One of the major hindrances in the spread of the gospel is timidity or being ashamed. This is in part born out of the fear of man. While they have fully embraced the faith, many believers are reluctant to share their belief with others. In his case, the apostle Paul did not care what people would do to him or think of him. He boldly declared, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16). To the apostle Paul, the message of the cross is too good not to be imparted to those who need to be saved. Salvation is available to anyone, whether Jew or Gentile.
The reason why many are ashamed and reluctant is because of the fear of rejection. One thing that we should bear in mind when we share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is that we are only messengers. The Word we declare is not our own. Jesus said, “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). This truth should give us extra boldness in preaching the Word. We should not even attempt to defend or rationalize the gospel. The Bible is the Word of the Lord and all we need to do is to proclaim it. By itself, the Word is powerful and is able to convict and transform men.
Not only are many ashamed to preach the Word, but they are also ashamed to associate themselves with those who boldly preach it. It is for this reason that the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, saying, “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (2 Tim. 1:8). Our attitude when someone is preaching the gospel is to agree and intercede for wisdom and further boldness. We should also encourage those who are committed to do the work, so that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will spread quickly. If we desert them, them might be overcome by pressure and they, too, will fail.
When Jesus was here on earth, He warned, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels”. (Mark 8:38) Jesus was teaching on the principle of sowing and reaping. No one who is ashamed of Him here on earth will be able to get away from its terrible consequence. If we are indeed believers, why are we ashamed to carry His name and share this with others? We have nothing to lose when we carry the name of Jesus boldly, but we have everything to gain.
Proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ should not be a cause of embarrassment to us. We are merely sharing what Jesus has done in our lives. Are we supposed to be ashamed to tell others that it was Jesus who caused our lives to change? It would be good for others to know that it is not on account of who we are or what we have done that we have the hope that we carry. Rather, it is on account of what Jesus had done on the cross that we are saved. We were destined to die because of our sins, but God so loved us that he sent Jesus to die on the cross in our stead. The apostle Paul appropriately described our standing before God now that we have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are His ambassadors. As such, we should “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15). We do not have to invent a story to convince others that Jesus is able to save. Our own life testimony should be enough to let others know of the saving grace of the Lord. The Bible records many incidents of people believing in the Lord Jesus Christ because of the testimony of those whom He healed or delivered from their sicknesses and sins. Therefore, let us not be ashamed to tell others of the Lord Jesus Christ—what He did in our lives. Let us boldly proclaim that it is on account of His death on the cross that our sins have been forgiven. Let us tell them that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive and the evidence is our changed lives. We must proclaim that we are waiting for His coming, for He promised to come again, and this is our blessed hope. Indeed, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. Hallelujah!