young man, I did a lot of foolish things in order to
gain the acceptance of my friends.
Even as a young adult, I can remember too many
instances in which I committed acts of stupidity in
order to fit in. Now
as a more experienced adult, I find I still am not
immune to this. Peer
pressure is a dynamic that we all have to deal with in
our lives. We
all feel a desire for acceptance by our friends and
co-workers, and that influences our behavior – often
dynamic also plays out in the broader level of entire
ever-fluctuating list of social norms rules what is
typically acceptable behavior in a society.
This is good in many instances.
A society that values human life will find
behaviors that minimize the importance of human life to
be abnormal and unacceptable.
However, we find ourselves living in an
increasingly secular society, in which claims to
absolute truth in religion are deemed divisive and
secular social dynamic has made public expressions of
our faith taboo, and many of us are reluctant to
proclaim even the name of our savior with confidence.
We can no longer afford to let societal pressures
make us ashamed of our faith, or afraid to publicly
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Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s
Purse is someone I admire for his fearless
proclamation of the gospel – regardless of the venue.
I’ve seen him interviewed many times on many
different subjects on the various cable news networks.
No matter what topic he is invited to discuss, he
always finds a way to bring it around to proclaim the
good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Some in our secular society that promote
tolerance of all faiths and practices except
Christianity criticize Graham for being divisive.
I think he’s a good example of what being a
fearless contender is all about.
ever noticed that even Christians sometimes have
difficulty saying the name of Jesus Christ around people
who are unbelievers?
We find it easy to say “God,” but seem to
choke on the name of Jesus.
Why is that? I think it comes from a fear of being slapped with a
“divisive” or “exclusivist” label.
With the exception of atheists, many religions
profess a faith in some sort of god.
Therefore, it is not a big risk to speak of God.
However, many cringe when we speak the name of
name of Jesus goes unspoken long enough, it becomes
accepted as a social taboo.
Our silence and reticence in proclaiming the
gospel of JESUS is contributing to the marginalization
of our faith. How
can we expect people to want to put their faith in
Someone whose name we are afraid to speak?
Christian needs to take a moment of introspection.
We must examine what it means to be a Christian.
Think about the inimitable grace we have been
shown through the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Ponder the boundless love that omnipotent God
demonstrated by justifying us through the shed blood of
that we are, in and of ourselves, completely unworthy of
the salvation that Jesus freely gives us.
Now, ask yourselves if Jesus has asked too much
of us in commanding us to share his name among all
nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
Is it too great a sacrifice on our part to say
His name publicly and proudly?
If we don’t start proclaiming the gospel of
Jesus Christ collectively and individually, His name
will continue to slide into social obscurity, and our
message will become a social taboo.
Are we grateful to God for our salvation?
Do we understand and comprehend the depths of His
love that He showed us as He hung on the cross, bearing
our sins? Jesus
doesn’t want us to be ashamed of Him (Luke 9:26).
Paul exhorted Timothy, and all of us, to present
ourselves as approved workmen, who “need not be
ashamed” (2 Timothy 2:15).
In Romans 1:16, Paul said something very moving:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the
power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
May we never be too embarrassed or afraid to say
the name of our Lord who purchased our salvation through
the shedding of His blood.
Let us all commit ourselves to being fearless
contenders, boldly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus
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