We’ve all been there… Trying to work on the computer, but troubles arise. You can’t find the right button to click or perhaps you even end up with a blue screen telling you there is an error. What now? Most of us go into “frustration mode”, followed by a strong desire to give up and use a typewriter. But eventually, we must troubleshoot the problem, calling a support person or looking online for the possible fixes. Hopefully, you find the solution and can complete the original task. Similarly, Christians know that their task is to share their faith with others; however, we tend to run into a few problems along the way. Should we give up? No, we should do some troubleshooting and find a solution!
What is the biggest problem Christians have when it comes to evangelism? Fear. I’m not talking about horror movie type of fear. No, I’m talking about the “How will I be perceived?”, “What if I say the wrong thing?”, “What if I mess up?” kind of fear. Many Christians who have attended church for years, who truly desire to share their faith, are simply paralyzed by this type of fear. And I get it. In fact, I deal with it. There are many times when I find myself compelled to share the gospel, yet I just can’t muster up the courage to do so. Why is this? I want to share my faith, I want to point lost and suffering souls to Jesus, I want to do what Jesus has called His people to do, but at times I still find myself lacking the resolve to speak. This is a big problem indeed.
Troubleshooting Step #1: Who Am I Doing This For?
“What if they think I’m a crazy religious fanatic?” One of our main areas of fear has to do with how other people might see us. We don’t want to be one of “those people.” Yes, we go to church and would not deny being a Christian if asked, but actually telling other people about Jesus could really make us look silly. That’s the point. Christians will look foolish to the world. Yes, Christians will be mocked in this world, yet we continue to proclaim Christ and Him crucified because this is NOT about us! We share our faith for two primary reasons: 1) Doing so glorifies God, and 2) We desire for as many people as possible to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) Do not allow the fear of how you will be perceived by this world stop you from sharing your faith; instead be bold knowing that what we do in evangelism has eternal consequences.
Troubleshooting Step #2: You Are Not Alone!
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) This familiar passage has become known as the Great Commission, the marching orders of the church. The task of making “disciples of all nations” seems so great, almost impossible. However, Jesus ends with a promise that makes all the difference in the world. Jesus says that while Christians are making disciples, He will be with us! Now that is a game-changer. We may feel fear as we begin to approach a conversation about the gospel, but remember that Jesus is right there with you. Imagine a child learning to ride a bike. The training wheels are off, the helmet is on, yet he is still afraid. However, he can pedal with ease when he knows that Dad is running right behind him, ready at any moment to catch him. Jesus will not let us fall.
Troubleshooting Step #3: God Saves People, Not Us!
“What if I say the wrong thing or I don’t have the right answers?” At the end of the day we can rest in the fact that God is the Savior (Isaiah 43:11), God is the one who grants repentance and faith (2 Timothy 2:25, Ephesians 2:8), and God’s word will always accomplish His purposes. (Isaiah 55:11) Christians are not to worry about results or winning arguments. We are simply called to be faithful in sharing our faith and let God be God. He is in control and His sovereign grace will continue to work, even through weak vessels such as ourselves.
Dear Christian, speak God’s word boldly. Don’t fear how the world looks at you, for Christ is with you. Remember that He is the Savior and He never fails! “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ