Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.
2 Timothy 1:8-9
God does not want Christians to be ashamed of sharing the good news about His Son and defending His cause. After all, He has saved Christians from an eternity in hell (Ephesians 2:1-2; Romans 6:23; 1:18; 2:5-6, 8-9). Sometimes followers of Christ need to be reminded that their Lord has saved them. It’s easy to take such blessings for granted, but make no mistake. Out of His grace, mercy, and love, God has saved all who obey the gospel (Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Romans 2:7; 5:6-8; Titus 2:11-12; Mark 16:15-16). Therefore all who wear His Son’s name must not be ashamed to testify to others about their Lord!
Christians, never forget that God has “called” you to “a holy calling.” He has done this not because of any works you have done but “because of His own purpose and grace.” His cause. A cause which is greater than any of our own by virtue of simply being God’s cause. Think of all the causes for which men consider important and worth fighting for. All of them pale in comparison to the greatest cause of all: the holy calling of God which is to serve Him as a faithful Christian! When our lives are over, it will not matter if we fought for the causes of any political ideology or social awareness group even though many of those causes are worthy in this life. When we stand before God at judgment, the only thing that will matter is whether we stood with God’s cause: Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the gospel, the cause of Christianity.
So Christians must not be ashamed of the testimony about their Lord. No saint should be a closet Christian, hiding their light under a bushel. Christ said that His followers “are the light of the world,” “a city set on a hill” which God does not want to be “hidden” (Matthew 5:14). God’s Son wants His disciples to “let (their) light shine before others, so that they may see (their) good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The whole purpose of being a Christian – part of that “chosen race,” “royal priesthood,” “holy nation,” and “people for God’s own possession” – is to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). All of this is done because Christians serve a greater cause…the greatest cause of all!
This means that Christians must no longer keep the seed in the barn (Haggai 2:19). Followers of Christ must no longer keep the good news of Jesus inside the four walls of their church buildings. Rather, Christians must get off their rear ends, leave their padded pews and air-conditioned auditoriums behind once Sunday worship services are over, and spend Monday through Saturday doing two things: living for Jesus and telling others about Jesus.
It means that Christians must speak the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17), and do so in love (Ephesians 4:15), choosing to “not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting our opponents with gentleness” (2 Timothy 2:24-25). Why? “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape for the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Here’s one more reason: Christians serve God’s cause!
So speak the truth of Scripture and Scripture alone. Tell others that Jesus is the only way, “the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but by (Him)” (John 14:6). Tell others that faith without works of obedience to God is dead (James 2:14-26). Tell others how Jesus told believers that they must abide in His Word to be true disciples and set free (John 8:31-32). Show others that repentance and baptism are necessary for salvation (Acts 17:30; 1 Peter 3:21).
Serve the cause!