– Acts 18:10
You Have God’s Authority
We are called to go into all the world to make disciples of other nations. In this, we have the very authority of God, as “Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age‘” (Matt. 28:18-20). The police have the authority to enforce the laws of the state. The state officials don’t need to follow the police around to make sure that lawbreakers know this because they’ve been duly sworn to have such authority invested in them by the state. In the same way, we have no reason to fear because we have God’s authorization to go and preach the Gospel. Besides, Jesus promised, “I am with you always,” even if it’s not in person.
You Have God’s Power
God spoke to Paul in a vision, saying that He had “many people in this city” and not to fear for his life because “no one is going to attack and harm you” (Acts 18:10). Don’t you wish that God still spoke to us directly in visions when we are going out to witness to the lost? It would be nice, but we don’t need to get a vision from God or hear His audible voice. We already have our marching orders (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus told the apostles, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Therefore, we have God’s power through His Spirit, and we have the imperative or direct command from Christ Himself, Who is our Lord and Master. We have no reason to fear if we are being obedient to what God has commanded us to do. He is with us, and He will empower us. Besides, “the gospel … is the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1:16). It does not depend on us.
You Have God’s Protection
When Paul heard from God, He told Paul, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent” (Acts 18:9). If God told Him to not be afraid, that was good enough for Paul and should be good enough for us, too, because God “gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love” (2 Tim. 1:7). Jesus tells us ,“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28a). This theme of not fearing runs throughout the Bible, even among the new nation Israel (Deut. 3:2). If God is for us, then why would we have any worry at all about any human ever coming against us (Rom. 8:31)?
There is no need to have a fear of physical harm when sharing the Good News. That’s not to say it’s not fearful when we do witness to others. Even the great missionary Paul told the Corinthians, “I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3). Believe me, I know what that’s like. I do a lot of one-on-one witnessing. When I witnessed to a group of men one time on the street, my heart was pounding, my voice was quivering, and my brow got sweaty. But the power of God’s message doesn’t depend on me, thankfully. It is God and His Word that have the effectual power to save.