Summary: Why is it that Christians who are so eager to tell non-Christians “Merry Christmas” are generally unenthusiastic about sharing their faith with others?
Series Title: The Line in the Sand
Message Title: The Chalk Line
Scripture: Romans 1:16
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.
Why is it that Christians who are so eager to tell non-Christians “Merry Christmas” are generally unenthusiastic about sharing their faith with others? Let’s begin with a self-imposed character flaw that many good Christian people have that is probably at the root of the problem, and that flaw is cowardice.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines cowardice as a lack of courage to face danger.
First, let me just say that many times people mistakenly confuse the word cowardice with meekness.
Jesus did say…
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
And, Jesus said…
But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Jesus is not advocating a spineless doctrine. He’s advocating a meek, humble and patient attitude in dealing with others.
There are numerous cases in scripture where Jesus stood up for His beliefs. As an example, He drove out the vendors and money changers from the temple area (Matt. 21:12; John 2:15). He didn’t sit by the side and wait for a committee to be formed that would address the problem of sheep and cattle in the temple courtyards. He formed a committee of one and took care of the problem. Jesus was meek and had a passion for the Lord, but He was not a coward.
Paul did say…
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And, Paul said…
1 Corinthians 5:13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
There are numerous cases in scripture where Paul adamantly stood up for His beliefs. Like you, Paul knew what was right and what was wrong through discernment. He knew through the Holy Spirit which causes he was to stand behind. He knew through the Holy Spirit when he needed to take a firm position and not run away, but he also knew when he needed to sit meekly and patiently on the sidelines and let other Christians take the reigns. Paul knew the difference between meekness and cowardice.
We see lot’s of examples of fear, cowardice, and bravery in the Bible. When you read 1st and 2nd Peter you see a resolute strength expressed in words that is tempered with meekness.
Peter said meekly…
2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
And, Peter said with power…
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.