“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; you have feared continually everyday because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?”
Yesterday evening I attended a joint Christian fellowship evangelical event because someone invited me and I thought it might be a good opportunity to share my beliefs with other Christians and try to spread awareness of TJC. The event turned out to be a praise session followed by a video sermon given by John Piper followed by another praise session and prayer – not much of a venue for discussion and sharing. At the end, people could go to one of the dining halls for fellowship – a better venue for sharing.
Upon conclusion of the second praise session however, I had two conflicting thoughts: One. “Well that was easy; I didn’t have to go through any uncomfortable conversations or possible debates over different churches and doctrinal beliefs and such. Now I can go home before someone does ask me what fellowship I attend or what church I go to.” Two. “Should I go to the fellowship activity? Am I willing to explicitly talk about TJC with another Christian who will probably have disagreeing views? What if he or she immediately disregards me and TJC as proud and judgmental and narrow-minded?”
Thank God that I had talked with a few brothers and sisters about attending this event beforehand and that they were praying for me. I reminded myself that I justified going to this event by saying I could spread awareness of TJC and if I went home without telling at least someone about my beliefs, I would feel only regret and disappointment in myself – and so would God. I ended up going to the fellowship and talking with the person who invited me about how my beliefs were different and how TJC was different from other churches. And God was merciful; the person I was talking with initiated more of the questions about church so I didn’t even have to bring it up myself.
This morning I listened to a sermon based on Song of Solomon 4:12 – “You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” The speaker brought up Isaiah 51:12-13 as a supporting point that jolted me to think: Why did I have that struggle last night? Why was I afraid of what other people would think of TJC, forgetting that I was commissioned by the Lord, our Maker, the one who stretched out the heavens?
“And where is the fury of the oppressor?” When we make an effort to preach, in my experience, God has always made it easier for me. My “preaching” is received without ridicule or any form of persecution, atheist or Christian alike, but rather with curiosity and some extent of humility. There was none of the “fury” that I was afraid of – there was nothing to be afraid of after all.
Try it. Tell someone about True Jesus Church today 🙂