I went to Christian school throughout my entire childhood, but not all my classmates were Christians. When I was in high school, some were self-avowed atheists and others toyed with the occult, even though every day we studied the Word of God in class. All schools have cliques and one such group at my school were those who dressed all in black and seemed to have a fascination with darkness and death. I wasn’t part of that group, but they happily indulged my lunchtime visits to share the Bible with them. Looking back, I think they thought, in my own unique way, I was also a rebel like them.
Well, during my first semester as a freshman in secular college, I ran into one of those former classmates in a philosophy class. Her name was Vickie and though we had only been acquaintances in high school, in that unfamiliar environment, we gravitated toward what was familiar — each other. As expected, the professor eventually turned the subject to worldly philosophies about God. In my personal observations, Vickie had never seemed to pay any attention or show any interest in Bible class, so I was stunned one day when she turned around in her seat and said to me, “Erik, what he’s saying about God isn’t true. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life!’”
Paul wrote in First Thessalonians 1:5, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.” There is power in the gospel. That is why it is so vital that we share it! It doesn’t matter if the people you share the “good news” with act like they aren’t listening or don’t care. We can’t judge the effectiveness of the gospel solely by people’s immediate reactions to it because we may just be planting seeds. What people do with those seeds is between them and God, and sometimes those seeds flourish years after they’ve been planted. As Isaiah 55:11 proclaims, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Imagine what would happen if we all prayed for boldness to preach the gospel to friends, family members, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, or even strangers who do not yet know Jesus Christ. We have the good news that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and redeemed us so that mankind can once again have fellowship with God! Let’s not keep this to ourselves —let’s preach it! When we share the gospel with others, we never know how or when they will soften their hearts to accept it, but one thing is for sure—like Vickie, they will never forget it! We just never know how God’s Word will impact someone’s life today.