At first blush, the combination of stay-at-home mandates, social separation, and masked faces make sharing the gospel right now seem impossible. Where do you go from here? The believers at Philippi struggled with similar questions as the Apostle Paul entered two years under house arrest. With the early church’s best gospel preacher sidelined, evangelistic ministry appeared out of reach. But Paul encouraged the Philippians to think differently. He writes, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it became evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ” (Philippians 1:12-13). On the surface, the situation appeared bleak and impossible, but the gospel was undoubtedly not on pause. Amazingly, Paul identified his chains as channels for God’s purpose. As members of the imperial guard took turns chained to Paul’s wrist, they unwittingly served as his captive audience. One soldier after another heard the Good News about Jesus, and it spread quickly through their ranks. Ironically, Paul’s house arrest led to the gospel of Christ penetrating the pagan and political core of the Roman government.
As the world hangs in limbo and you hunker down at home, consider three ways to move forward with the gospel:
1. Recognize that the Gospel Cannot Be Stopped
The Coronavirus presents no match for the gospel of Christ. The gospel remains the power of God unto salvation, and its impact is exponential (Romans 1:16). History reveals that the closing of churches, burning of Bibles, and persecution of Christians always fueled an even greater acceleration of the gospel around the world. The Word of God cannot be contained (2 Timothy 2:9).
2. Refresh Yourself with the Gospel Message
A little rusty with the gospel? Learn to articulate it in two minutes or less. Take a few quiet moments to review the core elements of the gospel: the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians 15:1-4). Memorize verses that express the truth about God’s love and desire for a personal relationship with every individual (John 3:16), man’s sin problem (Romans 3:23), the penalty for sin and God’s solution (Romans 6:23, 5:8), and the opportunity to receive God’s complete forgiveness of sin and His free gift of eternal life (John 1:12, Romans 10:13).
3. Reveal the Gospel to Those Who Are Near
While socially disconnected from others, your social media accounts and cell phone offer opportunities to share the reason for the hope and peace you possess in Jesus Christ (I Peter 3:15). Share your story in a brief video or post to your network of friends. Below are links to a couple videos Word of Life produced to help you get the gospel out. Are you cooped up at home with a family member who needs Jesus? Now is your time to model Christlikeness and clearly share the gospel.
The gospel is never on pause. It continues unstoppable. Believe it or not, God is using the things you are experiencing today to further the reach of the gospel.
Don Lough, Jr.
Word of Life Fellowship, Inc.