The word Gospel means Good News. I love to share the Good News that God loves us. And yet I’ve been asked why I am compelled to share this Good News with those who don’t believe. Why can’t I just leave them alone to believe whatever they choose?
The easy answer is that in scripture God commands us to share the Gospel. Jesus told His disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV). For many Christians this is all the reason they need.
Another reason for sharing the Gospel is because we want our loved ones to spend eternity in heaven. I wrote about this reason in a previous post titled The Hardest Thing. For many Christians this is the primary reason.
But as I’ve pondered this week why I personally share the love of Jesus, I realized it goes much deeper than that. The other night I was reading in one of my devotionals before bed and was reminded of a passage in Jeremiah that illustrates the reason why I desire to share the Gospel with others. This passage is from Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NIV):
This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
This passage is very similar to Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV), which says:
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
The reason I share the Gospel is because having a relationship with Jesus Christ has made me like a tree planted by streams of water.
I used to be a huge worrier and every little difficulty in life would throw me for a loop. Life was hard and I was more like a bush in the wastelands. There were times when things seemed good, but it never seemed to last and the smallest challenge would seem insurmountable.
But now, with Christ in my life, I can face the challenges of each day. From an objective perspective my life hasn’t gotten that much easier, but my ability to weather the storms that come my way is much different. When I experience a time of drought, I have a source of living water to sustain me.
I’ve known people who have gone through some of the most difficult challenges anyone can imagine, but because they know Jesus they have had the strength to endure and even prosper in spirit. I have a friend who lost her 6-year-old son to a sudden illness and then lost her husband to a brain tumor almost a year to the day later. For many, this type of loss would have been devastating. Yet because of her faith and the strength of her Savior Jesus, she was able to move on and focus on caring for her two other children.
I’ve known other people who are not Christians who struggle with every little challenge that comes their way and who are completely sidelined by bigger trials. They seem to have no anchor in the storms of life. Their focus remains on every bad thing that happens. They do okay when good things happen, but their happiness is short-lived. Having been like them at one point in my life, I feel compassion for their plight.
Which is why I want the peace and love of Jesus for others; it’s why I share the Gospel. The promise of eternity in heaven is one thing, but God’s promise of spiritual peace in spite of the circumstances of this life is so much more tangible and useful for those who need it.