Imagine if someone were in a house that caught fire and rushed out to save their own life but didn’t do anything to help the others who still were inside. Worse yet, they didn’t even call the fire department. Instead, they walked off and acted as though it didn’t happen.
Not only would that be wrong, but it’s even a criminal act.
Or let’s say that a physician ran a series of tests on a patient and realized that person could be treated with a course of antibiotics or perhaps a simple surgery. But the physician felt uncomfortable, even awkward, about telling the patient some bad news. Instead, he sent the patient away and said, “You’re good to go.” That is an irresponsible doctor.
So how much worse would it be to know the way to Heaven, to know the way for someone to be forgiven of their sins and find the meaning and purpose of their life, and not tell them? That’s why not sharing the Gospel can be a sin.
Understand, sin has many definitions. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. A sin of commission is breaking a commandment and crossing the line. It’s doing something that we know is wrong.
On the other hand, a sin of omission is not doing something that we know is right. In fact, the Bible says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (James 4:17 NLT).
Jesus told us in what we call "The Great Commission" to go into all the world and preach the Gospel" (Mark 16:15)
Yet we tend to think of preaching in a negative way, as something that is bad. For example, if someone says something that we don’t like, we might say, “Hey, don’t preach at me!.”
Actually, the Bible says that preaching is a good thing, but we don’t necessarily have to do it loudly. The word preach doesn’t mean that we have to project. We can preach quietly. We can whisper the Gospel, share it conversationally, or even tweet it.
There are so many ways we can share our faith. The point is to just communicate it.
Romans 10:14 asks, “How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (NLT).
The primary way people come to Jesus is through hearing the Gospel. The Bible tells us, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21 NKJV).
God called Jonah to take the Gospel to the city of Nineveh, which was filled with Israel’s enemies. Jonah was reluctant and didn’t go at first. But when he did go and preach the message that God gave him, a great spiritual awakening broke out.
Let’s remove the words preach and evangelism for a moment and put a different word on the table: recommendation. We make recommendations all the time, from restaurants to the best products to buy. And when another person recommends something to us, it carries weight.
So let’s take that idea and apply it to sharing the Gospel. We’re willing to talk about hamburgers, but are we willing to talk about Jesus?
I will be preaching the Gospel this weekend in Boise, Idaho, for an event we are calling "Boise Harvest". I will present the Gospel in an understandable way and give people an opportunity to make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
We will also have musical guests Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Andy Mineo, and Jordan Feliz.
You can join us in person, or watch the live webcast at Harvest.org.
Make your recommendation and encourage people to watch!
Greg Laurie is the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and of Harvest Crusades. He is an evangelist, best-selling author and movie producer. His new book World Changers: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things (Baker Books), releases Sept. 1.