Give Information, Be an Illustration
To share the gospel give information and be an illustration.
My neighbor had a woodworking shop in his basement. For a young boy, the prospects of getting to run a saw were mesmerizing - and incredibly dangerous. But Mr. Ledbetter was a master. He would tell me how to do it. Show me how to do it. And then he would do it with me.
"Share the gospel" does not merely mean "tell the gospel." It also means "show the gospel."
We must give people Biblical information, but our lives must also be an illustration.
Paul knew that his preaching would be "in vain (1 Thess. 2:1)" if his life was not an illustration of the gospel.
3 ways we illustrate the gospel:
We are Willing to Suffer (1 Thess. 2:2)
Paul suffered, and his readers saw it.
But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.1 Thess. 2:2
Some people will only be won by watching you suffer. Your friends were not watching when you went to church on Sunday. But they will watch when you suffer.
We are Bold to Proclaim (1 Thess. 2:3-6)
Paul explains the motive of his message.
But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.1 Thess. 2:4
Our temptation is to make the gospel more palatable and socially acceptable. If we do so, it is no longer the gospel.
The gospel is unbelievable! Its appeal is not that it is believable, but that it is powerful. Our lives must demonstrate that we are not seeking to appeal to man, but to please God. Your friends are not saved by your persuasion, but by God's power.
Your friends may question WHAT you believe. Never let them question IF you believe.
We are Willing to Share (1 Thess 2:7-8)
Paul explained that he was not there just to share the gospel but to share himself.
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.1 Thess 2:8
The lost people in your life know that you disagree with them. What they want to know is do you love them? Do you just want them to be religious, or do you want a relationship? Paul demonstrated that he was not only there to preach to them, but to get to know them.
Mr. Ledbetter didn't just tell me what to do. He showed me what to do, and then he did it with me. I miss him.
We need to share the gospel like Mr. Ledbetter shared his woodworking shop. He didn't just tell me what was there. He showed me what was there.
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8.
- What does this passage teach us about sharing the gospel?
- How does this passage inform our prayers concerning our boldness to share the gospel?
- What does this passage teach us about the importance of sharing the gospel?
Make some time to spend with someone who does not follow Jesus. Share the gospel, but be intentional about demonstrating your care and concern for them.