Forget Your Fear
The Gospel is not complicated. It can be summed up in 5 points (inspired by Andy Stanley).
1. WE SIN and are separated from God because heʼs perfect.
2. GOD LOVES his people regardless of their sin.
3. GOD CAME in Jesus to ﬁx the separation by living and dying for our sin.
4. WE BELIEVE Jesus lived perfectly for us and died for our sins.
5. WE RECEIVE life with God for eternity.
But why do we fear telling people about it? Below are four fears that paralyze our Gospel
witness. Each fear has a gospel remedy.
1. Fear of questions
What if they try to debate me? What if they ask me questions and I donʼt have adequate answers?
Gospel Remedy: What if their belief wasnʼt dependent upon your answers? While obtaining knowledge to answer questions is a good practice, it is not your answers that makes people believe. Belief in Jesus comes from a change in heart (John 3:3). Even if you had the perfect answers, you canʼt change peopleʼs hearts. In fact, Iʼve found people appreciate the humility of Christians admitting that they donʼt know everything. You donʼt need to know everything, you just need to know gospel.
So relax, let God be God and be ok with not knowing.
2. Fear I wonʼt succeed
There is no way my friend will believe. He hates organized religion and has nothing good to say about God.
Gospel Remedy: Your right. There is no way your friend will believe, apart from a miracle of God. Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). Nobody comes to belief in Jesus on their own, God has to give it to them. It doesnʼt matter how much your friend hates God, Iʼm pretty sure the Creator of the universe has the power to change their heart and grant belief. Jesus got off his thrown and onto a cross to pay for the sins of his people. If he was willing to die for his people, donʼt you think heʼd be willing to grant belief to the people for whom he died? Since we donʼt know when he will do this, we must share the gospel as often as possible. How is anyone to believe in news they havenʼt heard?
3. Fear of rejection
If I tell them about Jesus, they are bound to hate me. Theyʼll think Iʼm some religious freak trying to push an agenda. I know theyʼll mock me.
Gospel Remedy: This is possible and quite probable. Does it surprise you? Jesus said many people will hate his followers because they hated him. (John 15:18) Rejection didnʼt stop him from his mission. Not only was he rejected by men, but on the cross he was rejected by God so you could be accepted by God. If we donʼt tell others about Jesus because we are scared of their rejection, we are functionally proclaiming that we desire the acceptance of others over the acceptance of God. Is Godʼs approval so cheap that we need look elsewhere? Heck no! So let us be satisﬁed with the approval of our King an let us image our savior and by risking rejection for the sake of those who would believe. Many will hate what we have to say. But some will ﬁnd our message to be the power of God for salvation.
4. Fear of weird
Wonʼt the relationship get weird if I start sharing the Gospel? I donʼt want to ruin any connections or friendships.
Gospel Remedy: This could be, but my experience is that it only getʼs weird when we act weird. Do your relationships get weird when you talk about the game winning catch? Do they get weird when you explode with details about the accident you witnessed? Or what about when tell them about the hero in your favorite movie? No! Why is talking about Jesus so much different? When I get weird, itʼs because I think telling someone about Jesus is like convincing them that Sasquatch is real (he is by the way). But Jesus is not some mythical legend, heʼs real! Thatʼs why the gospel is by deﬁnition good NEWS. It happened. Itʼs news! We forget this when we forget the transforming work heʼs done in our lives. What if we oriented ourselves so closely to the work heʼs done in our lives, that we couldnʼt help but proclaim his greatness? Additionally, if we fail to share the gospel because we fear awkward moments, we functionally declare our extreme selﬁshness. We want the relationship because we want the comfort it provides, not because we care about the other person. If we really cared, we would tell them about Jesus. A friend of mine told me he was sitting in an airport terminal a couple weeks ago when he noticed an update on his phone informing him that his plane was delayed. Knowing the people around him would be effected, he risked some awkward conversations to tell them the news. The reason we donʼt want to risk the awkward moments is because we forget people around us will be effected by the news we hold. Remember, apart from belief in the gospel, people are going to hell. We hold the lifesaving message. It is worth an awkward conversation because the gospel “is the power of God for salvation to those who believe.” (Romans 1:16)
"Let us live as though the glories of heaven were in our eyes and the stench of hell in our nostrils."
As the old adage says, let us live as though the glories of heaven were in our eyes and the stench of hell in our nostrils. Every conversation matters. “Set your mind on things that are above not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)