Do you ever feel intimidated at the prospect of telling others about the good news of Jesus Christ? It’s not uncommon to meet resistance or at least indifference when you speak to others about the Gospel message. A quote from the prophet Ezekiel gave me a helpful insight.
Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels, who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The people also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them; and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit upon scorpions; be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house…. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth, and eat what I give you.(Ezekiel 2:3-6, 8)
Strong words, these. But I think that many Christians, as we’ve tried to tell others about the Lord Jesus, can resonate with them. The resistance just seems to be part of our society these days. When I have spoken with the evangelism staff and students involved in Koinonia, an evangelistic outreach to university students here in London (UK), I have come to see that it’s particularly tough going for them, as they speak to their fellow students.
In reading this passage over again, I have had a growing conviction that all disciples of Christ, I in my suburban neighbourhood and at the school gate, Christians on campus, and you, wherever you find yourself, must not be afraid, but like Ezekiel must stand up and proclaim the kingdom of God.
When I was a student at university, I was very much like the people described in Ezekiel. I was set on going my own way, heedless of God’s ways or his plan – in a word, stubborn – to my own great harm. But then I came across some fellow students from University Christian Outreach who weren’t put off by my resistance to God.
They kept speaking his truth to me in love and showed me his love in their actions. Because of them, I got a new start. I received the power of the Holy Spirit and began to focus less on myself and more and more on bringing his life to others.
I’m glad that people were there back then, so that we could hear God’s word, and I’m glad that people in Koinonia today keep at the often unpopular task of telling their fellow students about Jesus Christ.
Top photo credit: Bible study group, from Bigstock.com, copyright © by monkeybusinessimages, stock photo ID# 46459834
Born and brought up in The Netherlands, Mercy Potter moved to London (UK) in 1984 to study Classical Archaeology and was found by University Christian Outreach (UCO) where she encountered Jesus in a profound way. Following her studies she joined the Antioch Community where she met her husband, Hugh Potter. They have four adult children. Mercy is currently serving on the community leadership team.