[forthright] The Liberty to Speak the Gospel of Christ

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 20:02:42 -0300
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: FINAL PHASE

The Liberty to Speak the Gospel of Christ
  by J. Randal Matheny, editor
  http://is.gd/speak

Whenever you speak God's words to people, they are
reacting, not to you, but to God, for you have divine
authority behind you. Never cower, never back down,
when people rant and rail against you, for God's word
must be spoken.

"The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one
who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me
rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16 NET).

And reject the gospel people will, especially those
who call themselves religious. The people who talk
most about love, grace, and mercy will be the ones to
revile you most. Like the Pharisees and Saducees of
old, those who consider themselves as God's people
will consign you to the fire and sear you as nicely as
your Fourth of July steak.

"Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all
authority. Let no one disregard you" (Titus 2:15 ESV).

The lovey-dovey crowd love intimidation. They will try
shaming you. They'll accuse you of arrogance. They
attempt to make you think that you, of all people,
have no room or right to speak in such terms. You
speak with such certainty, you who are ignorant of
history, culture, hermeneutics, ancient languages, and
theological thought.

"Therefore, everyone who will confess me before men, I
will also confess him before my Father who is in
heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I will also
deny him before my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew
10:32-33 MSV).

To confess means to continue preaching the gospel
truth when others reject it and exert pressure to make
you stop. This is not a baptismal passage, but a
missionary text. The context is persecution for the
message of the gospel. When push comes to shove, keep
speaking.

"The one who receives you receives me, and the one who
receives me receives the One who sent me" (Matthew
10:40).

God takes personally a man's reaction to the gospel.
The Saul who persecuted the church persecuted the
church's Lord. You may be mouthing the words, but he
considers himself the speaker. The treatment you get
from others is how they treat the Creator. When you
stand in God's will -- and you are and you do -- you
are God's ambassador.

As God's representative, you have complete liberty to
speak the Good News, no matter what anyone else says
or does.

And that, my friend, is the best kind of liberty.

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