I recently had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with a young man in a foreign country who grew up in a family that taught that the way to God is only through believing the message of a different book than the Bible. After sharing the Gospel with him for a couple of hours I pleaded with him to take my Bible read the story of Jesus for himself to see how different his story is from this other religious book.
Although he listened intently to everything that I told him about Jesus and seemed to want to believe it… he would not accept my Bible because he said that his father would disown him or kill him if he came home with it. This is where my mind went:
If Jesus is not who He said He was then we have no hope.
We love the Gospel and we share it freely, but sometimes people reject it. I pray this boy will accept it and that Jesus will hound him until he does. Rejecting the Gospel is the most short-sighted decision a person could ever make. We cannot force anyone to believe, but let me try to make a compelling argument from 10 of the most awe-inspiring statements Jesus made in just the first 3 chapters of the Gospel of Mark.
Jesus is who he said He was. The world does have hope. And here is why: Because Jesus said,
1. Repent and believe the good news. (Mark 1:15)
We all have a terminal problem, and He is the only one who knows the remedy.
2. Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. (Mark 1:17)
We are all following some ideal or some person. Jesus claimed to be the only One worth following. The world walks in circles… Jesus is walking on the path of abundant life.
3. Be silent, and come out of him! (Mark 1:25)
Jesus has authority over the spiritual realm. We do not. People are fearful evil spirits because on our own they are defenseless against their evil schemes. Yet Jesus has ALL authority over the spiritual realm. He is your shield if you put your faith in him.
4. I am willing… be clean! (Mark 1:41)
Jesus had authority over the physical realm. He demonstrated this by healing people’s diseases. This doesn’t mean that all of our ailments will always be healed when we trust in Jesus. But it gives us confidence, even in suffering, that we are in the palm of Jesus’ hand. And one day after we die and join him in Paradise, we will be healed.
5. Son, your sins are forgiven. (Mark 2:5)
Jesus demonstrated authority over sin. We all are cursed by our own sinful rebellion toward God. Sin is like a terminal disease we all have. It ends in death. Only Jesus can remove the terminal disease of sin that is relentlessly ravaging our lives toward a tragic death and eternal separation from our Maker who loves us and sent his son to die for us.
6. Why are you thinking these things? (Mark 2:8)
Jesus knew the thoughts of people who doubted him. You cannot hide from God, he knows your inmost being. No one can fool God. Rather he just wants us to be honest with him about our doubts. He will do the convincing from there.
7. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners. (Mark 2:17)
Jesus loves sinners like you and me. Trying to please God through good works and religious behavior is a waste of precious time. Instead just admit you are a sinner and feel the joy of being swept up in the Loving Heavenly Father’s arms like a daddy who embraces an honest child who confesses he did something wrong and is sorry for it.
8. No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. (Mark 2:21)
Jesus did not come to fix the broken system of human-centered religion. He to gave himself as a ransom for many.
9. If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (Mark 3:24)
Jesus is not just fully human, he is fully God. He is one with the Heavenly Father. The Heavenly Father offered his only begotten son to the world as a sacrifice for their sins. The Father loves His son Jesus, so if you reject Him, you are rejecting the Father, and there is no hope for you if that is your choice. Don’t try to swim to shore on your own. The Bible makes it clear that you will most assuredly drown. Accept Jesus’ saving hand.
10. Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. (Mark 3:35)
The family of God is made up of people who have repented of their sins and believed in God’s son, Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
If you are looking for ways to sharpen your skills in sharing the Gospel, you may want to check out this resource: NEVER STOP SOWING | 7 Steps to Spreading the Gospel in Your Field of Relationships