Sharing Your Faith Without Fear - Radical

Sharing Your Faith Without Fear

There’s nothing greater, nothing more significant we can share with others than the message of the gospel. And yet, if we’re honest, we often fail to speak about this good news to unbelievers God has put in our lives. We’re silent about the hope of eternal life because we’re worried about what others will think. In this sermon based on Acts 18:1–17, David Platt encourages us to share the gospel without fear. Even though opposition is inevitable, God’s power and His mission are unstoppable.

Since this is Father’s Day, I thank God for the indescribable privilege of being a dad. As I shared a few months ago, Heather and I struggled through years of infertility to now have four kids. You know where Ephesians 3:20 –21 talks about God doing immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine, I look around my table at night and I think, “I didn’t even know to ask for this. I never could have imagined this.” I think about my dad, my best friend, my biggest fan, who passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack years ago. There’s still an impulse in me to pick up my phone and call Dad. 

One of my favorite memories about my dad is from my senior year in high school. He did this for each of my brothers and had started doing this for my younger sister before he died. Every Wednesday night we’d go to a particular restaurant and we’d just sit there, talking about life and what matters most. There are all kinds of things I learned from my dad, but there’s one thing without question that he passed on to me that I’m most thankful for. It’s the simplest, most significant thing he could have passed on to me and it’s the one thing I want to pass on to my kids, more than anything else. 

I’m guessing you know what it is. It’s the gospel. I remember sitting with my dad when I was a kid—I remember where I was sitting—and he just walked me through the gospel. So for those of you who are visiting today, who don’t know what the gospel is, the gospel is the good news of how we have all sinned against a holy God and we deserve eternal judgment. But God loves us so much that He has sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sin. He’s paid the price for our sin, so that when we put our faith in Him and trust in Him, we can be forgiven of all our sin and reconciled to God for all eternity.

I praise God for a dad who told me this and who applied that gospel to my life in so many different ways. I remember the night I graduated from high school. Dad wrote something to me that basically said, “David, you’ve been entrusted with much, so use all the grace God has given you to pass the gospel on to others.” I know there’s coming a day when I’m not going to be around and I pray my kids will be holding on to this gospel and passing it on to others.

Not just my kid, but anybody around me. I look at my life. I look at the people I work with, I live next to, I exercise with, I interact with—this is the one thing that is most important for me to give to others. Can you think of anything more important in your life to give to someone else than the good news of how they can be reconciled to God for all eternity? It’s the greatest gift we can give, the greatest thing we can share. But here’s a question—this will lead right into our text today—if this is the greatest gift we can give, the greatest thing we can share with someone else, why are we so hesitant to share it? 

This is where I think it would be helpful for us to be honest with each other. Many of us didn’t share the gospel with another person this last week. Maybe some of us haven’t shared the gospel with somebody in the last month. For some of us, maybe it’s been years. Maybe we can’t remember the last time we shared the gospel with somebody else. I’m not just talking about Jesus talk or God talk. Just because we mention Jesus or God in a sentence doesn’t mean we’re sharing the gospel. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are talking about Jesus all the time, but they’re not sharing the good news.

I’m talking about having a conversation with someone where you’re talking about Who God is and how we sinned against Him and Who Jesus is and what Jesus has done, and you actually invite somebody—your neighbor, your co-worker, friend, family member—to turn from their sin and trust in Jesus. So why are we hesitant to have those kinds of conversations? I won’t even speak for you—I’ll just say I find myself many times hesitant to have those kinds of conversations. And I’m a pastor. I lead a missions organization. 

This is what I love about Acts 18, the next part in our series throughout Acts. In this chapter we see that Paul the apostle—the greatest missionary who ever lived—was actually hesitant to share the gospel, afraid even. Acts 18 shows us Paul in Corinth. He later writes to the church in Corinth that when he came to them, he came in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. Paul said, “I was afraid when I came to you.” In this passage, Jesus comes to Paul at one point and says, “Do not be silent. Keep on speaking.” This at least implies that Paul was tempted to be silent and not to speak the gospel. 

What I want to do is read this passage, Acts 18:1 –17, and then I want to encourage us—your heart and my own heart—with four truths in this text. My hope is that a few minutes from now, every follower of Christ in this gathering will be encouraged and emboldened in a fresh way to share the gospel with somebody this week. Just one person. So that’s where all of this is headed. My prayer is that walking out of this gathering a few minutes from now, there would be thousands of people encouraged and emboldened to share the gospel with somebody this week. 

So let’s read God’s Word. Acts 18, beginning in verse one: 

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. 

5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this. 

So here are four truths that I hope will encourage you to share the gospel with somebody else this week.

1. Acts 18:1–17 and Opportunities for the gospel are innumerable. 

If we’re going to share the gospel, we have to start by opening our eyes to the innumerable opportunities around us to do so. Let me show you this in Acts 18. These verses are telling us about Paul in Corinth, which is a commercial metropolitan urban center in the first century. It’s a large port city situated on a major trade route. Business passed in and out of Corinth and spread across the Roman Empire. Its population was huge compared to other cities like Athens, where Paul in Acts 17. Also, it had a very diverse population. There were Greeks, Italians, Romans, Asians and Jews. There were business leaders, government officials and various kinds of workers.

So what does Paul do? Verse two says he meet this couple, Aquila and Priscilla, and then verse three says he starts working with them making tents. Paul gets a job in Corinth. He works all week long, then on the Sabbath he goes to the synagogue. I just want to pause briefly and point out that Paul’s job here was a vital part of his ministry in Corinth. As he works his career in Corinth, he’s living for the spread of the gospel in Corinth which seems pretty simple, but I think it’s extremely significant. I think many times people have an idea that if they really want to share the gospel and live on mission, then they need to leave their job so they can do ministry. But that’s not what Paul is doing in Acts 18:3. He’s not leaving his job so he can do ministry in Corinth—he’s actually leveraging his job so he can do ministry in Corinth.

 I see this in Acts 18 and then I think about this gathering, right now in this room. I think about all the different jobs that are represented in this gathering: business leaders, government officials, various kinds of workers in different vocations. And sure, without question, God calls some people to leave a job for the sake of mission.But for most people, God is calling you to leverage your job for the sake of mission. In other words, God has put you where you are—in your job—right now, for a reason. God has purposely surrounded you with people you work with. All the different jobs represented in this gathering right now represent innumerable opportunities for the spread of the gospel across the DMV—and around the world, for that matter, to places where God takes us in our jobs. I think about a family I was talking with just a few weeks ago. Their job in the government is leading them to another country. So what if that’s not by accident? What if God is sovereign over that for the spread of the gospel in the world? Talk about innumerable opportunities! 

I was on a plane not long ago with a guy who recognized me from some Bible study videos on line, so we started talking. His name is Hugh and he is from Demopolis, Alabama. Does anybody know where Demopolis, Alabama is? Okay, we’ve got one hand waving over here. Demopolis is no metropolis, alright? This is small town, sweet home Alabama. So I asked, “Where are you flying to?” 

He said, “I’m going to Mexico.” 

I said, “What are you doing in Mexico, Hugh?” 

Hugh replied, “I have a lumber business, and we’ve expanded into Mexico.” 

“Well, that’s interesting. Are you anywhere else in the world?” 

“Oh, yeah, we’re in China and Indonesia. And now we’re looking to get into this or that country in the Middle East.”

I said, “Hugh. Have you ever thought about how God is opening up these doors not just for the spread of lumber, but for the spread of the gospel through your life?” 

He said, “I’ve never thought about that.” I said, “Hugh, you’ve got to start thinking about that.” 

That’s one guy from Demopolis, Alabama. I’m speaking to a crowd of people right now in Metro Washington. Just think about the innumerable opportunities God is opening up here and around the world. What if God has designed the globalization of today’s marketplace for the spread of the greatest news in the world? That’s exactly what He has done.

Here and around the world, God has designed the gospel to be spread through all kinds of domains and avenues of working, living and playing that are represented in His church. So here’s my encouragement. Think about where you work. Think about the people you work with. Think about where you live. Think about where you exercise. Think about where your kids do this or that activity. In this, open your eyes to the innumerable opportunities that exist all around you every day for the spread of the gospel—unique opportunities that God has given specifically to you in a way He hasn’t given me or anybody else. He’s given them to you for the spread of the gospel—here and far from here. Opportunities for the gospel are innumerable—and that leads to the second truth.

2. Opposition to the gospel is inevitable. 

Just because there are opportunities for the gospel—and there were opportunities for the gospel for Paul in Corinth—it does not mean those opportunities will be easy. Corinth was this cosmopolitan city filled with rampant immorality and competing ideologies. On the rampant immorality level, this city was known specifically for its widespread sexual immorality. Corinth housed the temple of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, situated high on a hill that towered over the city. Every night, a thousand temple prostitutes would come down from that temple into that city to practice their trade. Sexual immorality was so pervasive in Corinth that to be known as Corinthian was to be known as sexually immoral. Corinth was filled with rampant immorality and competing ideologies. There were different people worshipping different gods and goddesses. 

Then among the Jews who worshipped the one true God, listen to how they responded to Paul. Verse six says the Jewish people opposed Paul and became abusive. The language literally says they set themselves in battle array against Paul. Fortunately for Paul, this was nothing new for him. He’d been kicked out of Antioch. There was a plot to stone in Iconium. He was stoned in Lystra. He was beaten and thrown into jail in Philippi. A mob riot forced him out of Thessalonica. Agitated crowds drove him out of Berea. And it wasn’t just Paul—; at the end of this passage we see that Sosthenes, likely by that time a Jewish convert to Christianity, being beaten.

Now, obviously by God’s grace, we live in a part of the world where these kinds of things are much less likely to happen to us. But I would not hesitate to say that the task of sharing the gospel in our culture is made very challenging by these same factors at work: rampant immorality and competing ideologies. We live in a day that we know is marked by a rapidly shifting moral landscape. And we live in a day when Christian belief is not just viewed as different. Christian belief is increasingly viewed as dangerous. 

The message of Acts 18 is, “Don’t be surprised by this.” Really, it’s the message of the entire New Testament. The gospel was born into an age of fierce opposition which has not waned for 2,000 years. It has not been and will never be easy for us as the church to share the gospel in the culture around us. Acts is definitely teaching us that opposition to the gospel is inevitable, so we shouldn’t be surprised when opposition comes. It causes us to shrink back, to be hesitant to share, but that’s where we come to this third truth. 

3. Acts 18:1–17 and How Our God is all-powerful.

Opposition to the gospel is inevitable, but our God is all-powerful. Paul gets kicked out of the synagogue. They’re standing against him. But then he starts meeting next door and the synagogue ruler comes to Christ. However, the opposition continues and Paul finds himself at the end of his rope. He’s afraid and frustrated, wondering if he should even stay in Corinth. But in the midst of that fear and discouragement, the Lord comes to Paul in a vision—one of six times that Jesus does this for Paul in the book of Acts—and says, “Do not be afraid. Keep on speaking, because I am with you. I’m working in this city. I’ve got people in this city.” The Bible says that after that, Paul stayed for a year and a half, preaching the Word in Corinth.

So ask the why questions here? Why did Paul stay? Why did Paul not give up? Why did Paul keep speaking the gospel in Corinth? Think about it. This is so key, because we’re getting to the answer for our lives. How can we keep from staying silent? How do we speak the gospel? How do we overcome the fear or hesitation or whatever it is in us that causes us to shrink back from the innumerable gospel opportunities around us? 

The answer is Paul knew that God was all-powerful and that God was with him. God was with him, which seems so basic but is so important. This is what God says to His people over and over again in the Bible. Whenever they’re afraid, whenever they’re tempted to shrink back in fear, what does God say to Moses, Joshua, David, over and over again to so many different people? “I am with you. I am with you. I am with you.” 

I’ve got to share with you that this last week I was pretty discouraged. There’s no need to go into details; I was just at a low point, tired and tempted to despair. I was preaching out in Phoenix, including an extra day on the front end when Heather and I drove up Sedona, north of Phoenix, where they have these red rock formations in the mountains. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Sedona or seen these red rock formations. They are amazing. Here’s a picture of the Cathedral Rock. 

I was sitting there in the morning, in Sedona, looking at Cathedral Rock, having my quiet time. I opened my Bible to my daily reading plan which “just happened” to be in Isaiah 41. Let me read you what I read in Isaiah 41:10. Here I was, discouraged, tired, tempted to despair, then I read these words from God: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I just stopped in awe, as I realized the God Who formed these red rocks—the God Who put them in place and painted them this way—this God is with me. He’s my God. I don’t need to be afraid or dismayed. Why? Because this God has promised to strengthen me and help me. He’s promised to help me. He’s my Helper. Are you serious? He says, “I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” So, brothers and sisters, I came down out of those mountains ready to take on the world. These words were not just for me. These words in Isaiah 41, this vision in Acts 18, these promises from God are reiterated throughout Scripture to all of God’s people, over and over again.

I don’t know what you’re walking through right now. I’m guessing some of you have come into this gathering today discouraged, tired, maybe tempted to despair. So hear the God of the universe saying to you, “Fear not. I am with you. Be not dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” That’s a good word. 

These promises are for all of life, but then apply them to sharing the gospel, because that’s what Acts 18 is talking about. Paul is tempted to stay silent with the gospel in Corinth, in light of the rampant immorality and competing ideologies around him. But God says, “Speak the gospel boldly. Don’t stay silent, because I am with you, and I will help you do this. I’ll help you.”

I remember one pivotal moment along these lines in my own walk with Christ like it was yesterday. I was in college, on a state university campus with about 30,000 people, most of whom were atheists or agnostics and who wanted nothing to do with the gospel. I remember one day in speech class it was my day to give a speech, so I decided to incorporate the gospel into my speech. At the end of the speech, the people in the class got to ask questions. As soon as I finished my speech, a girl in the back raised her hand. . Jane’s hand shot into the sky. So I said, “Yes?” And she said, “So are you telling me that if I don’t believe in Jesus like you just shared, that I’m going to spend eternity in hell when I die?” I had never had it put quite that way in front of quite that many people. I immediately began to sweat profusely. “What do I say?” I had prayed for my speech, for the questions that would come, so I took a breath and looked back at Jane with as much compassion as was in me. I said, “Jane, we’ve all sinned against God. No matter what good things we do, we still can’t get rid of our sin problem. We need God to take care of that for us. That’s why He sent Jesus. He is the One Who’s paid the price for our sins. So yes, apart from trusting in Him, you will die in your sin and experience the payment of your sin forever.” 

Well, needless to say I was not the most popular guy in class that day. Sighs went up across the room, as the narrow-minded Christian stood in front of them. I remember Jane came up to me afterward and said, “That’s the most arrogant thing I’ve ever heard anybody say. I mean, who are you to say that if we don’t believe what you believe, that we’re all going to spend eternity in damnation?” And she walked away.

That was the first of many conversations with Jane. We would sittogether and she’d ask every question in the book. “How do you know there is a God?” “Why is Jesus the only way to God?” “What about people who never hear about Jesus?” She asked question after question. I’d do the best I could to answer her questions based on God’s Word, but have you ever been in conversations like that where it seems like your every word is bouncing off a brick wall and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? 

I remember walking away from one of those conversations one day. I remember where I was on campus. I remember just stopping and asking the question in a fresh way in my own life: “Do I even believe this? I don’t want to be arrogant and narrow-minded. Is this really true?” So I began wrestling with that question in a way I’d never wrestled with it before. And I came to the conclusion that I believe it was true—but why doesn’t anybody else believe it?

So we left school at the end of that semester, being gone for the summer. When we came back in the fall, I walked into class and saw Jane sitting in the front row. She turned around and said, “Let’s talk afterwards.” I said, “Okay,” but inside I was thinking, “No! I just got back.” But I waited for her in the hall afterwards and we start walking together. To make a very long conversation short, Jane looked at me and said, “I just want you to know that this summer I figured out that Jesus is the only way to God. I’ve trusted in Him to save me and now I know that when I die, I’m going to heaven.” I remember walking away from that conversation and just realizing, “You know, no matter how tall, no matter how wide, no matter how thick the walls are that our culture sets up against the gospel, they come crashing down in light of the power of our God to open eyes to His love and His grace.” 

So I want you to be encouraged. Our God is all-powerful and He will show His power when His people speak His gospel. He will show His power. Obviously in that story, it’s not something that happens overnight, but He will show His power. 

Gospel opportunities are innumerable. Gospel opposition is inevitable. Our God is all-powerful. And that leads to this fourth truth:

4. Our mission is unstoppable.

I love what happens next. The Jews bring Paul before the Roman tribunal to try to shut him down. They basically want Christianity to be officially labeled an illegal religion in the Roman Empire, which then would have prevented it from spreading throughout Rome. This kind of precedent would have echoed across the Roman world. So they have a plan, but their plan backfires. Gallio, the proconsul, declares that the Christians were fine and in the process he sets precedence for Christians to share the gospel across the Roman world.The adversaries’ attempt to stop the gospel only served to spread the gospel. 

Do you know what I love even more? Look at how the story is told down in verse 14. Paul was just about to open his mouth to make his case before the proconsul, but the proconsul interrupts him. Paul doesn’t have to say a thing. The proconsul says, “Here’s my verdict.” So here’s Paul, faithful to speak the gospel when he has the opportunity, and then when he’s on trial, he doesn’t need to say a word, because God takes care of everything for him. From here the gospel continues to spread, which is the theme we see throughout the book of Acts. It is unstoppable.

Let me tie these truths together with a story from Nepal, where I was a few weeks ago. I took a small group up high in the Himalayas, in northern Nepal, right near Tibet. We landed at about 13,000 feet and for five days we treked through village after village. Apart from a few Christians who recently moved into those mountains, there wasn’t one follower of Christ to be found. Not one. There are nine million people spread across 24 people groups in that particular region and out of those nine million people there are estimated to be fewer than 100 Christians. Think about just a small section in this room—that’s all the Christians there are out of nine million people in that region, many of whom have not even heard the name of Jesus. We’ll go up to them and say, “Do you know anything about Jesus?” They’ll say, “Who’s that?” 

So to set the picture, I was sitting one night in one of their homes, drinking butter tea. Just think of a lot of butter mixed with hot water. Wewere sitting on the floor of this one-room house with walls made of rocks stacked on top of each other and a tin roof. There was an area near one wall for a fire, where this kind Nepali woman had placed wood, lit the fire and put a pot on top of what was a makeshift stove to make the tea. Up on the wall, to the right of the stove, was a statue of Buddha, with silver cups in front it. 

As we sat around the fire drinking butter tea, I asked her and her husband what the cups were for in front of the statue. They shared that every morning they wake up about 4:30 or 5:00 and before they go out to work in the fields, they fill the cups with water, put a candle in them, and then light the candle in order to offer their worship to Buddha. They do this, they said, because when they die, they will be reincarnated in another life and they want to make sure their lives will be better then than they are now.

Listening to them explain how they worship this statue while clinging to false hope was heartbreaking enough, but what was even heavier was their surprise when they learned that we don’t worship the same way or believe the same thing. They just assumed everybody worshiped the same way and believed the same things. Their ancestors believed in worship this way, and their ancestors before them, and their ancestors before them—they always believed they should worship this way and no one has ever told them how God has made way to them through Jesus. 

So with that background, let me introduce you to one precious 20-year-old girl I met. I won’t use her real name,so I’ll call her Kylie. She was born into one of these Buddhist families. The problem is she was born on what they believe in their superstitions was a bad day. So her parents and grandparents believed, from the day she was born, that her heart belonged to the devil. As soon as she was able to walk, every morning they would give her an offering. They would tell her to go outside to a dark little room they had set up and she would have to go in there by herself and offer this gift to the devil. She remembered as a three and four-year-old scared little girl, going out to that room and making an offering to the devil. I have a four-year-old, and I cannot imagine sending him outside every morning to do that. 

But there was a blind Nepali missionary who went hiking in those mountains, which is a huge challenge with sight, but he had a guide and trekked throughout those mountains, sharing the gospel with Kylie’s dad and others. So one day he is the first person in his village to trust in Christ and she said her home totally changed. She no longer had to go outside to that dark room. Her family began praying and learning the Bible. Eventually her mom trusted in Christ and everything was going well. Until one day, her parents were out walking along the trails, and the story that’s told in the village is that a landslide came and killed them. Immediately their religious leader said the landslide came because they’d become followers of Jesus. They’d introduced this foreign God into their home and village. To this day, whenever someone hears about people in that village, they immediately say, “Don’t believe in Him. Remember what happened to the couple who did?”

The reality is, though, that a landslide didn’t kill Kylie’s parents. The true story is the religious leaders in that village took Kylie’s mom and dad, they slit their throats and covered it up by saying a landslide had buried them. I was reminded that in a place like this—where the gospel has not gone for centuries, where the devil has deceived people’s minds and hearts for generation after generation—it’s clear that the devil will not go down without a fight. 

Brothers and sisters, be sure of this—he will go down. He will go down, when the people of God speak the gospel of God. When they refuse to stay silent—when the people of God share the gospel of God in the power of God—the devil will go down. And this is not just in Nepal. This is here, amidst rampant immorality and competing ideologies in this culture. Where the people of God are speaking the gospel of God in the power of God, the devil will go down. So the question is: will we speak it? Will we share this gospel? Will we give this gospel to others? 

I mentioned in the beginning this is where all this is going. So I just want to encourage every follower of Christ in this room, think right now who can you share the gospel with this week? Who has God put in your life—in your work, in your neighborhood, in your sphere of influence —who doesn’t know Christ? Here’s what I want to ask you to do. I just want to ask you to bow your heads with me right now and let’s just think about somebody right now. It may be more than one person, but at least one person. So picture their face, their name, who God has put in your life, in your work, in your sphere of influence. I just want to invite you to ask God for boldness to share the gospel with them this week. 

It is no coincidence that throughout the book of Acts we see the people of God praying for boldness. They knew they were hesitant to share, just like we are today. So they prayed for boldness. So ask God for boldness. Ask God to help you overcome your fears, your hesitation. Ask God to give you confidence in His power, in His presence with you. Ask God to help you. And as you ask Him, hear Him saying in His Word, “I will help you. I will help you.” 

Then, with that person’s face on your mind, pray that as you share that God will open their hearts to really listen, that God might open their hearts to believe. Like He did with Lydia in Acts 16, He opened her heart to believe. Like He did in Crispus’ life here in Acts 18, the ruler of the synagogue who believed in Christ. 

Let me pray for us and for these people we’ve got in our minds, along these lines.

God, we thank You for the gospel. We thank You for giving boldness to somebody to share it with us. We thank You for opening our hearts to believe, to know this great truth of Your great love for us. We thank You for the confidence we have right now that we have eternal life through Christ, that we are Your sons and daughters, that we know You, that we have strength and help from You with whatever we face in this life. So God, we want other people to know this. We want our family members who don’t know You to know this. We want people we work with to know Your love, grace and mercy in their lives.

But we confess, O God, that we are so prone to be silent and we pray for Your help to speak the gospel. Lord, I pray for each one of us, including myself right now, as we go into this week, give us boldness we pray. Give us boldness to share. Give us compassionate boldness, compassionate courage. We know the opportunities will be there. You’ve given us opportunities, so help us to take them. 

Lord, in that moment when we share the gospel, we pray for a supernatural working of Your Spirit. Would you open their hearts to believe? We pray for these people You love, O God; people for whom You have sent Your Son so that they might be saved. We pray that You would bring them to salvation. We pray that this week there would be people in our lives, in our workplaces, whose lives are changed for all of eternity as a result of our sharing the gospel. Please, O God, may it be so. 

God, we know that some of these people on our minds are people with whom we’ve shared before and it felt like our words just bounced off a brick wall. Would You do something supernatural to break down that wall this week. Lord, help us. Give us confidence in You, in the power of Your gospel and in the power of Your presence to do this work. We pray that when we gather together next week that there would be more people who know You, that there would be more people who have confidence of eternal life in You as a result of our lives this week. God, may it be so. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

Question 1 

Why do you think so many Christians find it difficult to share their faith? What keeps you from sharing  your faith? 


How would you respond to someone who said, “I was laughed at for sharing my faith yesterday, so I  probably should have waited until God prompted me to speak.” 


How should God’s power affect our willingness to speak? List two or three verses related to God’s power  that will give you courage to share the gospel and face opposition if necessary. 


Christ commanded us to make disciples of all nations, yet there are billions who either do not have  access to the gospel. There are also many places around the world where it is dangerous to confess  Christ. So how can followers of Jesus have hope in the mission He has given us? What can we do to grow  in our faith and maintain our hope?  


List some people in your circle of influence–family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc.––who need  to hear the gospel. Pray and make specific plans to attempt to speak with these people about the good  news of Jesus Christ. 

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David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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