This COVID-19 pandemic is something unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetime. But one thing it definitely is is an opportunity to share the gospel. It’s a chance for us to proclaim the truth to the world in a completely new context.
Today, we’re going to see two instructions and one truth to help us share the gospel during this pandemic. These come from 2 Corinthians 4:1-6.
Don’t Lose Heart in Ministry
The first instruction for sharing the gospel is to not lose heart.
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.– 2 Corinthians 4:1 (ESV)
The apostle Paul had plenty of reason to lose heart during his ministry, particularly with regards to the Corinthians. They were rejecting him. There was a lot of conflict in that relationship. And besides that, there were all kinds of other hardships.
What didn’t Paul and Timothy lose heart? Because they had this ministry “by the mercy” of God. They recognized that they deserved death, but instead received forgiveness and reconciliation. Not only that, God gave them the awesome privilege to share this good news.
The key to not losing heart in ministry is to remember that we are swimming in a pool of God’s mercy all the time. We are way better off than we deserve.
Just Tell the Truth
First off, don’t lose heart when trying to minister and share the gospel. Remember that anything we have is way more than we deserve. Secondly, just tell the truth. This comes from verse 2:
But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
Paul didn’t need to manipulate or tamper with God’s Word in order to be successful. All he did was tell the truth about Jesus. He didn’t try to make anything happen by being sneaky or manipulative.
We shouldn’t feel any pressure to make people accept the gospel. We should feel passionate but not pressured.
There may be people in your life that you’ve shared the gospel with so many times, but they’ve never accepted Christ. And you might feel like a failure – like you just haven’t been creative enough to make it happen. But you need to know this: we’re just supposed to share the “open statement of the truth.” Just be up-front, share the gospel plainly and leave salvation up to God.
In our interactions with others, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to speak the truth. It might not be the full gospel, but it could be part of it. It could be about God – that He’s the Creator and in control. Or it could be about sin – disease exists because the world is messed up with sin. Whatever truth it might be, we should feel the boldness to speak up.
Not Everyone Will See It
As we share the gospel and minister as Christians, we need to understand that not everyone will see it. Not everyone will be able to see the goodness of the gospel.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.– 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
When people reject the gospel, it’s not because of the presentation. It’s not a marketing problem, it’s a spiritual blindness problem. People don’t turn away from the good news of Jesus Christ because we didn’t do a good enough job of making it appealing. They turn away because they can’t see it.
Paul says this a little differently in verses 5-6:
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
You can’t make the gospel any more glorious than it is. It is inherently attractive. The problem is, people have been spiritually blinded by Satan. They can’t see it unless God Himself removes the veil and overcomes it.
When it comes to sharing the gospel, all we can do is speak the truth and pray for God to make the miracle of salvation happen. It’s not our job to make people see the glory of the gospel.
To wrap things up . . .
As you try to share the gospel amid COVID-19, don’t lose heart. Just tell the truth. And remember that not everyone will be able to see it.
Right now is a great opportunity for us to minister. People are uneasy, anxious and afraid – but we have the way, the truth and the life in Christ. We need to speak up about it as much as possible.
Devotional streamed on Facebook Live – Friday, Apr. 3 @ 3:00 PM