There are so many things that hold us back from sharing our faith with our friends. Fear of rejection, lack of confidence, to name a few. I believe that what it really comes down to is our commitment to Jesus, our conviction of the Truth in our lives being surrounded by the lies of the world.
A few days ago I posted “An Invitation To Suffer” and this post kind of gleans from that one a little deeper. I’m reading 2 Timothy 2:8-13 (NASB).
Remember Jesus Christ, A)”>risen from the dead, B)”>descendant of David, C)”>according to my gospel, for which I D)”>suffer hardship even to E)”>imprisonment as a F)”>criminal; but G)”>the word of God H)”>is not imprisoned. For this reason I)”>I endure all things for J)”>the sake of those who are chosen, K)”>so that they also may obtain the L)”>salvation which is in M)”>Christ Jesus and with it N)”>eternal glory. O)”>It is a trustworthy statement:
For P)”>if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, Q)”>we will also reign with Him;
If we R)”>deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, S)”>He remains faithful, for T)”>He cannot deny Himself.
Maybe scroll back a little bit in your Bible and refresh the first 7 verses in your mind. Paul expresses his deep conviction here. Because of the gospel he suffers. Because of his conviction of the Truth he’s in prison. And he believes it doesn’t matter where is, the gospel will not be imprisoned with him because everyone needs to hear it, everyone should have a chance.
It makes me wonder though, if even though I’m not in prison, that I’ve imprisoned the gospel in smaller ways. I’m not sure if Paul’s conviction about sharing faith with others while in prison was more of a “what have I got to lose?” attitude, because he shared it outside prison too just like he did in it. It’s what it seems like. So, what do we have to lose? And if we do lose something, doesn’t that mean we’re following Jesus closer? Aren’t we supposed to take up our cross and follow Him? (Luke 9:23)
“The word of God is not imprisoned.” I love that statement! But it convicts me.
It seems as though Paul tells us what happens if we imprison God’s word inside us or set it free. The glory of the freedom of the gospel is seen in the first two sections: “if we died with Him, we will also life with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him.” It’s a promise to those completely convicted of the necessity of the gospel.
The third section defines what happens when we aren’t “sold out” or “buy in” in the truth of the gospel: “if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” So the times we hold back and put the gospel in prison is the same as denying Christ. That’s terrifying! But even in our faithlessness, the moments we’re unsure of whether or not God is going to come through, or that the Holy Spirit won’t work in us to give us the words to say in sharing the gospel so we keep quiet, those times we don’t believe God is true to His promises, He still remains faithful. But if we keep quiet and don’t believe He is true to His word to help us and be with us, we’ll never experience His faithfulness in a personal way. Maybe in the moments we decide not to share the gospel and put in prison are moments we’re also denying the work of Christ within us.
The call to suffering is keeping the gospel out of prison in our lives. The promise of life is given to those who won’t deny, who keep the faith, and die to themselves. It seems to be a much better deal in remembering Jesus having risen from the dead, to be relying on the power of God at work within us, to deny ourselves in order to lay hold of a faithful God instead of denying Christ.
Choose whom you will deny. To lean one way is to deny the other. We must ask ourselves if we are fully convicted about the Truth of the gospel. God’s word only has one place to go and that’s everywhere. It cannot be imprisoned regardless of you. But that one person deserves to hear of His grace, and to receive the key to unlock their soul from the prison that sin is keeping them in. His word is all about freedom. We cannot afford to keep God’s word in prison, but we must believe that He is true to His word.