In this world we are called to be ‘salt and light’ (Matthew 5:13–16). Today we live in a world where there is a clear and obvious falling away from the Lord. As Christians, we are called by the Lord Himself to stand out from the crowd and to make a difference in this darkness.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:13-15)
We have already looked at Scripture’s mandate on what must be our priority – taken from the Great Commission, principally found in Matthew 28:18–20, Mark 16:15 and Acts 1:8. We know that Jesus commands us to ‘Go and preach the Gospel to all creation’. He also asks us to be the salt and light of the world. So what happens when we fail to obey these commands? What happens when we Christians, who are supposed to be the light of the world, aren’t shining as we ought?
When we proclaim the Gospel, we are joining with creation in declaring God’s greatness (Psalm 19:1–4). This is our joy and our privilege as the redeemed! In Matthew 5:11 Jesus extols believers to ‘rejoice and be glad’, even in the wake of persecution because we have the assurance of a great reward in heaven. Furthermore, Jesus speaks of His intention for believers in John 10:10, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ Surely then this ‘fullness of life’, to be experienced right here and now, is inextricably entwined with doing God’s will, with us living as fully as we possibly can within His plan for us.
So what when we fail to fully engage in that plan? What when we largely ignore His Great Commission? For us personally it might mean missing out on some of that ‘full life’ that He promised. But there are far greater, wider reaching consequences.
Firstly if we aren’t sharing the message of salvation with others then it is left un-proclaimed. Which begs the question: how are the people of this world going to hear about Jesus unless we tell them? After all it is our job. The Bible tells us:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14)
Paul hits the nail on the head doesn’t he! How can non-Christians call upon God if they do not believe in Him, because they don’t know about Him, because no-one has ever told them about Him. How can they know about the One true God of Heaven and the glorious news of the Gospel unless someone gives them the message? This is our responsibility. When we look at it this way we must surely recognise our position in the eternal destiny of everyone with whom we engage.
Secondly, when we fail to share the Gospel another consequence is that people begin to turn to false gospels that the world offers. They sincerely put their faith and trust in something that they believe to be the truth. The reason they do this is because they have never heard of the One who says ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ (John 14:3).
Why is it then that we do so often fail to proclaim the Gospel? Is it out of embarrassment or fear? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:25 that ‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare’. The devil will always try to use the fear of man to stop us from proclaiming. More than anything else he wants Christians to be too afraid to share their faith. Are we letting the devil’s schemes and plans prevail? Pray against him, his servants, their works and effects. Pray against the fear of man and pray for boldness in our proclamation of the Gospel that can only come from the Lord.
Keep on keeping on…
Passion DVD © 2010