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What is it that keeps us from sharing the gospel with others? What prevents me from taking the time to meet other people who need to hear the good news of God’s saving work in Jesus Christ? With this post, I hope to begin a series looking at what keeps me (and likely you) from sharing the gospel with others…and propose a biblical solution to try and address the issue.

Barrier #1: Fear of Man

Let me start with the barrier which is probably the most common. We can be hesitant to share the good news with others because we are afraid of how they will respond. In most cases for me, I am afraid of looking “uncool” or creating some sort of awkward tension as a result of bringing up the topic. We might be afraid of losing a friend or having family members think that we have joined a cult. I extreme cases we might fear losing our job or having family members disown us. The bottom line is that we are afraid of how others will receive us or our message and how they might respond to us. This is what the bible refers to as the fear of man.

Even in the first century, there were believers who had to deal with the fear of man. John 12:42-43 tells us about religious leaders who believed in Jesus, but for fear of the Pharisees they would not make a public confession. Thankfully, John also pinpoints the problem when he adds, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (12:43). In other words, they cared more about what people thought about them than what God did.

Solution #1: Fear of God

So how do fight against the fear of man? Do we just have to muster up courage and try harder? No…we need to fight fear with fear. Jesus himself said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can kill both body and soul in hell” (Matthew 10:28). In other words, if we are going to overcome our fear of man, we must have a greater fear of God. We must view God’s power and God’s approval as more important that man’s. Like David, we must remember that the battle belongs to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47).

How foolish is it for us to fear men? They are created beings like you and me. Their strength and their wisdom are limited. Their lives are but a mere breath in eternity. Their opinions will not last forever. Any pain or suffering that they may cause us is limited to this life. On the other hand, God has no beginning and no end. His strength is unmatched and his wisdom is without limits. He alone is eternal and what He thinks will ultimately last forever. May we all long to here God say of us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”