Can you recall a time in grade school when you had to bring something to class to show your classmates and tell them about it? If you were like me, it was a drugging exercise because I did not want to speak in front of the class. I was content with just showing my classmates what I brought and letting them figure out the rest. Would you believe there are Christians who take that same approach with sharing the gospel? They only want to show, not tell, and in so doing, they disobey the word of God.
Some people say, “Since I don’t have the gift of gab, I share the gospel by living the Christian life.” To live out the Christian life is a vital element to sharing the gospel, but it is an incomplete message. It falls short of what Jesus calls us to do. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The word “go” is an action verb that calls all believers in Christ to take action. We are directed to preach the gospel, and the word preach means to proclaim or teach in a public setting.
The notion that some people have it and some don’t is a falsehood not supported by Scripture. If God calls you to do something, He will equip you to achieve that success for His purpose and glory. Take Moses, for example. When God called Moses to lead His people out of bondage and from the land of Egypt, Moses tried to tap-dance his way out of it. He said, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exo. 4:10).
In other words, Moses was telling the Lord, “Yes, I hear you, Lord, but…” Interestingly, many, or perhaps even most people, use the word “but” to justify something they are about to say. For example, “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” meaning they are going to do so anyway, or “I’m not saying this to hurt your feeling, but…” meaning here comes the insult anyway. In the case of Moses, he is trying to justify why God should not choose him for the task. “I hear you, Lord, and that’s well and fine, but I’m not the man for the job.”
Like Moses, Christians often follow that same strategy when prompted by the Holy Spirit to reach out and share the gospel, whether with a co-worker, a neighbor, or even a family member. Simply put, we get cold feet! We sometimes convince ourselves that we do not know enough about the Bible to lead someone to Christ, or we recoil at the possibility of a person rejecting our invitation, and the list goes on. All of which is a deceptive whisper of Satan intended to impede sharing the gospel, weaken a believer’s faith, and stagnate his or her spiritual growth.
The Lord replied to Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to say” (Exo. 4:11-12). Just as the Lord was with Moses those many centuries ago, so is with every believer today. That is the promise of Scripture fulfilled through the Holy Spirit, who indwells the heart of every faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Believers are empowered by the Spirit’s presence to share the gospel through their actions and their words.
Apostle Paul put it this way. He wrote, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him, whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:13-15) The Lord has called each of us, those who are called by His name, to go forth and preach the gospel. God calls us to share our faith by our love for Him, in the way we live, and by the love that we extend to others in His name. It requires us to show and tell.