When Fear Gets in the Way of Sharing the Gospel

I know I’m supposed to share the gospel. But fear always seems to get in the way.

To wit: I once had a conversation with a staunchly liberal (and probably unsaved) lady in my town. I invited her to my church and mentioned how faith inspires us to love the least of these. As I walked away, though, I realized I had only wanted to talk about topics she wanted to hear. I held back the portions of the gospel that caused friction with her worldview — namely, that Jesus is the only way to the Father.

On another occasion, I discussed faith with a deeply conservative (and probably unsaved) man. After I explained my interest in international missions, he said, “I hope you don’t leave the country. I hate any country that’s not America.” I didn’t know how to respond, so I didn’t. I held back the portions of the gospel that caused friction with his worldview — namely, the parts about Jesus saving us to share his good news to the ends of the earth.

In both instances, fear prohibited me from sharing parts of the gospel my listeners didn’t want to hear. So I stayed away from controversial topics. And both of them heard something less than the full gospel message.

Continue reading

Sermon | Hope in Fearful Times (Matthew 10:26-33)

“God was greater than the disciples’ fears. And today, God is still greater than our fears. Through the world feels more hostile to us by the day, God is greater. Though we feel spiritually homeless in our own homeland, God is greater.”

Every day, we feel like we’re increasingly strangers in the world. Most of all, we feel fear. But in Matthew 10:26-33, Jesus has an important message for us: God is greater than our fear.

Delivered by Nathaniel at Cedar Rock First Baptist Church on July 24, 2016.

4 Ways to Pray for Baton Rouge

Last Sunday, we awoke to yet another tragedy. Three law enforcement officers were killed and three more injured in Baton Rouge, mere weeks after the death of Alton Sterling.

As I saw the horrific news develop, I wanted to know how I could pray for this city reeling in pain and division. So I reached out to Katie Harris, a friend who serves in Baton Rouge with AmeriCorps. Since she lives and ministers within the city, I knew she’d be able to help me know how to pray.

She offered four ways I can pray for the city. I hope that these help you pray as well.

Continue reading

Sermon | Jesus’ Missions Drivers Ed. (Matthew 10:5-25)

“You don’t become a follower of God by where you live, or who your parents are, or how religious you think you are. You become a follower of God by accepting and believing the gospel message.”

In Matthew 10:5-25, Jesus gives his disciples tips for their upcoming mission — and tips for the future. We dig into the text to see what Jesus is teaching us about our mission.

Delivered by Pastor Nathaniel at Cedar Rock First Baptist Church on July 17, 2016.