Summary: The Boy Scouts Motto is ‘Be Prepared’. Peter is saying here that it may as well be ours. Peter is exhorting in this verse God’s people to be prepared to give: 1) An Answer, 2) To Everyone, 3) The Reason & 4) With Gentleness
Last time we talked about Hell – the awful place with motivation to stay out and keep others from too. We seem to be living in a particularly gracious time where God is doing whatever necessary to draw our nation to Him. It is imperative in this scenario that we are prepared to give all that it takes to see people come into the kingdom.
The Boy Scouts Motto is ‘Be Prepared’. Peter is saying here that it may as well be ours. Peter is exhorting in this verse God’s people to be prepared to give: 1) An Answer, 2) To Everyone, 3) The Reason & 4) With Gentleness
I Give an Answer – Our Responsibility
Before we are ready to answer people we need to deal with the fear of witnessing. Peter says firstly that we need to set apart Jesus as Lord in our hearts. That will deal with our fear.
i) Need for preparation: It’s not going to happen automatically. We need to prepare for it. It is our responsibility to: 1. Personal Testimony: 3 minutes, 3 points: Life before Christ, how I received Christ, Life after receiving Christ. 2. Simple Gospel Outline: 4 points: a) God – His love, his plan; b) Us – Bad news, sin separation; c) Christ – the only way to God; d) Response – must receive Christ’s sacrifice to be saved. 3. Sinner’s Prayer: Thank God for love & plan, acknowledge sinfulness & repent, acknowledge Christ’s sacrifice, only way & open heart and receive as Lord & Saviour.
II Give to Everyone – Our Range
i) Everyone: Jesus said to go into the entire world and preach the gospel: every people, every language, every race, every caste, every age-group and every economic group.
ii) Every soul is precious: We may discriminate among people as to their value but in God’s sight every soul is precious.
iii) Everyone who asks: We are a peculiar people (1Pe 2:9, AV). People should ask questions of us: why are you different? Why do you act the way you do? Why do you not react?
III Give the Reason – Our Rationality
i) Not a blind faith: God has given us the capacity to reason. He invites us to reason (Isa 1:18; Isa 41:21). Our faith is a reasonable one.
ii) Need for apologetics: ‘give an answer’ apologia apologia ap-ol-og-ee’-ah :verbal defense, a reasoned argument.
iii) Questions that must be answered: Why does a loving God send people to hell? Why do bad things happen to good people? Isn’t it bigoted to believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation?
IV Give with Gentleness – Our Radiance
i) This is our manner: Even though the gospel is compelling, it is no excuse not to be gentle (Phi 4:5). People are easily hurt – the gospel confronts their beliefs the core of their being.
ii) Avoid arguments: 2Ti 2:23, stupid arguments produce quarrels. You may try to win an argument but lose a friend.
iii) Reverence: Even though the beliefs and practices of others are reprehensible, we must have the deepest reverence for people as they are created in the image and likeness of almighty God. Show your reverence by praying for people.
Are you ready to give the gospel?