Sermons

Summary: Sharing the gospel next door and around the world is criticized by those around us, some who are in our churches. We need to share because we are told to do it and because people desprately need it to be released from the pain and penalty of wrongdoing.

Annual Sermons: Vol. 5 No. 23

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NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL

Romans 1:16-17

Christianity has always been tempted to hang its head when it comes to witnessing here at home and even as a part of world missions.

Popular television talk show hosts love to attack Christians with questions like this.

- Why do you think Christianity is the only way to God?

- Do you think yours is the only true religion?

- What gives you the right to intrude in another culture and another religion and tell good devout people they are wrong?

The man on the street who believes one religion is as good as another feels the same way. What right do we have to intrude in his or anyone else’s life and religion?

The tragedy here is that all too many Christians join in the criticism. And far more Christians know they should witness but are too ashamed or afraid to share their faith.

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WHAT SHOULD WE BE PROUD OF

Turning the words, “I am not ashamed. . .” to the positive Paul was saying to his world, “I am proud to be a

Christian” and this pride pointed in two directions.

1. OUR Christian Faith

Elsewhere Paul called the gospel “my gospel” (Ro. 2:16) and spoke of the Son of God who loved him and gave himself for him (Gal. 2:20 ff).

Young people, how many of your classmates know you are a Christian?

College students, how about you?

Men and women, do the people you work with and the neighbors you live around know that you are a follower of the Lord? Our church rolls are full of people who are ashamed to stand up for Christ in their everyday lives.

If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

We have too many “reverse hypocrites” today who pretend to enjoy sin so people won’t poke fun at their Christianity. Let’s call it what it is - being ashamed of Jesus Christ.

A teenage boy went to work in a logging camp one summer and his parents and his pastor were afraid the rough loggers would make fun of the lifestyle he lived for Christ. The summer ended and they asked him if the men were rough on him because of his faith and he said, “No! They never found out.”

2. THE Christian Faith.

OBLIGATION

We have an obligation to Jesus to tell about the reason for His sacrifice and the results it can bring.

We go to the whole world because we are TOLD to go in the great commission (Matthew 28:18020)

We are to go next door to our family, friends and neighbors because that is what Jesus told the wild man of Gadara to do. (Mark 5)

We go because all PEOPLE NEED and have the right to know who their God really is.

We do not have all the answers about the fate of the heathen and other questions the world throws at us. We may have doubts ourselves but were must never doubt or debate our obligation to go and to share and to tell the world that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

To Paul and to us the good news that Jesus can give us God’s forgiveness, the power to live right and a place in heaven is like having a cure for cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease. If we had that we would be obligated to share it.

Paul called himself a DEBTOR to all men and he shared Christ with all men, whether they were cultured philosophers on Mars Hill or back alley sinners in Corinth.

THE OPPOSITION

Many reporters tell us that when a drug is developed that will cure some horrible disease, the big drug companies will buy it and raise the price so much that poor people cannot afford it. They oppose the spread of the cure.

- The world opposes the sharing of the gospel by MAKING FUN of our faith.

- In the catacombs under the city of Rome, where the early church met for worship, archeologists found something strange. Someone had carved an image on the wall of a donkey hanging on a cross, with people bowed down before it.

They attack the faith INTELLECTUALLY.

When Paul preached the resurrection on Mars Hill, the scholars laughed at him (Acts 17:32).

The conservative Christian, then and now, is the laughing stock of the cultured educated world.

Paul said the message of Christ crucified was foolishness (nonsense) to the Greeks (1 Cor. 1:23).

Do you believe that Christ is God? / That the Bible is inerrant ?/ That there is a hell / Christ was virgin born and sinless?

Do you believe that this world did not just come into being through a blind process of evolution, but came from the creative hand of God?

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