Thursday, September 27, 2018

Speak Up for Jesus: Be the Voice of Christ in the World

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."

Speak up for Jesus. Speak up now. Be the voice of Christ in the world. Too often we're afraid to speak up, because we know we'll be criticized. We'll be attacked, often by other Christians who will call us judgmental.  Speak up anyway, because when you speak, things change. Speak up, and don't stop speaking. Shout Jesus from the rooftops.

Preach the gospel on the streets, preach the gospel in the coffee shops, preach the gospel in the broken places of this world, preach the gospel in the city, preach the gospel in the prairie, preach the gospel outside sporting events, preach the gospel on the subway, preach the gospel at the park, preach the gospel at the dinner table; preach the gospel everywhere. 

Talk about Jesus Christ on social media.  Post about Jesus on Facebook. Tweet about Jesus on twitter. And keep on doing it, even when you get nasty messages in your inbox.  Keep forcing the world out there to encounter Jesus Christ. 

Talk to that homeless person. Tell that waitress. Hold up a sign. Walk along a busy beach. Speak into a megaphone. Go into the jail. Visit those in the hospital. Hang out at a soup kitchen. Do something. Say something. Don't be silent!

There is only a little time left. The clock is ticking. We must speak now, before it's too late. 

The world won't like it.  They don't want to hear from us. And even fellow Christians will get angry. They'll tell you to stop making a scene. They'll tell you to keep it in the church on Sunday.

Christians will criticize you for being so vocal about your faith. They will criticize you for living missionally. They will call you names, tell you "this isn't the way" or say "you're being judgmental."  Unfortunately many Christians today are lost in the ways of the world.  They don't evangelize, they don't pray too much either, and then they go about criticizing those who do.  

But don't let them dissuade you from your mission.  Fulfill the great commission.  Carry the gospel to the lost. And do it with great love, and mercy. 

Romans 10:14 "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?"

But be assured, if you decide to really live out your calling you will face skepticism from many. You will be criticized. You will be hated for the stand you take.  I can assure you of that.  And should we expect anything less? All those who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.  

But we want to make sure that we're being persecuted for righteousness sake, not because of our own poor choices.  Then again, we will make mistakes, so it's OK to make a mistake, confess it, repent, and then keep pushing forward.  But it's tough, especially if you're a sensitive person like myself. 

In my own family movement, the Salvation Army, there are people I've never met who despise me because of what I write and share with others.  I'll go to conferences, or events, and find people who won't even speak to me, or will just glare at me, and give me the cold shoulder. For someone as sensitive as I am, it's heartbreaking. I will ruminate on those sort of things for days, even weeks.  It's bitterly painful at times. But what can I do? I can only continue speaking. And so should you.

It's well worth it, to proclaim the gospel and do my duty to teach the truth of biblical Christianity.  I'm not accountable to people of the world.  I'm accountable to Jesus Christ, my Lord and master.

It's all worth it, is what I'm saying. Don't be surprised when you're finding yourself at times isolated, and hurting, because it happened to the prophets, the disciples, the apostle Paul, and to Jesus.  When the Salvation Army was first founded by William and Catherine Booth, a counter movement formed on the streets called "the skeleton army" that would launch attacks on the Salvation Army, and throw trash, beer bottles, and bricks at them.  If you're doing God's will, you will be apposed. Just make sure you're being apposed for the right reasons, not because you've been foolish.

I'm the first to admit, I've been foolish at times in the past.  I've made mistakes.  I've gone too far with things. But I've tried to repent, and to do the good work of an evangelist.  I will make mistakes. And I'll try to correct them.  But I won't stop speaking. 

Everyone needs Jesus. Jesus is real.  Jesus is life.  Jesus is the meaning of everything.  Everything is about Jesus.  Jesus Christ is the cure for death.  Jesus is the hope of humanity.  Jesus is the gospel.  Jesus paid it all. Speak up for Jesus.  Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Yes, live it out as an example of faith.

Yes, pray hard. Pray often.

Yes, serve suffering humanity.

But there is no gospel without words.  

So speak up for Jesus.  

Even if it means that to some you may seem intolerant or exclusive.  The gospel is an offense to the world. But to those who are being saved, it is life itself.  

1 Corinthians 1:18 "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."

I'm no one special. I'm just a guy that Jesus loves.  Jesus paid it all for me.  And I'm the most undeserving of all, yet Jesus even offered salvation to me, of all people!  It's insane, and beautiful, and unimaginably wonderful. 

And I'm a coward.  I make it sound like I speak up so much, but I don't really.  I wish I spoke up a lot more.  I wish when I saw that homeless person that I had the courage to go tell them about Jesus.  But often I'm too afraid.  And I shy away.  But I keep trying.  Because the world needs Jesus.  I hope you'll keep trying too.  Don't give up.  Keep praying.  Keep speaking.  And you will be the hero. I believe in you.  I know you will do great things for God.  Amen. 

If I've offended you in the past, please forgive me.  I'm sorry for what I said. I'm a work in progress. 

If your near me say hello! If I'm speaking, listen.  If I'm silent, speak up yourself. Someone has to speak.  

There's so many people out there, so many thousands and millions. If they're near you, go to them. If they come to you, speak to them.

Jesus is Lord. Jesus lives today, the door is open. If you're afraid, do it anyway. Never give up hope. Never stop fighting. Gather a band of mighty men and women, and go to work for Christ. Start an evangelism group. Start a Bible study. Start a discipleship group. 

Speak up for Jesus. Make a plan. Do it today. Speak up for Jesus. He is the only way. Hope is kindled, when you speak up for Jesus. Wherever you are right now, you can do it.  In Christ all things are possible.  If I don't see you on this side of Earth, then I'll see you in heaven.