It Is Necessary

Saint Francis of Assisi is reported to have said, “Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.”

First of all, it is doubtful whether he actually said this. Second, I understand the heart behind the sentiment.  Our lives need to match our message before we think we have any credibility to speak with others. I very much agree with this.

However, words are always necessary. Paul asks three simple questions: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). People need to hear the gospel.  Seeing is not enough.

Where Christ has not been named

The Apostle Paul had a consuming desire. He desired to preach Christ where Christ was not known so that he wouldn’t build on any man’s foundation (Romans 15:20). A similar desire has driven many missionaries to foreign lands to make Christ known.

In recent days I have had the opportunity here in America to share the good news of Jesus to people who have never heard of the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Although we live in a nation where churches abound, there are many who still haven’t heard. You don’t need to go to a foreign land to proclaim Christ where He has never been named.


I have some friends who absolutely love fishing. They love getting up early in the morning and going to their favorite fishing spots and spending hours casting their hook into the water, in hopes of landing the big one. I have friends who will take special trips for many days to go to places where they know that the fishing is good. I knew one man who told me that he goes fishing every Saturday of the year. In the summer it meant out on in boat on the water someplace. In the winter it meant in a temporary shelter on the lake while ice fishing.

When Jesus called His first disciples (who were fishermen), He told them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). These men knew fishing.  They knew that it was hard word and that it took a great deal of effort to lure the fish into the net.  Jesus took everything that they knew about fishing and told them that they would soon be fishing for men, bringing men into the kingdom. Many parallels exist.  Fishing for men is hard work and it takes much effort to bring people into the kingdom. But, that’s what Jesus calls His followers to do.

Now, unlike fishing, you can’t take people into the kingdom by force.  You need to speak with them of Christ and His sacrifice for sins. You need to show them through your life the genuine joy that comes through living for another world, despite the troubles and hardships of life. You need to love them and pray for them. You need to trust God to reveal Himself to them.

When Your Life Matters

I spent a portion of my evening tonight watching some football.  A commercial for GE kept coming on during the breaks.  The commercial consisted of testimonies of the technology breakthroughs that they have made regarding cancer research.  One man (pictured above) said, “You see someone who was saved from this technology and you know that the things that you do in this life matter.”

What is true in the physical realm is especially true in the spiritual realm.  When you see someone who is saved through your words bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to them, you know that the things you do in life matter. “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4).