Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Commitment to Gospel Conversation


"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is absolutely astounding. An angel told him where to go (v. 26), the Spirit told him who to talk to (v. 29), and the Ethiopian man asked him to teach the Bible to him (v. 31). Philip proclaimed the gospel of Jesus to him (v. 35) and the man believed and was baptized (v. 38). After that, the Spirit raptured Philip to a city dozens of miles away.

Well, that was easy!

This story is obviously unique, but we can often forget that part when we expect evangelism to be this easy in our own lives. We can subconsciously expect God to point out His elect with golden beams of light, or expect people to respond to our evangelistic efforts with thankfulness, joy, and faith. But that's not the way it goes.

In fact, what is most common is for people to respond to our gospel presentations with annoyance, anger, or ambivalence. The apostles faced such responses over and over again through the book of Acts (check out 19:23-41). Philip's experience with the eunuch exists as an outlier--a real exception to the rule.

So, if it was difficult, awkward, and painful for the apostles to proclaim the gospel, what should we expect for ourselves as we seek to do the same? Let's be thankful for the successes, but let's also recognize that these will be the minority. May we never be deterred by the odds, but motivated all the more to reach the world for Christ, without whom we perish.

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