Gospel Guilt

 

 

 

Gospel Guilt

 

Do you really share Jesus with others enough? Do you at all?  If we are honest with ourselves, none of us do as much as we should.  However, many times we allow ourselves to be OK with doing absolutely nothing. It becomes cliché to say, “I really need to do more”, but sometimes we say it so often that it becomes a cop-out or excuse that we think allows us not to do anything at all!  I say this, not to make you feel guilty, but to put a fire under you (as I need the same fire) for us to get off our rears and start doing what we’re called to do!

For most of us, the sharing of salvation is not a daily habit, sometimes not even a yearly one!  Let’s dig into this a bit… what is the real problem with not telling others about Jesus as much as possible?  After all, God will convict their spirits if they need to change and He’ll let us know when we actually need to say something, right?  Does this thinking sound familiar? Here’s the rub: Jesus already told us that we need to spread the gospel to the entire world, to all people, regardless of how we feel about it!  Yes, we follow the Holy Spirit’s leading on what to say to whom… but that does not mean that we never say anything until He pushes us into someone’s face!

I came across a Scripture that I have read many times before but, in keeping with the nature of God’s Word, it breathed a different breath into me this time. Here’s what I read…

“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion, for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.” -1 Corinthians 9: 16-17 (NASB)

OK: sounds basic enough… but let me explain what God reminded me about by breaking these verses down a little.

  1. “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion” to me, this means that even when I do tell other people about Jesus, it’s not because I’m “being a good Christian” or even a good person, it’s because I am compelled to in my soul (or at least it should be that way).
  2. for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” In other words- I am a pretty pitiful believer if I do not share the gospel and am in direct disobedience to the will of the Father.  I am then deserving of “woe”… whoa!
  3. “For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward” When we seek out ways to please the Father, especially by extending the news of the Gospel to others, we please Him deeply.  However, this command is not based on our feelings or personal “goodness”- we are enlisted as soldiers of the cross to complete this task set by our Commander!
  4. “…but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.” This is the part that really got me. It’s essentially saying that, because we are commanded to share, and it’s the will of the Father and not our own goodness/desire to, then it’s a job that has been given to us- not a choice.  Even if I share the gospel and really don’t want to (due to feeling awkward, people don’t seem to deserve it, I feel afraid of their reactions, am afraid of persecution, my own laziness, apathy, etc.) then I still have to… because it’s my job! A steward is someone who not only does something out of their desire to, but because they are getting paid and have an incredible responsibility!  How are we getting paid?  WE GOT PAID UP-FRONT by the free gift of salvation to our own unworthy souls; because we were paid, we now are told to go and tell others.  So, even if our hearts aren’t in the spreading, we have to spread the gospel because we have been given a job from the One who bought us!  Obeying Him= sharing His salvation. Got it?

By accepting His salvation, we not only have an eternal home, but have given God our word that we will obey and share His love and news of redemption with others.

“Loving people means you care more about their souls than their smirks and more about their redemption than their ridicule”.  (That’s a Cassie-original right there and I believe it with all my heart!)

We are obligated to tell others about Christ because it’s the very least we could do, it’s required of us in response to our own gift of salvation, is the truest expression of love for another human being, and it’s not a choice! We are ALL called to go and make disciples. Jesus said it; I believe it; let’s go and do it!

 

Cassie Weller