So it seems that today the newest approach when questioned on biblical beliefs, is to take the compromising road of silence and not make a public statement. Sounds a lot like what PR reps tell their celebrity clients to do when asked controversial or personal questions. However, as a follower of Jesus Christ we don't have a PR, we are here to represent to existence of God in the world, and one major way we do that is by standing, believing, and sharing his word of truth.
. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
This truth is to be shared with the world, not just behind closed doors. If we are given a public platform to speak on what the Bible teaches then that is what we teach. This concept of pleading the fifth because you don't want the persecution that follows or the decrease in congregation members and their tithes and offerings goes against the Biblical and PUBLIC MINISTRY of Christ and the first church.
Jesus always spoken in a PUBLIC forum: Read the gospels!
After Jesus was baptized he was lead into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan after his 40 days of fasting and prayer. Then after he heard that John the baptist was cast into prison and he departed into Galilee to a people who sat in darkness in a region of shadow and death.
. Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
These people sat in darkness; metaphorically speaking of moral or spiritual darkness coming from the Greek word Skot'-os which is from the base of Skee-ah' which means shade or a shadow. So they were in this dark place, some probably sick, poor, wicked, immoral, and hurting. Yet he preached repentance from the beginning of his ministry, and he kept this theme until he ascended into Heaven and he instructed us to preach the same in " The Great Commission"
. Matthew 28:16-20.ALL his disciples followed in his ministry teaching repentance which is the main focus of the gospel.
What is the Gospel message?
1)It starts with belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who died on the cross and took on the punishment for our sins. And in doing that he reconciled us back to God and washed us of our sins because of our faith in him and what he did.
. John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Saved from what? An eternity in Hell, and a life on earth with no hope, peace, and purpose. because...
. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the only savior that the world has and will ever know. That is why he is the savior of the world. Your faith and trust in him is the first step.
2. Another step is acknowledgement of your sins. When you understand that you are a sinner you open your heart to receive his invitation of salvation and love. Since birth we are all born into a sinful nature that's why as children we naturally know how to lie, manipulate, take what's not ours and want what we want no matter the consequence.
. Romans 3:10-11 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Yet God knowing this he still desires a relationship with us that's why he sent Christ to make this possible.
3. Now let's talk about repentance which is the core of the gospel. Repentance means a change of mind, heart and behavior as you turn away from your sin, old habits, and your ways of thinking and acting. It's not always easy to change the way you live, and think, but Christ is faithful to help you because he changes us from the inside which spreads to the outside. Repentance does not mean perfection, it means acceptance that you need his help to change you.
4. Now is when you except his invitation to come into your life.It is a prayer that comes from the heart and not out of fear or emotions. But out of a genuine love for him and what he has done for you. God became flesh for you, he took on so much torture and ridicule for you; all the way to his painful death on the cross. Then he rose three days later to show you his power so you can have hope. Hope in him, and to know he will come back for you and bring you into his kingdom of Heaven that he is preparing for you. A simple prayer that acknowledges him, acknowledges who you are, and asks him to help you change and become who he wants you to be. The more you read his word which is the Bible the further you will be able to learn and grow in him. The further his spirit will guide you and open your eyes, mind and heart to see things through his eyes. And the more you will change out of his love for you and your love for his. Beloved this is the gospel message we are to share to the world!
Let's take a Biblical look at the pattern of Public Proclamation Of Faith:
Before he ascended into Heaven Christ told his disciples to wait for the helper which is the Holy Spirit.
. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
. John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you
. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance
The people outside were amazed at what they heard, and some even began to mock them saying that they were drunk. Then out comes Peter and PUBLICLY proclaims the gospel message to the very ones who took part in the crucifixion of Christ. You can imagine the type of crowd this was, the murmurs the looks on their faces and so on. Yet Peter did not become silent and because of this public preaching as it is written...
. Acts 2:37-41 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Imagine if Peter would have tried to address the three thousand in a one on one conversation. Or if he would have cared about everyone's opinion, or if some would be offended. No one wants to hear that they are wrong, and the things that they find pleasure in is sinful. But he knew that " Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God" And he knew the power of the gospel message which was spoken by the Holy Spirit through him.
Let's take a look at the Apostle Paul. He was the church planter and preached the gospel to more nations and countries than any of the disciples. His ministry was always public. Whether it was in a synagogue, temple or most often in the streets. In the Book of Acts we learn that he begins his preaching after he and Barnabas were commissioned in Acts 13 when Paul filled with the Holy Ghost rebukes a sorcerer in
. Acts 13:10-11 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
This was a public rebuke to demonstrate to power and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ to a unbelieving bewitched crowd. Later after they departed and went into a synagogue to sit and hear the reading of the prophets.
. Acts 13:15-16 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
He proceeds to speak of Israel's history leading into the root of Jesse which is Christ, John the baptist speaking of him to
. Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
Right here is when he begins to publicly preach the gospel and as always the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Because the issue of Christ resurrecting was one of the hardest things for the people to believe.
. Acts 13:42-52 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
This was the way God used Paul to convert so many by his boldness to preach publicly and unashamed. Imagine how long it would have taken Paul to build the early churches if he would have pulled aside every person one on one to preach repentance and the crucifixion of Christ. Through out the entire book of Acts you read on how compelled he was to preach. And he had his biggest and most influential audience in Acts 17.
After Paul was ran out from where he was publicly proclaiming the gospel here in...
. Acts 17:16-21 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) And when he begins like this in
. Acts16:22-23 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
And he goes on to preach Christ and ends like this...
Acts 16:30-33 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them.
And in Paul's last ventures before his death while he was in the presence of King Agrippa while he was pleading his case and explaining the reason for his chains and the charges against him. He shares his conversion and the gospel of Christ, and after he spoke in
. Acts 26:28-29 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
That statement " but also all that hear me this day". Because Paul always spoke out in public he was given such platforms to speak to these leaders, and audiences. How often do we see these bold and faithful attempts at sharing the gospel in today's world? There are many that do and I thank God for them. I have seen so many on the news who answer the biblical questions when presented to them without compromising the answer to not offend a person or group of persons. On the other hand, I have seen many more buckle under pressure and look very uncomfortable. This displays their unbelief in what the Bible teaches, and it shows that they have forgotten the foundation of the gospel in which the church of Jesus Christ has been built upon.
Moreover, let's briefly take a look at the epistles that Paul has written to the early churches: The books of: Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and possibly Hebrews (it's unknown exactly, some believe it was Paul or Luke who worked with Paul until his death)
In each of his letters he confronts the issues of the entire church. These letters are what we as a church define our conduct, offices, and union as a whole.Imagine if he would have written every individual in the churches to address their behaviors or situations instead of his epistles? Where would that leave the church today? Yet, he knew the importance of addressing to a public crowd further benefits all who can hear, and we are those all who hear over 2,000 years later.
There are people who are watching these TV interviews who need to hear the truth when we are asked to speak of the things of God.Yes there are times when individual time is needed, but when you are asked a question in public just say what the Bible says out of love. It is what we are commanded to do. By the one who loves us with an unfailing love.How would you feel if someone you sacrificed for was in a public setting and felt uncomfortable displaying and commenting on their love and true commitment to you? Sadly today most Christians are caring more about what people think instead of what God thinks. They want to please man instead of pleasing God. They have more of a reverence toward man then they do toward God. Even though Christ says in
. Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
If you know your word and you're able to discern between the spirits from which the question is being asked then you are able to rightfully divide the word. This is why it is so important to read and study your bible. When you're asked a biblical question remember it's not about you or your feelings, It's about what God says, and your faith in him and his word. If you truly believe the Bible is the word of God then you believe what it says.You hold the key of truth that can set so many free by hearing the word of God.If people don't hear about total depravity how can they hear about being saved?
- Crystal Diaz
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by Crystal Diaz or search for articles on the same topic or others.