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Ashamed of the Gospel

September 12, 2010

This is hard for me to write and post publically, but I am sure others wrestle in the same way.

I have prayed for years for those I love who do not know Jesus to follow Him. I pray for God to draw them near. I pray for the eyes of their hearts to open. I pray for them to long to be close to Him. I pray many, many things. I deeply desire them to come to the innermost knowledge of the truth. Yet how deeply do I really care? How valuable is the Gospel, really? I question these things over my morning coffee cup.

I dream often. Sometimes I know it is just my quaky subconscious mixing together images in my mind. Sometimes, however, I experience distinct supernatural dreams I know come from the throne to teach me or show me something.

A few years ago one such dream came to me in the night. In the dream I knew God came to take me home to Heaven. As I surrendered to Him images flashed before my eyes like a person quickly flipping the channels on a television. I watched half-second glimpses of my life: my journey, my rebellions, God’s deliverance, and things He taught me. With every flash the shame deepened. He gave so much. He gave so much. How I wasted His investment! How many people did I petition Him for? How many times did I share the good news of His salvation?

Then even greater dread and urgency pounded in my chest. I screamed out, “What about Aunt Ferideh and Laura?” I knew they would be left behind not knowing Christ. His deep, calm, powerful voice responded, “yes, Seana, what about them?” Then I woke up. Shaken by His presence in my bedroom and the reality of the dream, I cried and cried and prayed in fear. “Lord, please show them! Lord, please show them!”

It has been four years since that dream. I have a close relationship with Laura and Aunt Ferideh, yet they still do not know Jesus Christ. I wrestle with my responsibility to love them and SHOW them Christ’s love. Yet how long? I fear for the outcome of their souls. I fear for them to be ever separated from Jesus Christ. I fear the torment that awaits for all those who reject Him. They have heard. I have told them. Yet they do not follow.

Sometimes I have this passion and urgency well up inside of me that screams in my heart, “Tell them again! Tell them again!” Then fear responds with its convincing retort, “You don’t want to push them away. You are the only person in their life that tries to follow Christ. They see. They will ask.” What is the truth in all of this? Which way do I go? How long do I pray? As long as it takes, of course. When am I to have another “come to Jesus” talk, if ever? Do I just remain diligent and steadfast in my prayers?

I have a friend who lives in a country hostile to the Gospel. People who profess Christ are tortured and killed. Yet she professes, witnesses, calls out people’s sin in boldness and love. She serves, she suffers, she cares. I want faith like that. I want to know how to proceed in drawing people to Christ. I fear two things.

First, I fear that what I say or do in my approach will turn them off from Him more than they already are. Secondly, I fear that if I don’t do anything they will forever be separated from Christ in Hell. It is like I am standing with two chains pulling each arm in different directions where I don’t move in any direction at all.

In searching the depths of my heart before the Father, I realize that part of my fear comes from being ashamed of the Gospel. How could that be? I am not ashamed! I live for the truth. I gave up my career to work in vocational ministry. I sacrifice the things of this world to follow Him.

No. I am not ashamed of the Gospel for MYSELF. I am ashamed of the Gospel for others. I am embarrassed that they have to humble themselves, repent, confess, and believe (Acts 2:38, James 4:6, Luke 13:3, Romans 10:9). I am uncomfortable that they cannot get to Heaven any other way (Acts 4:12). Why? Because out of their rejection of the truth, I feel they are rejecting me. So Jesus Himself taught us, “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16).

The bottom line comes down to something a friend taught me when she had to confront me on sin in my life. She said, “I care more about your relationship with God than I do about our friendship.” So, if I am rejected along with the Gospel, I will mourn. But if I am accepted without the Gospel, I will mourn for eternity.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 1:16).

Lord, please help me know what to do. Please use me to witness to Your grace and bring sight to those who do not see You. AMEN.

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2 comments

  1. My dearest Seana….

    I am in awe of how you use your gifts for the good of so many.

    You have written what is on my heart and I am sure of many others.

    You are a blessing to all who know you, including me.

    Love and God bless,

    Joni


  2. Amen.



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