“And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. However, Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” Acts 8:1-4, NIV
Eddie Rickenbacker was a famous military pilot who earned the nickname of “The American Ace” during the First World War. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross by the United States Government for his notable service. By the time of World War II, he served as a confidential adviser to the Secretary of War concerning aircraft. While on an inspection tour in the South Pacific in October 1942, his plane was forced down. He and his crew spent 24 days floating on a raft in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. They almost died for lack of food and water, but miraculously a sea gull landed on their raft one day. They captured the bird and ate it. It gave them enough nourishment to last a little while longer, long enough in fact to be rescued.
1.6 billion People in the world have never even heard the name “Jesus.” The church of Jesus Christ has politely ignored these faceless people afloat in the sea of lost souls. Six out of 10 people living in North Carolina have no connection with a church. Of the people who do, 52% say that they have never had a born-again experience with Jesus Christ. To the 220 million unchurched and the 94 million unsaved church members in America, I sadly say, “the sea gull of hope is not coming.” Data shows that only 40 million Americans say they have been born again, of them only 10 million feel any responsibility to help share the gospel at all, and only 2 million have ever led another person to Christ. I am left to conclude that for 314 million Americans and the 1.6 billion people worldwide, only 2 million of us are trying to get the gospel of Jesus to you. Therefore, I must sadly say the sea gull is not coming - you have no hope.
God does not have grandchildren! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills! He created the universe! Everything that exists ultimately belongs to Him, but God does not have grandchildren. You and I do not gain eternal life by our genealogy, only through our birth into God's family. Salvation is a birthing process. It is not genealogically inherited. You are not saved because your parents are saved; like Nicodemus, you must be born again. God must become our Father; He can never be our grandfather.
I want to share with you an acrostic for the word "gospel." If the lost are to be saved, Christians must “go openly sharing and preaching to everybody the love of God = gospel.” Before I share this acrostic; notice our Scripture. Verse 4 tells us "Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went." Now lest you think these were the apostles whom Jesus had spent three years training, let us move back up to verse one; notice that it states," and all except the apostles were scattered..."
Here, the author makes it clear that, the Christians of the early church proclaimed the gospel wherever they were scattered. The notion that only preachers, pastors, and evangelist are to share the gospel is unbiblical. The fact is that the Bible clearly teaches that you are to be a witness for Christ - no if, ands, or buts. If you are not sharing Jesus, you are being disobedient to the teaching of God's Word!
So what do you do if you realize that you are not sharing the gospel? Repent for your failure of being a soul-winner and of missed opportunity. Does God really expect you and me to be a soul-winner? Yes!
“Lord, help me to share the gospel of Jesus with the people I come in to contact with today. Teach me to be brave and unafraid in sharing Jesus with others. Lord, help me to be a soul-winner for you. Amen.”