I was recently asked why so many people are afraid to preach the Gospel. As I reflected on it, I realized that this reflects something good in the context of our culture. It is not a good thing to give in to timidity, but that one is timid is a good sign. Here’s why.
The reason that some Christians are timid, of course, is that they are frightened. They’re nervous someone will get upset when they share the Gospel with them. They may even try to marginalize the believer by calling him names like “narrow-minded,” “arrogant,” or “intolerant.”
If you are frightened about sharing your faith, it is because you know that what you have to share is likely to offend. The stumbling block of the cross is offensive. We dare not remove the offense that is inherent in the Gospel. We shouldn’t make it more offensive than it is, but we should not take the offense out of it. That is part of the nature of the Gospel itself.
If you are offering Christianity as life enhancement, there is no reason to be frightened, because that version of Christianity is not the least bit offensive to people. It fits in perfectly with a pluralistic worldview – try my ice cream, it’s better than your ice cream.
But how do you overcome that fear?
What I have found in my own experience is that the more you act confidently, the more courage you will have. And confidence comes, to a great degree, from training. If you have training, then you will have confidence. If you have confidence, you will have courage. And you will be able to more effectively go out and engage people about the Gospel – even if you anticipate some push back.
The culture isn’t going to get any friendlier, so Christians are going to resolve that we are going to stand with Christ, showing the grace of the Gospel even in the face of opposition. We have to accept that, as followers of Jesus, we are simply going to make some people angry – not because our manner is offensive, but because our message is necessarily offensive.
I challenge you to come to a point in your life where you say, “I’m going to stand with Jesus as graciously and as persuasively as possible, accepting the fact that I am not going to be liked all the time because I’m a follower of Jesus.”
You may be the only Bible some people ever read. To the majority of non-Christians in your life, you are their link to the only truth that can impart reconciliation with God. You are like the Corinthians who Paul referred to as “our letter…known and read by all men…cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor. 3:2-3).
Your life is a letter. Your life is read by all men. Your life is written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.
– Greg Koukl (Stand to Reason)