In this passage, (Acts 18) Paul has decided not to try to reach the Jews in Corinth because they had violently opposed him. Have you ever been too frightened to speak to others about Christ?
I have never faced true persecution like some of you. No one has ever threatened to put me to death unless I denounce my beliefs. I have always thought, though, that it might be easier to endure persecution than it to simply talk to friends about Christ. I pray I never find out. For many Christians, “witnessing” to friends and loved ones is especially difficult.
Yet, Christ commands us to spread the Gospel. “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Did you catch that? First, in Jerusalem. First, we are to be witnesses where we are, at home. At work. At school. Wherever we are, we are to be witnesses.
I have several times heard the story – true in spirit, if not in fact – of a young man who went to his pastor and told him that he felt God’s call to the mission field.
When the pastor urged him to begin preparations by witnessing to friends and family, the young man lost interest.
Why is it that so many of us are afraid to stand up and talk about Christ to those we know and love?
When I asked one of my friends that very question, he answered that he didn’t want to be a hypocrite.
I reminded him that it is not hypocritical to explain the truth. As Christians, we are not perfect; we still sin. Sometimes, we still have a great deal of sin in our lives. What we are, is forgiven. God will rid us of our sin, in time. He is changing us. He is changing me.
Don’t be so afraid of persecution that you give up. And don’t be afraid of being a hypocrite. It is not hypocritical to tell people that God has forgiven you and is changing you. We are sinners saved by grace, being transformed into the likeness of Christ. God’s ways, in God’s time.
Fear Not. Speak Out.