. To the sinful heart of unbelievers, the gospel do not appear to be good news but bad, and when they first hear it they often react with disdain against the one presenting it or throw out arguments and theories against it. For that reason, fear of men and of not being able to handle their arguments is doubtlessly the single greatest snare in witnessing” (Romans 1-8, p. 50).

In the next post, I'll ask the question, "What motivates this shame?"

Read Part Eight.

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