Let's Spread the News!

April 2, 2013

by Peter Amsterdam

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God’s Word declares that this world, and our lives within it, are not all that there is; that this life is only a portion of our existence, and that our spirits continue to live after the death of our bodies. It also teaches that it’s only possible for us, as humans, to be in God’s presence in the afterlife if we are first reconciled with Him.

In His great love for the world, and each of us within it, God made it possible to bridge the gap between us and Him through Jesus, who gave His life for our sins. Because of this great act of love, our sins have been forgiven and we can live in God’s presence in the life to come. This is the profound truth that you and I, as Christians, believe. What a tremendous comfort to know that because of Jesus’ sacrifice we will live with God eternally in the life to come.

There is also a sad part of this, which is that not everyone has this information, and many people either don’t know, or don’t understand, that eternal life with God is available to them. Most of us didn’t know this either, until we heard it from another Christian, either personally or through written material or via the media. Because we were told and we believed, we inherited eternal life.

Just this morning I was thanking the Lord for my high school friend Chuck, who witnessed to me, who patiently answered my questions, and who kept the explanations simple enough that I could understand. He showed me some key Bible verses, which spoke powerfully to me. It wasn’t hard sell; he didn’t thump me over the head with his Bible and he didn’t try to explain all the theology involved. He showed interest, patience, concern, and understanding as he answered my questions and explained God’s deep love for me.

My life was completely changed because when I was searching, seeking for answers, someone took the time to witness to me. I imagine that my life might have taken a very different direction had Chuck not spoken to me about the Lord at that time in my life when I was spiritually hungry and open to hearing about Him. I will be forever grateful to Chuck for doing that.

I imagine that you have a similar story. Someone told you about Jesus. Maybe it was your parents, or perhaps you heard about salvation from a preacher, or someone witnessed to you at school, or on the street, or in a restaurant. Perhaps it was a friend, a relative, or someone at work, or someone sitting next to you on a bus, train, or plane. Most likely God used someone to tell you how much He loves you and to tell you about Jesus, who died for you. I bet you’re glad they did.

Something I’ve written about a fair bit over the last couple of years has been our example as Christians, and manifesting Jesus’ love and acceptance and compassion for others in our everyday lives, and drawing people to the Lord that way. And that’s important. The lives we lead, the love we show, the light of God’s Spirit within us, are often what pique the interest of others. But at some point, words of explanation also become necessary. There is a time for words to be spoken, for faith to be expressed verbally. It’s important to walk the walk of a Christian life, and it’s also important to talk about the Lord, salvation, and faith, to those with whom you connect.

People telling others about the Gospel is key to conveying the understanding that there is life beyond this life, and that because of God’s deep love for humanity, He has given us the gift, the opportunity, of living with Him forever. If Christians don’t do the “telling,” then people will miss the opportunity to hear this wonderful news.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?[1]

I know that many of you have witnessed to others throughout your life, and what I’m telling you isn’t new information. It is instead a reminder to continue to witness. No matter what our situation, the call to share this news is always before us. Jesus said:

As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.[2] I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.[3]

Each of us has received the free gift of salvation—free for us but costly for Jesus. He gave all of Himself to redeem humankind, but He depends on us Christians to share the message with others. And if we don’t, there is no guarantee they’ll hear it some other way.

The apostle Paul succinctly expressed how important sharing the Gospel with others is when he stated:

For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel![4]

Other translations of this verse say: “An obligation is laid on me” (NRS), “I am compelled to preach” (NIV). Another expresses it like this: “Indeed, a compulsion weighs upon me to do that. How horrible it would be for me were I not to preach the gospel” (MIT).

We’ve been given the greatest gift anyone can be given. We’ve found the pearl of great price. We have the privilege of entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Multitudes are searching for what we already enjoy, whether they realize it or not. Because of God’s love and mercy we are privileged to know the truth, the purpose and meaning of life. We have connected with God and have been granted eternal life. Others are seeking for the answers and purpose that God, in His love, wants to give them.

People need the life-giving water of God—water which is flowing like a river from our innermost being.[5] How sad, how deeply regrettable it is, when those of us who are so richly blessed don’t share it with those who are desperately in need, when Jesus’ directive to share the good news with others is ignored.

TFI’s founder, David Berg, was passionate about the need for people to hear the message of God’s love and salvation. He often expressed that the Lord has called all Christians to witness to others. While most of us may not be full-time missionaries, it is nevertheless our duty to share the Gospel with others. I am very convicted by reading some of what he said about people’s need for salvation and our being duty-bound, as Christians, to share the good news with them.

David wrote:

Regardless of nationality, country, color, or creed, the heart of man is the same the world over, and his heartaches and sorrows and sins and pains and fear of death are the same. His longings, loves, and hunger for God and His truth, for joy and happiness and peace of mind, are God-created, and the same in men the world over.

Even though many people are really seeking genuine love, they seldom, if ever, find it. For there are never enough of God’s people who are willing to show them His real love.

Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” is not an option. It’s a commandment. The message is clear. There’s no denying it or excusing ourselves.

[Witnessing] is not just a nice thing to do when we feel like it or can find the time, but it is the God-given job and responsibility of all His true children.

As Jesus Himself said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Therefore,” He commanded, “pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.”[6] His vast harvest of multitudes of frozen, cold, hungry people, wandering around in darkness without God. [7]

We have been given the privilege of being called out of that darkness into God’s marvelous light,[8] and it is incumbent on us to do what we can, when we can, to help others to connect to God through Jesus.

It most definitely can be difficult to do this with the busy lives we all lead. It’s hard to make or take the time for it. I’m saved because Chuck took time for me. You’re saved because someone put in time and effort to share the Gospel with you—someone who probably felt they didn’t have time either. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for you, and another Christian sacrificed time and effort to connect you with Him. As has been said, Christ alone can save this world, but Christ can’t save this world alone. Someone has to tell people about Jesus and salvation, and when God brings a person across your path, that someone is you.

When, where, how, and with whom we share the message will differ for each of us. But if we truly recognize the deep love and concern God has for each person, and that Jesus gave His life so they can possess eternal life, then we should feel compelled to tell those whom the Lord leads us to or brings across our path—even if it’s inconvenient, difficult, costly, or humbling.

We are directed by the Savior of our souls to present the opportunity to know Him to others. To bring the awareness of the great gift that was freely given to us to those who have not yet heard about it. Are we willing to do what is asked of us? Do we pray for souls, and then put feet to our prayers? Do we pray for laborers who will share the message with others, and are we willing to be those laborers ourselves? Do we pray for the Lord to bring those who are searching across our path? Do we ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to those who will respond to God’s love? Are we willing to give some of our time, effort, thought, prayer, and action toward the commission Jesus has given us? When faced with someone in need of eternal life, do we take action by sharing the message with them?

If we’re committed to doing what Jesus has asked of us, we will. If we realize the eternal effect it will have on someone’s life and future, we will. If we are trying to be like Jesus, we will. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, as Jesus taught us to, then we will be compelled to let them know how deeply God loves them, and to show them how they can enter the kingdom of heaven through believing in Jesus, His Son.

So let’s spread the news.

[1] Romans 10:13–14 NLT.

[2] John 20:21 ESV.

[3] John 15:16 ESV.

[4] 1 Corinthians 9:16 ESV.

[5] “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 NAU.

[6] Matthew 9:37–8 KJV.

[7] These five paragraphs are from Witnessing, #344, May 1975, paragraphs 6–7, 1, 3, 8.

[8] “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV.