In the previous article – Yeshua t shirt and Romans 1:16, we began a series on how to use Christian clothes as a tool in evangelism. From Romans 16, we saw the need for us to be unashamed of preaching the Gospel.
I understand that the negativity towards the Christian faith in Israel is discouraging. But you see, we should not allow that to come between us and the work God has committed to our hands. Paul’s commitment to God’s work, even in hardship, should motivate us.
The Apostle Paul wrote the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon from prison, each of which contains some of the most all-encompassing explanations of what everyday Christian life should look like.
As some of us do today, because of persecution, Paul could have stopped preaching the Gospel when he was imprisoned. He had more than enough reasons that would be considered valid to feel discouraged and retire from serving the Lord. But for the sake of the unsaved, Paul stood his ground for the Lord. He used every opportunity he was given to preach the Gospel.
In chains, Paul wrote four spirit-filled letters. Trust me, a man who could do that much for God’s work while imprisoned would have been bold enough to a Yeshua t shirt around if it were available back then!
To further deepen our understanding that there’s a lot we can do for the Lord – even while being despised and persecuted – let’s examine the polarized reaction the Apostles received to the Gospel message in the book of Acts and how they responded.
Evangelism in the Book of Acts
Both the early church and today’s church face persecution. It may look a little different today, but we as individuals and as Christian evangelism ministries in Israel today still face persecution.
In Acts 12, Luke, the writer of the book, recounted how Herod oppressed the church. The New King James translation of the Bible says he stretched out his hand to harass the believers (Acts 12:1). This makes it sound like his mission was to torture the church, and that’s not difficult to understand by the time you read verses 2 to 4 of Acts 12.
Herod killed James, the brother of John, and wanted to kill Peter too. I am thankful to God that the church was prompt to take action. Verse 5 says that they (the church) offered constant prayer to God for Peter. And, glory to God, their prayers were answered, and Peter was supernaturally released from the prison!
You know, after such a horrible experience, you would think that Peter would retire from preaching the Gospel. Guess what: He did not! Peter’s love for God and His work was burning brightly – just like the Hear O Israel prayer says.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Much later in Acts 15, Peter was found among the elders in Jerusalem resolving an issue about the Christian faith. In fact, in Acts 4, when the rulers of the Jewish people arrested and threatened Peter and John not to speak or teach anyone in Yeshua’s name, their response was:
But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20, NIV)
With such boldness and tenacity to defend his faith even in the face of adversity, do you think Peter would have balked at wearing a Yeshua t shirt to some of his public meetings if they were available then? In my opinion, he would have added them to his witnessing tools in Jerusalem.
Today we have access to something the Apostles never had. Will we make the best use of this golden opportunity?
In Deuteronomy 6, God commanded the Israelites to teach their children His laws using every opportunity that came their way. According to Deuteronomy 6:7-9, they were to teach their children in the house, while walking to and fro, when they lie down, and when they rise up. We examined all that in the article, Hear O Israel: He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear.
Even though it’s been thousands of years since God gave this commandment, we could also embrace the same attitude to evangelize the lost sheep of Israel. And one easy way we can do that today is to wear Christian clothes like the Yeshua t shirt when we go our.
From the Bible days, preaching the Gospel hasn’t been a walk in the park. The Apostles faced many persecutions, including death sentences. But in all these ordeals, they ignored the shame-slinging and continued to go everywhere and preach the Gospel. I am trusting God to inspire us to do the same in Israel till everyone comes to a saving knowledge of the truth.