Are We Ashamed Of The Gospel?
I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Shortly before ascending to heaven, Jesus gave His apostles what we call the Great Commission…
a. To preach(publish, or proclaim openly that which has been done) the gospel to every creature –
Mark 16:15-16 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
b. To make disciples of all the nations –
Matthew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It was a mission taken seriously by the early disciples…
a. From the beginning, at Jerusalem –
Acts 2:36-38 – Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked (convicted) in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
b. Even when persecution forced them to flee –
Acts8:4-5 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
Acts 14:5-7 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:7 And there they preached the gospel.
Acts 20:22-24 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
c. Thus the message of the gospel spread throughout the world –
Romans 10:16-18 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
But what about today?
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses (one who reports known facts) unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Are we proclaiming the gospel of Christ as we should? To our friends, to our neighbors? To those in our communities, to those in other places? If not, perhaps we should ask…
I. ARE WE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL?
A. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME…
You personally shared the gospel with someone?
a. Not just discussed some religious subject.
b. But talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
c. Is sharing the gospel no longer a priority for you today?
Have you heard the gospel preached?
a. Many churches no longer preach the gospel.
b. Many churches talk about deep spiritual things, but fail to preach the gospel.
c. Is evangelizing the lost no longer a priority for churches today?
B. MIGHT WE BE ASHAMED….
Of Jesus and His words? –
Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed (embarrassed) of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
a. Jesus assumed that some might be ashamed of Him and His words
b. Because of influence by a sinful and adulterous generation
c. As our generation has become increasingly sinful, are we embarrassed to talk about Jesus?
Of appearing foolish to others?
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness(silly); but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
a. Paul admitted that the message of the cross is foolishness to many.
b. Preaching Christ crucified can be both a stumbling block and foolishness to the unsaved.
c. Many people today consider religion foolish, are we ashamed to talk about Jesus? NOTE: CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A RELIGION, IT IS A RELATIONSHIP!
C. WHO ARE WE TRYING TO PLEASE…
Men or God? –
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
a. Paul stated that we either please men or God.
b. If we are concerned with pleasing men, we are not servants of Christ.
c. Who are we trying to please today – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers?
Why some would not confess Jesus
John 12:42-43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
a. Even though they believed in Jesus.
b. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
c. Whose praise do we seek today: man’s or God’s?
[There may be other reasons why proclaiming the gospel is not priority for many Christians today, but I suspect many are simply ashamed of what others might think. Yet let me offer reasons…]
II. WHY WE SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED
A. THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD…
1. This is why Paul was not ashamed of the gospel
Romans 1:15-16 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
a. Why he was ready to preach the gospel.
b. Even to those in Rome who had already heard it.
2. The gospel contains incorruptible seed –
1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
a. Through which one is born again.
b. The Word of God, which lives and abides forever.
c. Like the rest of God’s Word, it is living and powerful – Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing (penetrating) even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (fit to judge) of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
B. THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER TO SALVATION…
1. Salvation from all our sins – Romans 3:23; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
a. we are all guilty
b. we stand in danger without Christ.
2. Deliverance from the present sins – 1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape (to get away from), that ye may be able to bear it.
- Salvation from the future judgment – 2Corithians 5:10 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.; Romans 5:8-9 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, being now justified (made righteous) by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
a. A judgment we shall all face
b. A judgment without wrath for those in Christ
C. OTHER REASONS NOT TO BE ASHAMED…
Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren –
Hebrews 2:11 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified (set aside, purified) are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
God is not ashamed to be our God –
Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
That we not be ashamed at the Lord’s coming –
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence (freedom to speak openly, cheerfully, fearlessly), and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
There may be other reasons why many Christians do not share the gospel…
a. Cares, riches, or life’s pleasures may have a strangle-hold on them –
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
b. Hearts hardened by the deceitfulness of sin may be the problem.
Simple apathy may be a reason –
Revelation 3:15-17 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
But if it because we are embarrassed or ashamed…
a. There is no good reason to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
b. Even if it means having to suffer ridicule, rejection, even persecution.
For the message we proclaim is the most important message in the world!
It is more important than the cure for cancer, the solution to world hunger, etc. It is the message that saves souls for eternity…!
2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;