Summary: Encouraging believers to declare themselves as such in the light of our powerful Gospel.

Closet Christians!

Rom 1:13-17

13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.

15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

I attended Promises Keepers ’95 at the Pontiac Silverdome. What a tremendous event! How God moved upon that assembly. The speakers were outstanding. The music was great. The atmosphere was charged. Truly, it was a time to remember.

One of the speakers made a statement that I will never forget. In fact, it formed the basis for this sermon. He was addressing believers. He said, “Men, its time to come out of the closet! We can no longer afford to be “closet Christians.”

I immediately thought of verse 16 of our Scripture: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

Church, I say to you tonight, Its time for us to come out of the closet—to declare ourselves openly to the world.

Listen to the words of Jesus in Matt.5:14-16: 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. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


Eph.5:8 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”


II Tim.1:8: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.”


Have you ever been ashamed?

 Of your faith?

 Of some failure?

 Of some sin?

 Of some habit you cannot break?

 Of carrying your Bible?

 Of going to church?

 Of speaking for Christ?

Why did the gays stay in?

 Moral climate was not right in society

 Laws of the land were not in their favor

 Afraid of embarrassing family

 Might lose their job

Why do Christians stay in the closet?

 Ridicule

 Embarrassment

 Want the best of both worlds

 Afraid of being ostracized by family and friends

 Afraid they will lose that promotion

Illus.: “Dr. Garl Restored My Sight!”

There was this soft-spoken man who was a commuter on the Long Island Railroad—on the five o’clock local. Every evening, after the train had left the subway, he would begin a journey through the car from front to back. At each seat he would stop and say, “Excuse me. But if any of your friends are blind, tell them to consult Dr. Garl. He restored my sight.”

Why don’t we have that same courage and conviction and boldness?


Two ways to be ashamed:

1. Active denial (Peter)

2. Passive denial (silence)

What does it mean to come out?

 To be an authentic Christian—everywhere

 To say “No!” to our 3 enemies: (world, flesh, devil)

 To let our light shine

 To take a stand for Christ and against sin

Illus.: An Orange Peeled

Atheist was preaching in a city park; had quite a crowd. Mocked God, the bible and Christianity. When he finished, he asked if anyone would like to ask a question. The town drunkard who had just been converted to Christ made his way to the platform. He took out an orange, peeled it and ate it without saying a word. The speaker asked if he had a question.

He said to the atheist, “Was the orange I just ate sweet or sour?” Angrily, the speaker replied, “You idiot, how can I know whether it was sweet or sour when I never tasted it?” To this the convert said, “And how can you know anything about Christ if you have never experienced Him?”


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Gregory Mitchell

commented on Sep 17, 2006

Great insight and powerful overall...definetly Holy Spirit empowered.

Gabriel Smit

commented on Aug 26, 2019

hi! great article, so many people bring themselves under the impression that they can live a Christian life isolated from the Bride, nope. nice story about the orange eating guy and the atheist - but why make him the "The town drunkard who had just been converted to Christ", instead of just a Christian; i don't care about his past, neither does Christ :-) God bless gabriel

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