What Stops You?

The Stoning of Stephen by Rembrandt

While studying today I found this gem.

“The moment you begin to testify for the Lord, someone will oppose you. . . .
John Calvin lived in Switzerland as a refugee from France. John Knox, the Scottish Presbyterian, lived in danger of his life, because of government opposition to his preaching. John Wesley was stoned, as riots were aroused against him. At one place in John Wesley’s diary he writes that no one had thrown any rotten eggs and vegetables at him for several days. He writes, ‘I wonder whether I am still preaching the Gospel.'”

Plain Talk on Acts, Manford Gutzke, Ph.D., p. 76

A lot of pastors (and their congregations) today assume they are doing something wrong when they experience opposition from the culture. It shows how quickly we forget that our Lord was not just opposed, but persecuted. The apostles were not just opposed, but persecuted. The great saints of our Christian past, in every age, were not just opposed, but persecuted. When persecution diminished, Wesley wondered if the gospel he preached was becoming too soft!

What stops you?

What keeps you from boldly proclaiming the gospel? That’s the question I am asking my soul today. What keeps you from risking everything for the proclamation of the gospel to Christ-needing people? Whatever it is, whatever would close my mouth and whispers to my spirit,

  • “Don’t do it!”
  • “Don’t risk it!”
  • “They won’t understand.”
  • “They will judge you.”
  • “They will avoid you.”
  • “They will dislike you.”
  • “They will reject you.”

Whatever it might be, I want to get rid of it. I want to despise it in myself and give God’s Spirit a freer reign to make me bold for His glory and the eternal joy of those for whom Christ came to save. What else is there to live for that has eternal significance and maximizes eternal joy?

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