It was an early weekday morning back in the B.C. (Before Coronavirus) era. I was at my regular Starbucks and was sitting next to the drive-thru window minding my own business and deep in thought. Even in the early morning the drive-thru line is usually busy, but there just happened to be an absence of vehicles as I raised my head and looked outside. What I saw next was not expected to put it mildly. Sauntering slowly down the drive- thru was a very large raccoon! The raccoon meandered down the drive- thru lane, made a sharp right at the order board, and then proceeded to stroll through the parking lot.
When I first saw the raccoon I had one thought: This is amazing news and I’ve got to tell somebody. So I did something that is completely opposite of how I am wired. In fact, I still can’t believe I did this. I stood up and yelled very loudly to the baristas in the store: “Hey! Listen up! There’s a raccoon walking in the drive-thru.” All the baristas immediately stopped what they were doing. Everyone left their work stations and we all went to the southerly window to see the raccoon now plodding through the parking lot and then exiting our view. After that, it was all we could talk about because it was amazing news and amazing news needs to be told and discussed.
All of us like to share events that occur in our life. It could be a vacation recently taken, attending a sporting event or a play, receiving a promotion at work, or even seeing a raccoon in the drive-thru at Starbucks. Sharing these events is often effortless, but it can be difficult to share the greatest news ever – the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation. Why? There are many reasons (or excuses). Here are just a few: Fear; being introverted; not being aware when an opportunity presents itself; not praying for an opportunity; not sure what to say; insecurity. Yet we all can be encouraged because God is our refuge and our strength; He is there for us to help us, and this includes sharing the good news.
And the good news is now needed more than ever in our unsettled world. What is the good news or the gospel? The gospel is the good news that God loves the world enough to give His only Son to die for our sin (John 3:16). The gospel is good news because our salvation and eternal life and home in heaven are literally guaranteed through Christ (John 14:1-4). The gospel is good news when we understand that we do not (and cannot) earn our salvation because the work of redemption and justification is complete, having been finished on the cross (John 19:30), as Jesus took all our sins (1 John 2:2). The gospel is good news that we have been reconciled by the blood of Christ and adopted into the family of God (Romans 5:10). The gospel is the good news that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
In fact, the Roman Road clearly spells out the gospel.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16)
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinner, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
A core value of our church is relentless evangelism. It says: “We believe that multiplying disciples is Jesus’ strategy for reaching the world, and it starts with engaging nonbelievers with the goal of sharing the gospel. God has called us to this locally, regionally, and globally. We are a church that reaches the world, one person at a time.” May we all recommit ourselves and be bold in sharing the good news.