"He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." – Mark 16: 15-16
As Christians, it can be hard to share our faith with the world. Of course we love God and want everyone to know Him and about the sacrifices of His son, Jesus Christ; but, in this day and age when no one can do or say anything without starting an argument or being criticized and berated, sharing our faith can be extremely difficult.
"What if everyone stops talking to me?" We think. "What if people treat me differently in the break room now that they know I am a christian? Could they find some loophole that would put my job in jeopardy?" "What if I embarrass myself when defending the faith if I can't answer all of their questions?" These are all really valid worries and questions. No one likes to feel left out, targeted, or uninformed. None of us want to lose the respect of our colleagues and we definitely do not want to be left without friends; yet, Jesus plainly tells us to go out and teach the Gospel to all creation... So, why is this so important?
In Philemon 1:6 Paul writes, "And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ." As Christians, we are blessed to have a Savior that pours out the blessing of eternal life upon us; but that's not all! He also promises us life right here, in abundance until it overflows. He will never leave us or forsake us and guides us with each step we take. Paul wants us to remember that as these generous blessings flow to us, they must also be able to flow through us and bring others into agreement with Jesus. After all, He died for all of us, not just you and I.
“'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will send you out to fish for people.' At once they left their nets and followed him." – Matthew 4:19-20
Just as the first disciples were called by Jesus to go be fishers of men, we are also called to bring forth new believers to the Kingdom. This is not just a request, but the most important commission of our lives; more important than our jobs, our homes, and even at times our families. As Christians, we don't get a choice to sit this portion of our faith out. It is tied to our belief that if we can be saved, we must help others be saved as well.
This is a scary prospect though, right? As we said before, there is so much at risk and so many questions in our minds about what we should do. Look at how Isaiah 41: 10 gives us God's perfect response to our trepidation:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
God understands that it is scary to go out in the name of Jesus and share our faith with the masses. Heck, it is even scary sometimes to wear a cross around our neck and identify ourselves with the Most High; but He says "fear not, for I am with you!" We aren't going out alone when we step out in faith. God is stepping out beside us and He is with us to give us wisdom to answer questions – or even the courage to say you don't have the answers–, to stand by us and make sure we make it out the right side up even if our coworkers and bosses are against us, and to be out friend if all others leave.
So we step out in faith, but what if no one listens? God's got an answer for that too in Matthew 10:14: "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."
Keep walking friend. Keep raising your voice for Jesus and stand tall, knowing God is beside you each step of the way.