Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 6:48 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Should I Not Preach Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 19 (Select vv. NASB).
Servants and Witnesses
As followers of Jesus Christ, and as his servants and witnesses, we need to be about sharing with other people the truths of God’s Word and the gospel of our salvation. So many Christians do not share their faith much at all, so they need to begin telling others about Jesus Christ, and of how he died and rose again in order to save them from their sins and to give them new lives in Christ, free from the control of Satan. We also need to be about exposing lies and deceptions and bringing people to the knowledge of the truth, including we must share the truth with many who profess Christ as Savior, but who are believing Satan’s lies.
Yet, we need to do this in the power of God’s Holy Spirit within us, and in the wisdom of God, and with the kindness of our Savior towards all people. There is a right way and a wrong way to share what we believe. Here we are given some insights into what we ought to do, and into what we should avoid doing when talking with others about our faith in Jesus Christ.
1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
3 The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the Lord.
20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.
29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools.
Many preachers of the gospel are notorious for inserting humor (jokes, sarcasm) into their sermons as a way of connecting with the people and making their points. God has given us the gift of humor, so not all humor is bad, and it can be effective, if used properly. Sometimes, though, they do this to entertain the people, and their messages come across more like a comedy show rather than as God-inspired and Holy Spirit-led, convicting hearts of sin, and leading people to repentance. Sometimes their humor, too, is borderline or all the way mocking (making light) of God, the scriptures, serious spiritual matters, or it is even making light of sin.
The Bible speaks much of our need to be serious (sober) minded. It isn’t that we go around with a frown on our faces or that we are grumpy and negative all the time. But, we need to be so careful that we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot and our messages end up backfiring on us because we thought more of ourselves, or of how people might receive us, than we thought about human souls going to hell, and of how they need to be rescued from hell and to be brought into God’s eternal kingdom. In other words, we can’t take lightly God’s grace, or his gospel, or the seriousness of the task before us in spreading the message of salvation to a world lost in their sins. We may gain followers after ourselves if we entertain people by our jokes and jesting, but we aren’t going to lead people to God’s saving grace.
2 Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries his footsteps errs.
16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.
19 A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
We should weigh carefully, in prayer, our words before we speak, and not be quick to speak, and quick to anger when someone disagrees with us, or opposes us strongly, or even mocks us. For one, they may be right and we may be wrong, perhaps because we are lacking in complete knowledge on the subject due to false information we had taken in, which we have not yet searched out against the Word of God to see if it is true. So, we need to be patient, and we should sincerely listen to others, but not just long enough so we can get in our own thoughts, and not just so we can get in a jab in order to make our point, but which will wound the other person’s heart. Instead, it should be to gain understanding and to treat others with honor and respect.
We should also not fight and argue with people. This does not mean we cannot kindly debate a subject or that we can’t have a discussion with someone with a difference of belief or opinion from us in order to try to persuade that individual to what we believe is the right way of thinking and believing, or that we might grow in our understanding and learn from him. But, we must not be insulting, nasty, and hateful, attacking the person personally, etc. We must also not say things that we know are going to incite him to anger, i.e. we should not knowingly and willfully push people’s hot buttons just to get a rise out of them, which is not the kind of response we should desire. And, if they say “No,” we should walk away and not force the issue. Our job is to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit will convince them.
15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.
24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish,
But will not even bring it back to his mouth.
27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
21 Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.
We also should not be lazy or unconcerned about lost souls and their need to be saved from their sins. Not only should we be deliberately sharing Christ with people, but in our approach to sharing the gospel we should not be sluggish, thus coming across as though we don’t really care, or appearing as though we are doing this because we feel like we have to or that we are just going through the motions. We also should not short-circuit (impede) the gospel message in any way because we are too lazy and unconcerned about getting out the truth (the whole counsel of God) to the people. Sure it is easy to use a gospel tract, but do we really know what it says inside? Is it teaching the whole gospel, or a watered-down version intended to appeal to human flesh?
We must know the truth through studying the Word of God so that when we share the gospel, we know we are telling people the truth. We must also be living the truth so that when we share the gospel with others that we are not being hypocritical in teaching them what we do not put into practice ourselves. This is not to say that we must first be absolutely perfect, but we should not knowingly be practicing sin against God and then telling others they need to repent of their sins when we have not done so. And, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us and to guide us into what we should say or not say instead of relying on our own intellect, reasoning or feelings.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.
22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
28 A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
There are many, many false shepherds of the people; many wolves in sheep’s clothing among us, whose goal is not to save, but to steal, kill and destroy us and the gospel of our salvation. So, they lie, manipulate, twist the truth, and cleverly and very subtly insert their lies into the truth so that the naïve will not know that what they are accepting as truth are actually lies. Many of these shepherds are great entertainers and clowns, gifted speakers, and charmers who easily convince people to follow after their lies. And, if we are not wise and discerning, we may easily get caught in their traps. Their main goal is to remove from the gospel all necessity of repentance, obedience and submission to Jesus Christ and his cross.
So, we need to first of all make sure we know the truth, as much as is possible for us, depending on how long we have known the Lord, and depending on the availability of Bibles to us. And, then we need to make certain, to the best of our understanding, that what we are telling others is actually the truth. We don’t have to be Bible scholars to share the gospel, though, or to have memorized a whole lot of scriptures, for our testimony of what Jesus did for us is very powerful. But, for those of us who have known the Lord for many years, and who have the scriptures in our homes, we should know what the scriptures teach. Yet, if I was a recent convert, and I had to pick just one scripture verse that describes the essence of the gospel message, I would probably choose 1 Peter 2:24, which says:
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. ‘By His stripes you are healed.’”
Should I Not Preach Jesus
An Original Work / July 4, 2013
Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13
Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
To win their hearts to Christ.
All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
And for the sake of His Name;
Do it for the sake of His gospel,
So that I, its blessings gain.
Scripture notates the sins of others;
Written down for us as examples
To keep us from setting our hearts
On evil as did those of old.
Do not worship other gods of man;
Do not give your hearts to them;
Not partake in immorality.
Do not test your Lord and King.
So, be careful if you think you are
Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
God has given his word to warn us,
So through faith we will not fall.
No temptation has o’ertaken you
Except what is commonplace.
God is faithful to not let you be
Tempted past what you can bear.
He gives the way of escape.