The Need for Courage

courage1

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV)

As I look at the Evangelical Christian Community there seems to be a real lack of courage among most Christians. In my mind the greatest example of this is our hesitancy or downright refusal to share the Gospel outside of church. If most of us were to be honest the idea of verbally sharing the Gospel message with someone scares us. Many times this fear of evangelism prevents us from taking the opportunities we are given to tell someone about Jesus.

To cover our fear we begin to make spiritual sounding excuses as to why we don’t share the Gospel. We say things like “I don’t feel led to do that.” The main problem with this statement is that sharing the Gospel isn’t matter of feeling led to do it, it’s a matter of obedience to Jesus. When we read the Gospels and really the entire New Testament we clearly see that every Christian has a responsibility to verbally share the Gospel with others.

Another excuse we give is “I’m witnessing with my life.” Personally I am a big proponent of lifestyle evangelism. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to let our lives shine before men so they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matt 5:16). The problem with this is that lifestyle evangelism isn’t enough. Faith doesn’t come by seeing a godly or Christ-centered life. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). At some point lifestyle evangelism must give way to verbally sharing the Gospel. What lifestyle evangelism does is it gives our verbal testimony credibility.

I’m not saying that we are to walk up to every person we encounter this next week and share the Gospel with them. I’m not sure cold evangelism is the most effective means of evangelism and I’m not convinced that we are all supposed to do it. Think about this though. The Bible is pretty clear that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world and that God wants all people to be saved. The Bible is just as clear that God’s primary method of saving people is through Christians sharing the Gospel with non-Christians. Since this is the case does it make sense that God would allow us to go weeks or months without Him giving us some opportunities to share the Gospel with someone? The opportunities are almost certainly there we just aren’t seeing them or we aren’t taking them. One of the main reasons we aren’t taking them is because we are afraid.

I’m talking to myself with this. I’ve been preaching multiple times a week now for over 11 years and I still get a bit nervous at times. While I may be nervous, I’m never scared to preach what God has laid on my heart as long as it comes from the Bible. It’s a different story in a one on one environment. I can think of specific instances where I didn’t take the opportunity to share the Gospel with someone because of fear. If most of us were to be honest we could think of similar situations.

I’m pretty convinced that most of us want to be courageous, especially when it comes to sharing the Gospel but we just don’t know how to be. I’m not sure courage is something that you can just will yourself to have. I don’t think we can say, “I’m going to be more courageous” and suddenly we are more courageous. I think there are a number of things that have to happen in our lives to encourage us to be courageous. This is what I hope to do this week in my blog. I’m praying that in the coming days God will work through His Word and transform us into courageous Christians that boldly and frequently share the Gospel with others.

For further study read Matthew 10:27-33.

Who does Jesus say we are to fear and not to fear? Why?

What are believers commanded to do in this passage?

Why will it take courage to do this?

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