July 23, 2002 ē By Ed Wrather
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. - Romans 1:16.
In the face off between the Indian and Pakistani armies in Kashmir life continues on. There is a Jammu and Kashmir State Cable Car Corporation that continues to operate at Gulmarg a mountain resort in the area of confrontation. Their gondolas come within three miles of what is called the "Line of ControlĒ separating the Pakistani and Indian armies. The gondolas do receive occasional ground fire but still people show up to ride them so that they may go hiking, skiing, and golfing at the resort.
Isnít it amazing the risks that people will take to do the things they enjoy? Imagine people risking their lives so that they may hike, ski or golf! Significant numbers of people have been killed while golfing during lightning storms. Many have been killed while skiing and running into obstacles such as trees. Many have been killed while hiking through weather related events or by wild animals such as bears and mountain lions. And how many have been killed or injured while taking a dip in the surf by a shark or even a jellyfish? Think of the risks some people take while speeding in traffic in order to arrive at their destination a few moments sooner. Think of the risk that someone takes whenever they continue to light up cigarette after cigarette knowing the potential it has to cause cancer and heart disease. Thatís not even to mention all those users of illegal substances (i.e., drugs) and abusers of legal substances. Amazing what we will do for our personal enjoyment!
Now that I have angered and alienated all hikers, skiers, golfers, swimmers, surfers, speeders, smokers and drug users let me try to get to the point. The point is that we are willing to take even deadly risks to do what many would consider unnecessary (unnecessary in terms of survival) things. However, many who are willing to take those risks are not willing to take the risk of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with another person. Why? Now it is true that in some countries and situations sharing the Gospel can be of greater risk than in other places. In some countries you can lose your life for sharing the gospel, or lose your job, or lose your home, or lose contact with your family and other things can happen as well. However, in much of the world there are very little consequences for sharing the Gospel. What is it that we risk? At the most we risk embarrassment, alienation of a friend or relative, possibly job loss or loss of employment advancement potential. Not that those things cannot be significant but compared to the risk of death those are very small risks.
Is it that we do not want to take the risk or is it that we are really deep down inside a little ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ? I canít answer that question for you. However, if it has been years or perhaps you have never shared your faith with another person then it may very well be that you are ashamed and are trying to hide your relationship with Jesus. The apostle Paul has truly given us a great and wonderful example to follow. Once Paul knew Christ as his Savior he was never ashamed of Him and never turned away from the opportunity to boldly share Christ. What about you and me? Let us within the next week make a stand, draw a line in the sand, and share the gospel, tell someone of our faith and love for Jesus. May it just be the beginning!