Have you ever bet on something? It’s easy to make a bet when the stakes are low, say, buying dinner or doing the dishes. But what if the stakes are high? What if the cost of losing the bet would totally change your life? When it comes to the Great Commission, the stakes are very high—life and death, to be specific. Have you ever met a Christian who seemed a little too radical? Maybe they couldn’t stop talking about Jesus…maybe they even were a little embarrassing? Paul was so radical that even when he was put in jail for talking about Jesus, he only cared about the gospel being preached. He said, “My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news. The Roman guards and all the others know that I am here in jail because I serve Christ. Now most of the Lord's followers have become brave and are fearlessly telling the message” (Philippians 1:12-14). Why was Paul willing to risk his life for the sake of the message about Jesus being told?
"For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." Acts 4:20
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
It is because life and death are at stake. The only way for someone to be saved from sin and receive eternal life is through faith in Jesus. There is no other way. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6). So, if someone doesn’t hear about Jesus, they face eternity in hell. And Jesus has entrusted the job to us—His followers. That is why Paul didn’t care about being put in jail, about being beaten, made fun of, excluded, and eventually killed for the gospel. He knew everything he went through would be worth people being saved from their sins. Have you ever run a race before? You have to train your body with long, hard hours of exercise and give up certain foods and activities to be in the best shape. But the end goal of winning the race makes it worth it. If you can understand the eternal difference you preaching the gospel can make in others' lives, it will drive you to sacrifice great things for it. Ask God right now to help you understand what is at stake eternally and how you can make a difference.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21