What does it mean to be ashamed of the gospel? Most believers aren’t ashamed of the gospel in private, or when it is safe. We will pray when we’re alone, read the Bible when no one is watching, and attend church with other Christians who believe like we do. But are we ashamed of the gospel in public when we don’t have a group of believers at our back? Will we stand up for what is right when it isn’t popular? Will we share our faith with an unbeliever knowing that we might get shut down or rejected? In Romans 1:16, Paul says:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
Paul preached the gospel even when it wasn’t popular; even when there were major consequences for doing it. I think of being ashamed of the gospel much the same way that I look at being friends with someone who is unpopular, dating someone who isn’t attractive, or being forced to take your kid sister to an event with you where your reputation is at stake. In private, these people may be great. The unpopular friend may be your very best friend. The unattractive girlfriend may have you falling in love with her. And at home, you may love playing with your kid sister. But in public, you may feel embarrassed to be with the very same people you’re happy to be with in private. Let that not be how we treat the gospel. Let us not be ashamed to let anyone know that we love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We should never be ashamed of the gospel, even when it isn’t popular. Jesus tells us that if we deny him before men, he will deny us before the Father. On the contrary, we should be excited about the good news of the gospel because as Paul puts it, “it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”. Not everyone will accept the gospel. Some will even be hostile to it. Others may judge you because of your belief in it. And still others may change their opinion of you because of your faith. But if you look at the big picture, nothing is more important than the salvation given to us through Jesus. He died for us. And we shouldn’t deny him to anyone.