Sharing the gospel isn’t a suggestion. It’s a command.
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” Mark 16.15 NLT. Then, in Acts 1.8 NIV, He said, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” With these statements, Jesus is being very clear. He expects His followers to share His message.
The Apostle Paul grasped what Jesus meant, and he was gripped by it. Writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul said, “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome” Romans 1.14-15 NIV. When he says that he is “obligated,” he uses a Greek word that refers to a debtor paying his debt. Paul was eager to preach because he had no other choice. Jesus had saved him and called him to share the message of salvation with others.
Silence is sin.
Refusing to speak about Jesus is really rebellion against Jesus. After all, He placed you where you are for a reason. There are people in your field who need to hear the gospel, and Jesus wants them to hear it from you. It’s your obligation to share it with them.
In one of His parables, Jesus said, “A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. Which of the two obeyed his father?” Matthew 21.28-31 NLT.
Jesus told this story when He was being criticized and questioned by the religious leaders. He saw their hypocrisy and called them out for it. They, the judges over Israel, punished anyone who failed to comply with the smallest detail of the Law. Yet, they were guilty of the ultimate disobedience: rejecting the Messiah.
The answer to Jesus’ question at the end of the parable is obvious. The son who obeyed his father was the older one. Even though the older boy had originally refused his father’s command, he reconsidered his response and went out to work in the field anyway. The other son said he would go out to work, but never did.
In effect, Jesus was equating the religious leaders to the disobedient son. God had called the Jewish people to take the gospel to the nations: “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” Isaiah 49.6 ESV. Instead of shining their light and pointing people to the Messiah, they rejected the Messiah and kept people from Him. Meanwhile, others were opening their hearts and taking the gospel to the end of the earth.
It’s possible to look and sound spiritual while, at the same time, ignoring Jesus’ clear commands. It’s also possible to go from rebellion against Jesus to obedience to Jesus. Which of those descriptions do you want to be true of you?
This post originally appeared at Disobeying Jesus’ Clear Commands – discipleFIRST