Have hope? Say so!
If you don't really like to talk but still want to earn a decent income, try working at the library. Whenever someone approaches you, just say, "Shhh." You may have a larger vocabulary than that but who are they to know and what is it to them?
Not want to talk about the Lord Jesus and how He has wonderfully saved and sustained you? That’s nigh impossible. What gross ingratitude! What a poor memory. What a walking contradiction. Why repeat the prayer, “Thy will be done” and cancel it out by holding back the Good News? Let the redeemed of the Lord say so (Ps 122:1). Ponder on this: how else will they know if no-one tells them? That someone is YOU.
Has God done something – anything – truly wonderful for you? Then let it out. "God uses angels as His secret agents, not you. Let the world know you are a Christian," says Robert Ripper @XploreMyFaith. (And may I hasten to add, “...and tell them how they can become one, too” – a Christian that is, not an angel!)
Witnesses must speak up. That was the code of the first disciples and early followers. “What we have seen with our eyes, we have spoken with our mouths.” Luke made it a point to chronicle the events and miracles of Jesus’ life for good order and accuracy (Lk 1:1). Why? To make Him known. The early believers considered it their privilege to witness and were prepared to pay any price to express their gratitude and joy. Going to prison was par for the course. Terribly inconvenient.
In 1 Peter 3:15, we have some inkling of what it was like in those days to be always ready – gently and respectfully – to provide a reasonable reply to those who asked for the reason of the Hope of God in them. People with hope live out their lives differently from those devoid of it. However hostile their circumstances, they were not to evade this honour nor outsource it to professional mouthpieces (who, arguably, might have the time and talent to do a “better” job).
Paul told Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:5). This work is not reserved only for those with the “gift of evangelism”. Because sharing the Gospel is an evidence-based outcome, it is something do-able. There are still places in our modern world where a person who becomes a follower of Jesus can get thrown out of their community, or forfeit a plum career, or get spat on in the face, or even lose their life. But there remain untold millions still untold.
All indications in the Bible show that God has no “Plan B” for reaching the world, except every child of His taking it to family, friends, community and even the furthest corner of this globe. No angel has this privilege. A person’s entire eternity rests on us and our desire to share our faith in meaningful ways. It’s up to us.
No city built on a hill can stay hidden; no lighted candle in the house will let darkness remain.
Have the Way? Show it. Have Truth? Speak it. Have Life? Share it.
Dr Andrew Goh is the editor of Impact magazine.