A man commented about a preacher he knew, “He speaks very well, if he just had something to say.” The church of Christ has something to say. Jesus Christ saw to that 2,000 years ago when He charged His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15 -16). The early church was committed to that God-assigned commission. Their irrepressible resolve to tell Christ’s gospel is seen in the words of the apostles Peter and John in Acts 4:19-20. When opponents of the gospel commanded them to stop preaching Jesus, “Peter and John answered them, saying, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.’” They had something to say and nobody in hell or on earth would stop them from saying it. In Acts 8:4, severely persecuted Christians “scattered,” but then “went everywhere preaching the word.” Early Christians believed the gospel was a message that could save the souls of men and women from sin and reconcile lost people to God. They believed the gospel gave them something to say. They believed God meant for them to say it, and so they refused to stop saying it. The apostle Paul declared to the elders of the ancient church at ancient Ephesus in Acts 20:26-27, “Therefore I testify you this day, that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned [or avoided] to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Paul was confident that in God’s court no one at Ephesus would be able to truthfully) accuse or charge that he had been silent concerning any part of God’s gospel. No one could say to him, in the words of the sobering old gospel song, “You never mentioned Him to me, you helped me not the light to see. You met me day by day, and knew I was astray, Yet never mentioned Him to me.”
The contemporary church of Christ still has something to say. As regards sin and salvation, heaven and hell, and where souls will be for eternity, what the church has to say is the most important, imperative, vital and urgent thing that can be said. The question is not do we have something to say. We have as much to say and the same thing to say as those early Christians did. It haunts me to think of the day when I will stand before God, that someone I met day by day, someone I knew was astray, might look at me and say, You never mentioned Him to me.” Yet, too many saints are silent. How often do you tell about what you have “seen and heard” in the gospel of Jesus Christ? If you are truly a Christian, somewhere, somehow, somebody mentioned and talked to you about Jesus Christ and the gospel, and you chose to follow Him. Fundamentally, our God-given task is not to “bring the whole world to Christ” but to “take Christ to the whole world.” Somehow, someway, every Christian needs to be active in that mission. Words written by Brother David Sain continue to convict me: “… if we do not believe that people who have not believed and obeyed the gospel are lost, we have no valid reason to evangelize. I remember H. A. Dixon saying there are two reasons why we are not more concerned and more active in confronting people with the gospel. First, he said, we are not convinced that they are lost if they do not obey the gospel; second, we are not convinced we are lost if we do not try to teach them” (The Spiritual Sword, January 2003, p 40). May I remind you, Christian friend, you have something to say. Are you saying it? Do you ever mention Him?