Sometimes it seems that we have lost confidence.
I am not thinking about self-confidence—confidence in our capacities or abilities. I am thinking of a confidence that runs deeper.
Have we lost confidence in the power of the Gospel? Do we really believe that the simple Good News of Jesus Christ can change a person’s life?
A seminary professor of mine said in class one day, “Young men, it is always better to have something to say, than to have to say something.” We have something to say to this old broken world.
Do you remember when Paul was planning to go to Rome? Rome was a broken city full of idolatry, sexual impurity, poverty and injustice.
Paul wrote, “I am eager to get to Rome so that I can share the Gospel in that great city. For the Gospel has never let me down. It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:15-16). Do you have that kind of confidence in the Gospel?
James S. Stewart, the Scottish theologian, wrote, “Today as never before there is being laid upon the heart and conscience of the Church the burden of evangelism. To confront a bewildered and disheveled age with the fact of Christ, to thrust upon its confusion the creative word of the Cross and smite its disenchantment with the glory of the Resurrection—this is the urgent, overruling task” (A Faith to Proclaim p. 11).
Not long ago, I had the opportunity to preach in a small church in southern Oklahoma. After the service, I shared the Gospel with a 13-year-old girl. She and her friend approached me after the invitation, and this girl was clearly under conviction.
God’s Spirit was heavy on her. I shared the Gospel in a very simple way—we are sinners with no capacity to save ourselves; God’s love is such that he sent His Son Jesus to die in our place on the Cross; Jesus is the living Lord, and He will save anyone who turns from her sin and calls out by faith for His salvation.
That girl bowed her head and asked Jesus to save her.
About a month later, my wife received a text message from a friend in that congregation. “Hance led a girl named __________ to the Lord after service one night. She has made a complete turnaround from who she was, and now says she knows this is real and that she has to spread the Gospel to other people! We have seen a complete change in this girl!”
I was grateful when I read that text message; grateful for a life changed and grateful for a needed reminder of the power of the Gospel.