If you are a believer, and you understand Jesus Christ has saved your soul and has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit with all its power and resources at your disposal, why wouldn’t you share Christ’s message of salvation unashamedly?
This is the question pastors must ask their congregations continually if we are to win our communities to Christ. There can be no more excuses if we truly want to be on fire for Christ.
“I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).
What about the fire?
We know who the Holy Spirit is, but what about this fire? The fire is what is burning inside of you. This fire that has been building up in you since the day you were saved. This fire is the fire to be a witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This fire, when let loose, will become a blaze that cannot and will not be stopped.
I came to know Christ as Savior at age 11 and I remember after I was saved, I went to school that next week, and as soon as I hit that playground, I told everyone I could I was saved. I proclaimed so loudly, the whole playground was listening to what I had to say. I was excited, and I had to share it. I was on fire for Christ because of the flame he had placed in me. This is the fire we should talking about, where we are so excited about our salvation and our rescue from hell that we must share it with others. We are unabated in our witness.
So often, our fire is kindling and never gets to the burning stage. An opportunity to witness may be right before us, but we fail to burn. We shy away with excuses of “not ready,” “haven’t been to church long enough,” “don’t know the words to say,” “don’t have my Bible with me” or “I can, preach but witnessing is different.” Have we forgotten the Holy Spirit lives within us, who is the very presence of God? And have we forgotten that all the angels in heaven are behind us?
You see, just because you have the Holy Spirit and the fire within you does not mean it is burning brightly. The Holy Spirit empowers us to be bold believers, but the Holy Spirit does not force us to be bold believers. Have you experienced a time when you failed to witness to someone, when you knew you should have and it begins to burn you up inside? You cannot stop thinking about it. You worry that person will forever turn their back on Christ, so you pray for Christ to provide another opportunity or for someone else to be a witness to them.
Every witnessing opportunity you let go by is like allowing a person who does not know a building is burning to walk inside anyway. It is fatal.
Every believer needs the fire burning brightly in their lives, but more importantly, those without Christ need the fire in lives of those who are saved. The world needs the church to be on fire for Christ. People every day are walking into the burning building and do not even know it. Let the church, let every believer rise up and proclaim, “There is a hell, and people are going there everyday. But that does not have to be you.”
Let the fire of Christ burn brightly for the world to see, for the church has kindled long enough.
Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.