Michael Brown: In 2019, Speak Up and Speak Out for the Gospel of Jesus Christ

May I propose a New Year’s resolution for 2019? Let’s determine to speak up and to speak out, to raise our voices with clarity and compassion, to refuse to hold back regardless of cost or consequence. Will you join me?

To those of you who are already doing this, I encourage you to continue to stand strong.

To those who are not, now is most certainly the time. What are you waiting for?

One of the most important principles taught by Jesus was that if we try to save our lives, we lose them. But if we lose our lives for Him – for the gospel – we find them.

To apply this concept to our contemporary situation, if we try to avoid controversy and conflict so as to preserve our presence on social media platforms, we lose our souls in the process. We become compromisers, fearers of man rather than fearers of God. We are no longer guided by conviction; we are guided by convenience. We survive but we do not thrive.

If we speak what is right and do what is right and live what is right, we might lose a lot in the process, but we will find our souls. We become alive!

We can learn a lesson here from Wang Yi, pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. He was addressing the sinful policies of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is fashioning himself to be the new Mao and is actively persecuting Christians and other minorities.

In a sermon dated September 9, 2018, Pastor Yi said, “President Xi Jinping does not repent he will perish!”

Yes, he said, “The government he is leading has sinned greatly against God, for it is persecution the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and if he does not repent, he will perish!”

But won’t Pastor Yi suffer consequences for preaching such a message? No doubt. In fact, he was subsequently arrested and is currently imprisoned. Yet he still preached with boldness and conviction.

“When we are not being persecuted,” he said, “we spread the gospel. And when persecution comes, we continue spreading the gospel. If we are talking about a President, we declare he is a sinner. And if we are talking about a general secretary, we still declare that he is a sinner. We believe that we have the responsibility to tell Xi Jinping that he is a sinner.”

What a contrast with today’s “gospel of nice,” a PC-compliant, made-for-America message if ever there was one. Whatever you do, don’t offend! Better to skirt the truth. Better to mislead. Just be sure to smile and be nice!

Of course, we should speak the truth in love. With broken hearts. With compassion.

Being mean is no more Christian than being weak.

But if ever there was time to crucify our cowardice, it is now. If ever there was a time to speak up and to speak out, regardless of cost or consequence, it is now. If we don’t, day by day, our freedoms will be taken from us, one at a time, until we find ourselves confined to a tiny, silent corner. This is how those words of Jesus’ apply.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown

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