The ship silently approaches the shore. A profound feeling of uncertainty lurks under your breath. You close your eyes and with a deep sigh, take your first step. You do not get far when you look up and see an intimidating site. Your legs stop. You look up again, and in front of you is a towering temple of Apollo.
You only pause for a moment because you know you are here for a purpose. In the midst of this devout pagan community, you find yourself the outsider coming to share the news of a Jewish Messiah who has lived and been crucified, a Messiah risen and ascended- for one purpose- to save the very gentiles who pray to Apollo.
You know what lies ahead, still, you go. You have dedicated your entire life to getting this message out. You have witnessed the greatness and mighty power of God personally and you have peace that covers your fears.
Dear Apostle Paul, how did you do it?
He was highly educated, and a bold persecutor of the believer’s in his former life as Saul. He lived his life doing what he thought was right, and was stricken blind- to see. We know him as the writer of many books of the New Testament. A feared man at one time, he was humbled into obedience.
The world has changed from the days of Paul. Yet, it has stayed the same, too. We are still going out into the world to bring a message of hope to the lost, for the hope of eternity with Jesus. We no longer use the term ‘pagan’ as often, but we can definitely see the importance of other gods in the lives of people around the world. It may no longer be Apollo, in his place- money, or some other god of those lives who have yet to know Jesus Christ.
I feel this strong urgency to wail from mountaintops, “Jesus loves you!” I desire to make sure that every heart has an opportunity to turn away from this world and the desires of today. It is our responsibility to bring conversations for Christ forward. Satan has fought long and hard to keep that Name in the closet. To ensure Jesus is mocked, forgotten, hated, and despised, Satan walks this earth nonstop with gusto convincing the lost. Satan has limited the vision of the human heart to this life, many no longer see or deem eternity relevant.
The more I consider this pitiful truth, the stronger my conviction evolves. Are you suppressing Jesus from your world? Is His name only for church on Sunday? Would people know you as a believer in Jesus Christ or would they be surprised to hear He is the Lord of your life? Do you share the Word with those you know or meet? Are you standing for truth or sitting in fear?
We only have this one life to live for Him. If we are not living boldly and outwardly, then we are simply going through the motions. Jesus was beaten, bleeding, stabbed with thorns, whipped, spit on, and crucified on a cross. His death on that cross fires up every emotion within me! His risen life overwhelms me with a need to obey, to share, to love others enough to make sure they know who He is. As I consider the future in eternity with Christ, I want to clutch every hand I see and bring them along with me- but there is only one way.
That way is Jesus Christ. If they never hear who he is, they will never know, and they will not be there.