A friend and sister was in town a couple of weekends ago and we talked about how easy it is to share the Gospel when you’re in the “hood”. The part of town that I live in is one where there’s people sitting in front of their houses smoking weed. I hear and see arguments and fights often. I see people sitting on their porches all day long. They’re there when I leave for work at 8:30a and there when I return at 5:30p. So much has happened on my block since I moved in on July 21, 2007.
I have gotten to know a few neighbors. There was the couple with the 2 boys and 3 girls. They’re gone now. The father was taken to jail and the children were taken by DHS. The owner of the home had died and with the father in jail, the mother had no way to pay her bills, so she lived there with no water and electricity. She was reported and now the house is lived in by new neighbors. The children were taken and I haven’t heard from that neighbor since.
Another family that I have gotten to know is a Latino household. The mother is a sweet lady with not-so-great English, but her profanity is superb. She has 3 children, 2 boys and a girl who is the youngest. I talk with the girl and her 18 year old brother often. I have been in their household and became a witness to a household fight. I’d never seen anything like it. It scared me and it hurt me to see a mother and her 3 children disrespecting each other, yelling, cursing… Never saw it before.
Another young lady I have gotten to know is 18. She’s been through a LOT in her young life. I met her during my 1st visit to Philly in December of 2006 through a friend who worked where she lived. How interesting is it that she now lives in another city, 2 doors down from me. I do not believe in coincidences. I believe and know that God is an intentional God.
In those 3 situations, I see how easy it is to share the Gospel, but too often, I am not moved to do so. What sin! I was reading Romans 1 last night where Paul, in his letter, explains to the Romans that he is under obligation to preach the Gospel to Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and foolish. His obligation is to God due to his calling as an apostle, and his being set apart FOR the Gospel, and because of what he says in the verses that follow:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Romans 1:16-17 ESV
Knowing that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation, and that in it God’s righteousness is revealed, Paul feels his obligation to tell it to all. He’s eager to preach it to all. May my heart be filled with a passion like Paul’s!
Listening to Lecrae’s new album, “Rebel”, he talks about how he and his wife went on a missions trip to Central America, and as she shared her testimony about the Lord Jesus, 40 out of the 40 who heard her had never heard His name! And in his song “Beautiful Feet”, Lecrae, stating that people cannot believe in something they have never heard, expounds upon Romans 10:14-15:
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Romans 10:14-15 ESV
I think it is easy to assume that people have heard of Jesus. We probably just assume that they don’t care… but no! There are people who have NO CLUE who Jesus is! That is an amazing fact to think about! So, as believers, what is the proper way to respond to that deficiency? We go forth and we obey the Great Commission:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 ESV
We were given this and to not be obedient is sin (James 4:17). Man, I desire to be more diligent in sharing the Gospel… it is life, it is light.
Lord, help Your people!