This Sunday is the Super Bowl, and one thing is for sure, when it comes to sports people are not shy. They share and celebrate their allegiance and devotion to their team. But, when it comes to sharing about Christ, sometimes we are fearful, neglectful, or unenthusiastic.
THE POINT: We are called and empowered to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. Opportunities for Sharing the Gospel are Innumerable.
Acts 18:1–4 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.
Paul embraced the opportunities to share the Gospel in Athens, then Corinth. He reached out to people, like this couple recently from Italy. He built relationships and engaged in conversation.
2. There May Be Some Opposition to Sharing the Gospel.
In Philippi, Paul and Silas were falsely accused, unjustly beaten, and thrown into the stocks in jail. From there they went to Thessalonica, but after a short time there, the Jews raised an uproar and they had to flee to Berea. The same thing happened there, and Paul had to flee to Athens. In Athens, Paul met with ridicule and scant response, which may have been more difficult than open opposition. And so he left there and traveled alone the fifty miles to Corinth.
Opposition is not new. Hebrews 11:36-38, “Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Opposition is not surprising. Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Peter and John opposed in Acts 4 and 5. Acts 5:29, “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Paul suffered. 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”
Opposition is a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
We don’t share the Gospel in our own strength or power. 1 Corinthians 2:1–5, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
3. God’s Vision about Sharing the Gospel is Nonnegotiable.
Acts 18:9–11 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
The Lord confirmed His presence.
The Lord confirmed His protection.
The Lord confirmed His purpose.
4. Our Mission for Sharing the Gospel is Unstoppable
Acts 18:8, “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.”
“BLESS” Every Home as You Share the Gospel
B - Begin with prayer. We want you to ask, ‘God how do you want me to bless the people in the places you’ve sent me to?’
L - Listen. Don’t talk, but listen to people, their struggles, their pains, in the places God sent you.
E - Eat. You can’t just check this off. It’s not quick. You have to have a meal with people or a cup of coffee. It builds relationships.
S - Serve. If you listen with people and you eat with people, they will tell you how to love them and you’ll know how to serve them.
S - Story. When the time is right, now we talk, and we share the story of how Jesus changed our life.
Carl F.H. Henry said - "It is only good news if it gets there in time."
Your brother in Jesus,