There are times when it’s wise not to say certain things. It would be foolish and dangerous to yell “Fire!” in a dark, crowded theater when there was no fire. Say something about a bomb in the airport screening line, and you will quickly be taken into custody for questioning. Make fun of someone who is already upset with you, and you will just make him more angry. It’s better to remain quiet, rather than create trouble by speaking.
Do you ever hesitate to speak about Jesus for the same reason? Objecting to someone misusing the Lord’s name may make the person lash out at you. Explain to a coworker that you believe Jesus is the only way to heaven could cost a friendship. Tell a neighbor that everyone needs forgiveness because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), and the response might be, “If God is loving, He’ll accept me just as I am. Leave me alone.” Why risk speaking up? Why not just keep quiet?
When the Jewish authorities told Peter and John not to speak anymore in Jesus’ name, they responded, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Their hearts were so filled with love and gratitude to the Lord for doing away with their sin on the cross, that they just had to share the news with others. The persecution which would come was a small price to pay for the privilege of giving others the word of life.
No doubt there have been times when all of us have kept quiet about our faith in Jesus to avoid an uncomfortable moment or the ridicule of others. Like Peter in the high priest’s courtyard, we have denied Jesus rather than confess Him. But those sins too were nailed to the cross with Jesus. He suffered for them and won our peace with God. May that gift of full and free forgiveness fill us with such love and courage that going forward we will gladly speak up with the news that Jesus came for all people in order to take away their sins and open heaven to them.
There are times to keep quiet, but when we have opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, let’s speak up, that the Spirit may accomplish His saving work in many more hearts.
Yours in Christ,
Services are at 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Help would be appreciated after second service to move desks out of the kindergarten room in preparation for VBS on Monday.