One of the greatest causes of rejoicing is found within the great commission of Jesus. Jesus tells us to go out and make disciples of all nations. In the text, Paul is building off verses 15-17 where Christ is proclaimed for both good and bad reasons and then concludes in verse 18 that he rejoices in Christ being proclaimed.
Paul was a great missionary, whose efforts are still being felt today. Earlier in chapter 1, he lets the church in Philippi know that he is making much of Jesus while he is in prison.
Most of us don’t go to prison but yet Paul did because of Christ. If you were tried in court for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you or would you be let go because of false charges? For me, I wonder the same thing. I go to seminary, I preach, I teach, I run media and I go out evangelizing yet I ask the question as I try to remind myself that I need to make much of Jesus, not make much of Nicholas Murphy.
Friend evangelism is a great thing to rejoice in and let me give you three reasons why.
Christ is Being Made Known
Paul says “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”
Christ being made known causes rejoicing.
As we get closer to being in God’s presence Scripture tells us in Revelation that there will be people everywhere who know Jesus who will be in His presence worshiping Him. That puts a smile on my face to know that there will be people who aren’t like me worshiping Jesus around me. Why? Because Christ was made known to them.
I have friends who I like to hang out with that do the same things I do that don’t know Jesus. That is not something that causes me genuine happiness. It causes me to be genuinely happy to know that Jesus is being made known to more than just me, through other people being told about Jesus.
Evangelistic Effort is Not Wasted
One of the things that can discourage me is not seeing people learn who Christ is. I have been there many times. I share the Gospel only to have them turn and not believe. It can feel discouraging and cause some people to be viewed as a “lost cause” yet Paul here says he rejoices that Christ is being proclaimed.
I don’t believe that every person Paul evangelized came to know Jesus immediately or even came to know Him at all. But what comforts me is knowing that even though my friends and family don’t believe the Gospel, Jesus was made known to them. Salvation was presented and they received an opportunity to be saved. Don’t misunderstand me. I still believe in the doctrine of hell and the exclusivity of Christ but it causes me joy to know I didn’t just present myself but Jesus was presented. An evangelistic effort was not wasted even though someone doesn’t get saved. Why? Because Jesus was proclaimed.
I am Not Presented
I am a sinner. I am not this amazing person that must be presented. There are many people out there who are perceived to be amazing. But at the end of the day, every person is still simply a person. Every sinner is a sinner. I don’t need to be made much of. Most of us are just average normal people. We don’t need to be proclaimed rather Jesus is who needs to be presented!
I want the encouragement to be in Jesus’ proclamation.
- How can you proclaim Jesus?
- Do you even proclaim Him?
- Do you share the Gospel with others?
These are questions that we must wrestle with.
We must make sure we are presenting Jesus!
“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” Philippians 1:18