By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
Sharing the Good News of Christ and Him crucified can be a daunting task. But it’s what we are called to do.
Paul was charged with the dangerous responsibility of attempting to preach the Gospel to the people of Athens. At first, he did what Jews in that period did best–he began to argue and debate in the synagogue and the marketplace. Following these long winded speeches, however, it was clear that the message wasn’t quite getting through. dedspitebthis, Paul engaged the minds of the people and they were interested, so they asked him to share his message from the Areopagus, a large outcropping of rock where people of Athens gathered to hear council meetings and court cases.
This time, Paul knew he had to get creative in sharing the message. Inspired by something he had seen while traveling through the city of Athens, he began his speech:
“People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god” (Acts 17:22-23).
Paul goes on to reveal the identity of this unknown God. This is the God who created the world and everything in it. He does not live in temples and is not served by human hands. But instead he gives everyone and everything life and breath. It is that God, Paul explains, that is urging you to repent of your wrongdoing. For one day he will come and judge the world with justice. He has proved this with a man he has appointed and he has proven it by raising that same man from the dead.
What a powerful, engaging, though-provoking sermon! A man of Pauls vigor and skill surely must have converted hundreds or even thousands that day!
Do you know how many people were convinced by Paul’s message in Athens? The Bible only names two, Dionysius and Damris. That’s it? Paul’s speech by no means mirrors that great movement of people following Peter’s sermon at Pentecost where “about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:41).
Everyday, we encounter many people who are worshipping a variety of gods. Sometimes, just in conversing with someone you can learn which god they serve–money, power, possessions, themselves.
We are called to reveal to them the One and True God who created them, a God who loves them, and who desires to be in relationship with them.
Like Paul, we have to be willing to share the message. We have to be creative in how we communicate it, applying the Gospel to the contexts in which we live, inviting people to see the power and the truth that is held in the story of Jesus Christ.
But in sharing the message, we cannot be concerned with the outcome. Sometimes, when we share the Gospel we see people multiple people added to our number. But other times, like Paul in his grand sermon on the Areopagus, we may only see a couple. Maybe no one will respond.
But here’s the truth: We are responsible for sharing the message and God is responsible for the outcome.
Do not let the result of your ministry hinder you from continuing to minister. We must not get discouraged from sharing the Good News, because it really is good and powerful news.
Instead, share you message. Get creative. And don’t quit.